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Clonally transmissible cancer

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Title: Clonally transmissible cancer  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Carcinogenesis, Nervous system neoplasm, Digestive system neoplasm, Nodule (medicine), Endocrine gland neoplasm
Collection: Carcinogenesis, Clonally Transmissible Cancers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Clonally transmissible cancer

A parasitic cancer or transmissible cancer is a cancer cell or cluster of cancer cells that can be transmitted from animal to animal. They are quite rare in both animals and humans. Parasitic cancers are distinct from cancers caused by infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria, which are more common.


  • Examples in animals 1
    • Instances of transmission of human cancer 1.1
  • See also 2
  • References 3

Examples in animals

Cancer is not normally a contagious disease, but there are three known exceptions in dogs, Tasmanian devils and Syrian hamsters. These cancers have a relatively stable genome as they are transmitted.[1] Because of their transmission, it was initially thought that these diseases were caused by the transfer of oncoviruses, in the manner of cervical cancer caused by HPV.

  • Canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT) is sexually transmitted cancer in dogs. It was experimentally transplanted between dogs in 1876 by M. A. Novinsky (1841–1914). A single malignant clone of CTVT cells has colonized dogs worldwide, representing the oldest known malignant cell line in continuous propagation.[3]

It has been suggested that animals that have undergone population bottlenecks are at greater risks of contracting transmissible cancers.[6]

Instances of transmission of human cancer

Transmissible cancers are rare in humans.[7] A malignant fibrous histiocytoma was contracted from a patient by a surgeon when he injured his hand during an operation.[8] More recently, Barozzi and colleagues found that a significant fraction of Kaposi's sarcoma occurring after transplantation may be due to tumorous outgrowth of donor cells.[9] Although Kaposi's sarcoma is caused by a virus (Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus), in these cases, it appears likely that transmission of virus-infected tumor cells—rather than the free virus—caused tumors in the transplant recipients.

See also


  1. ^ Retrovirology A sexually transmitted parasitic cancer
  2. ^ Pearse, A.-M., Swift, K. (2006). "Allograft theory: Transmission of devil facial-tumour disease".  
  3. ^ Murgia C,  
  5. ^ Banfield, William G.; Woke, PA; MacKay, CM; Cooper, HL (1965-05-28). "Mosquito Transmission of a Reticulum Cell Sarcoma of Hamsters".  
  6. ^ Belov K (February 2011). "The role of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in the spread of contagious cancers". Mamm. Genome 22 (1-2): 83–90.  
  7. ^ Welsh JS (2011). "Contagious cancer". Oncologist 16 (1): 1–4.  
  8. ^ Gärtner, Hermine-Valeria; Seidl, Christian; Luckenbach, Christine; Schumm, Georg; Seifried, Erhard; Ritter, Horst; Bültmann, Burkhard (1996), "Genetic analysis of a sarcoma accidentally transplanted from a patient to a surgeon.", New England Journal of Medicine 335 (20): 1494–1497,  
  9. ^ Barozzi, P.; Luppi, M.; Facchetti, F.; Mecucci, C.; Alù, M.; Sarid, R.; Rasini, V.; Ravazzini, L.; Rossi, E.; Festa, S.; Crescenzi, B.; Wolf, D. G.; Schulz, T. F.; Torelli, G. (2003). "Post-transplant Kaposi sarcoma originates from the seeding of donor-derived progenitors". Nature Medicine 9 (5): 554–561.  
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