Some Cancers Become Contagious

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Some Cancers Become Contagious

#1  Postby aufbahrung » Apr 23, 2019 1:33 pm

https://www.the-scientist.com/features/ ... ious-65617

Some Cancers Become Contagious by Katarina Zimmer

The untrained eye likely wouldn’t have noticed, but doctoral student Ruth Pye immediately spotted something unusual about the way the cells were arranged in a tissue sample from a facial tumor of a Tasmanian devil. Tumor cells plucked from the marsupials normally grew and divided more slowly, but these established themselves much faster in culture, and had longer projections extending from their spindle-shaped cell bodies, she recalls.

It was early 2014, and Pye was examining a biopsy taken from a diseased devil on a remote peninsula on the southeast side of Tasmania. Her lab at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania received such samples as part of a government-sponsored monitoring program to study the notorious cancer that had been decimating populations of the island’s namesake marsupial. Known as devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), the cancer differs from most in that it exists as a single transformed cell line, thought to have originated in a devil that lived more than 20 years ago, that is capable of moving between individuals. Each cell genetically resembles the founder devil, and is distinct from the cells of healthy devils.

Such contagious cancers are exceedingly rare: at the time Pye noticed the strange-looking samples, the only other transmissible cancer known was a sexually transmitted oncogenic cell line in dogs, which was by and large harmless to the animals. In Tasmanian devils, DFTD is thought to be transmitted when the animals bite one another, whether it be during battles for mates, during mating itself, or when scrapping over meals of dead animals. Cancerous cells that become lodged in the open wounds of the mouth or face quickly colonize the host tissue, triggering the growth of disfiguring tumors that impair the animals’ ability to feed. Since the first reported case of DFTD in 1996, devil numbers have plummeted by nearly 80 percent in areas affected by the disease.

(continued)
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#2  Postby Macdoc » Apr 23, 2019 2:04 pm

Misleading headline -

Such contagious cancers are exceedingly rare


And confined to animals AFAIK
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#3  Postby aufbahrung » Apr 23, 2019 3:10 pm

Macdoc wrote:Misleading headline -

Such contagious cancers are exceedingly rare


And confined to animals AFAIK


You only operate in the boring parts of graphs? :think:
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#4  Postby felltoearth » Apr 23, 2019 3:55 pm

Edit. Wrong thread.
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#5  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 23, 2019 4:51 pm

Transmissible cancers have been a topic discussed on here for some time ... as in five years ago ...
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#6  Postby SafeAsMilk » Apr 23, 2019 5:03 pm

aufbahrung wrote:
Macdoc wrote:Misleading headline -

Such contagious cancers are exceedingly rare


And confined to animals AFAIK


You only operate in the boring parts of graphs? :think:

You must spend your time looking for Youtube videos with capitalized present tense verbs in the title.
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#7  Postby Rumraket » Apr 23, 2019 5:06 pm

It has even been hypothesized (still unproven) that some cancers could have become separate species:

1: Panchin AY, Aleoshin VV, Panchin YV. From tumors to species: a SCANDAL
hypothesis.
Biol Direct. 2019 Jan 23;14(1):3. doi: 10.1186/s13062-019-0233-1.

Abstract
Some tumor cells can evolve into transmissible parasites. Notable examples include the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease, the canine transmissible venereal tumor and transmissible cancers of mollusks. We present a hypothesis that such transmissible tumors existed in the past and that some modern animal taxa are descendants of these tumors. We expect potential candidates for SCANDALs (speciated by cancer development animals) to be simplified relatives of more complex metazoans and have genomic alterations typical for cancer progression (such as deletions of universal apoptosis genes). We considered several taxa of simplified animals for our hypothesis: dicyemida, orthonectida, myxosporea and trichoplax. Based on genomic analysis we conclude that Myxosporea appear to be the most suitable candidates for a tumor ancestry. They are simplified parasitic cnidarians that universally lack major genes implicated in cancer progression including all genes with Caspase and BCL2 domains as well as any p53 and apoptotic protease activating factor – 1 (Apaf-1) homologs, suggesting the disruption of main apoptotic pathways in their early evolutionary history. Further comparative genomics and single-cell transcriptomic studies may be helpful to test our hypothesis of speciation via a cancerous stage.
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#8  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 23, 2019 5:55 pm

Rumraket wrote:It has even been hypothesized (still unproven) that some cancers could have become separate species:

1: Panchin AY, Aleoshin VV, Panchin YV. From tumors to species: a SCANDAL
hypothesis.
Biol Direct. 2019 Jan 23;14(1):3. doi: 10.1186/s13062-019-0233-1.

Abstract
Some tumor cells can evolve into transmissible parasites. Notable examples include the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease, the canine transmissible venereal tumor and transmissible cancers of mollusks. We present a hypothesis that such transmissible tumors existed in the past and that some modern animal taxa are descendants of these tumors. We expect potential candidates for SCANDALs (speciated by cancer development animals) to be simplified relatives of more complex metazoans and have genomic alterations typical for cancer progression (such as deletions of universal apoptosis genes). We considered several taxa of simplified animals for our hypothesis: dicyemida, orthonectida, myxosporea and trichoplax. Based on genomic analysis we conclude that Myxosporea appear to be the most suitable candidates for a tumor ancestry. They are simplified parasitic cnidarians that universally lack major genes implicated in cancer progression including all genes with Caspase and BCL2 domains as well as any p53 and apoptotic protease activating factor – 1 (Apaf-1) homologs, suggesting the disruption of main apoptotic pathways in their early evolutionary history. Further comparative genomics and single-cell transcriptomic studies may be helpful to test our hypothesis of speciation via a cancerous stage.


A paper to this effect was published as far back as 1991, viz:

HeLa, A New Microbial Species by Leigh M. Van Valen & Virginia C. Maiorana, Evolutionary Theory, [b]10:{/b] 71-74 (December 1991) [Full paper downloadable from here]

The designation of HeLa cells as a new species remains controversial, however. Van Valen's reasons for designating this as a new species were:

[1] Chromosomal incompatibility of HeLa cells with humans (including the unfortunate Henrietta lacks from whom the cells originated);

[2] HeLa cells occupy a well-defined ecological niche;

[3] HeLa cells are able to persist and expand their populations, even when measures to prevent this are taken by humans;

[4] HeLa can be defined as a species, because it has its own clonal karyotype.

However, others have countered that:

[1] HeLa does not have a stable karyotype (which directly affects [4] in Van Valen's reasons above), and indeed is notorious for its level of instability in this respect - different branches of the HeLa cell line have 76 chromosomes, others have 80, and other karyotype numbers have been documented in the literature;

[2] The cells are considered in numerous quarters to lack a strict ancestral-descendant lineage, though I personally find myself wondering about this, given that the history of HeLa cells is probably better documented than for many other eukaryotic cell lineages. I'm currently wading through a paper on bacterial species that might clarify the nature of this objection, which I suspect is deeply technical.
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Re: Some Cancers Become Contagious

#9  Postby Macdoc » Apr 23, 2019 9:27 pm

You only operate in the boring parts of graphs? :think:


there is enough irrational fear around cancer in the first place ....not on for adding to it.
Been there, done that...cancer free for 10 years.

Bit dodgy for the science.com to do that headline.

Some rare cancers in animals become contagious....a tad better :coffee:
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