Online Purchasing Account You are logged on as Guest. LoginRegister a New AccountShopping cart (Empty)
United States 

Contagious Cancer? Cancers That Don’t Die With Their Hosts

Researchers think that cancer has always existed as the foil to multicellular life; for as long as there have been complex organisms, there has been a disease capable of killing them. Throughout the recorded history of cancer and cancer research, oncologists have been operating under one crucial assumption: that the cancer would eventually subsume its host, and ultimately die with it. All of the evolutionary advantages that cancer picks up along the progression of the disease, such as information about how to outmaneuver the host, are lost as the host dies.


Several researchers have now found that this may not always be the case. In one case, a laboratory technician developed a tumor in their hand after accidentally puncturing herself with a needle, and the tumor enjoyed sustained growth in her body. In another case, a surgeon inadvertently passed a cancer to himself after performing emergency surgery on a patient with a fibrous histocytoma.

Absent human error, it doesn’t seem possible for cancer to pass through normal human contact. However, we have observed contagious cancers among species in the wild. In soft shell clams, a certain type of species-specific leukemia has been transmitted from clam to clam, filling their usually clear blood with cells that turn it milky, usually killing them. For many years, scientists assumed that the method of transmission must be some sort of virus – otherwise, how would the disease pass from one organism to the next? Research now shows that this is a case of contagious cancer – an immortal cell line that originated in a single clam and now has the capability to survive and multiply in many clams. Clams have proven that they’re not alone: the Tasmanian devil has a facial tumor that spreads through bites, and dogs have been passing a venereal tumor around for 11,000 years.

Two main theories have arisen: first, that these animals are vulnerable due to their lack of genetic diversity. The cancerous cells from another host appear so similar to the host’s cells that they are ignored by the immune system. These new cells, carrying the genetic mutation for the cancer, proliferate in the new individual and express as a tumor.

The second theory is much more alarming: that these cancers have evolved the ability to move from host to host. Without definitive evidence, this remains a curiosity. But further investigation is underway as to whether contagious cancer could ever exist in humans. For now, this risk is too big to ignore. A contagious cancer in humans could be imminent, and would pose a significant public health challenge.

Enzo Life Sciences is your resource for a wide variety of products for your protein and cancer research needs:

Tags: In The News

 
comments powered by Disqus

follow Us!

 

Related Products

DNA damage ELISA kit 

Rapid DNA damage ELISA kit for cancer, apoptosis and oxidative stress.
ELISA, Colorimetric detection | Print as PDF
 
ADI-EKS-350 96 wells 750.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

MEGACD40L® Protein (soluble) (human), (recombinant) 

High activity, high purity CD40L protein for co-stimulatory activation of an immune response
Produced in CHO cells. The extracellular domain of human CD40L (CD154) (aa 116-261) is fused at the N-terminus to mouse ACRP30headless (aa 18-111) and a FLAG®-tag., ≥90% (SDS-PAGE) | Print as PDF
 
ALX-522-110-C010 10 µg 499.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

KillerTRAIL™ Storage and Dilution Buffer 

Print as PDF
 
ALX-505-005-R500 500 µl 173.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

SUPERFASLIGAND® Protein (soluble) (human), (recombinant) 

Fas ligand with improved stability providing significantly enhanced immune activation.
Produced in HEK 293 cells. The extracellular domain of human FasL (APO-1L; CD95L; CD178) (aa 103-281) is fused at the N-terminus to a linker peptide (26 aa) and a FLAG®-tag. Glycosylation of rhs SUPERFASLIGAND® is similar to natural human FasL., ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), ELISA | Print as PDF
 
ALX-522-020-C005 5 µg 284.00 USD
 
ALX-522-020-3005 3x5 µg SuperPack 657.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

CRP (human) ELISA kit 

Sensitive (8.876 ng/ml) ELISA kit for the quantification of CRP, an early biomarker for inflammation
ELISA, Colorimetric detection | Print as PDF
 
ENZ-KIT102-0001 96 wells 300.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

PGE2 ELISA kit 

Highly sensitive PGE2 ELISA kit for inflammation and eicosanoid research.
ELISA, Colorimetric detection | Print as PDF
 
ADI-900-001 96 wells 371.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

TXB2 ELISA kit 

ELISA, Colorimetric detection | Print as PDF
 
ADI-900-002 96 wells 350.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

LTB4 ELISA kit 

ELISA, Colorimetric detection | Print as PDF
 
ADI-900-068 96 wells 349.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

NGAL (human) ELISA kit 

Highly senstitive ELISA, measuring as little as 4 pg/ml of NGAL
ELISA, Colorimetric detection | Print as PDF
 
BPD-KIT-036 96 wells 703.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

NUCLEAR-ID® Blue/Green cell viability reagent 

Distinguishes between live vs dead cells in a single reagent.
≥93% (HPLC), Flow Cytometry, Fluorescence microscopy, Fluorescent detection | Print as PDF
 
ENZ-53004-C100 100 µl 250.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

NUCLEAR-ID® Green cell cycle kit  

Cell Cycle Results Independent of Incubation Time, Temperature, Dye and Cell Concentrations
Flow Cytometry, Fluorescence microscopy | Print as PDF
 
ENZ-51014-100 1 Kit 318.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

NUCLEOLAR-ID® Green detection kit  

Fluorescence microscopy, Fluorescent detection | Print as PDF
 
ENZ-51009-500 1 Kit 183.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

BIOARRAY™ Low Input RNA Amplification and Biotin Labeling System 

Lower RNA Input with High Yield – High Quality Biotin-labeling
Print as PDF
 
ENZ-42422-0010 10 Reactions 773.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

BIO-PROBE® Nick translation DNA labeling system reagent pack 

Nick translation kit used in combination with deoxynucleotide packs for probe synthesis
Dot Blot, ISH (in situ hybridization), Northern Blot, Southern Blot | Print as PDF
 
ENZ-42710 25 Reactions 158.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

PATHO-GENE® HPV screening probe 

Print as PDF
 
ENZ-32884-6000 6 ml Inquire for pricing
 
ENZ-32884 1 ml 661.00 USD
Do you need bulk/larger quantities?
 

Recommend this page

 
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
Keep in touch

©2018 Enzo Life Sciences, Inc.,