MSN Home  |  My MSN  |  Hotmail
Sign in to Windows Live ID Web Search:   
go to MSNGroups 
Free Forum Hosting
Important Announcement Important Announcement
The MSN Groups service will close in February 2009. You can move your group to Multiply, MSN’s partner for online groups. Learn More
AmericanIdolLoftFairNBalancedContains "mature" content, but not necessarily 
What's New
  Home Page  
  Message Boards  
  Loft Banquet 07  
  2007 Loft Awards  
  Loft Banquet 06  
  2006 Loft Awards  
  American Idol 7  
  Big Brother  
  Big Brother 9  
  Big Brother 8  
  American Idol 6  
  Big Brother 7  
  Canadian Idol 4  
  American Idol 5  
  Rock Star 2  
  Misc 2  
  Countdown: OBAMA  
  * * * 2008 * * *  
  Global Awareness  
  Animal Awareness  
  Animal Rescue  
  Happy Endings  
  Animal Friends  
  2008 NCAA  
  LFL 08-09  
  LFL 07-08  
  LFL 06-07  
  LFL 05-06  
  Book Listings and Recommendations  
  Creative Streak  
  Icons and such  
  Health N Fitness  
  Weather Board  
  Science & Crypto  
  Free Swim  
  Safety Dance  
  FNB Guidelines  
Animal Awareness : Some Dogs Carry 'Contagious' Cancer
Choose another message board
 Message 1 of 5 in Discussion 
From: Jag  (Original Message)Sent: 8/10/2006 11:26 PM

Some Dogs Carry 'Contagious' Cancer

Medical anomaly poses no threat to humans, experts say
By Ed Edelson, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are describing what seems to be a real-life medical nightmare: A cancer that spreads from animal to animal like an infection.

Luckily for humans, this malignancy occurs only in dogs, and there's no need for people to be worried about it, experts say.

"It's a scientific curiosity," said Robin Weiss, professor of viral oncology at University College London, and a member of the team reporting the discovery in the journal Cell. "There is no evidence of transfers of human cancers from one person to another, except in very special circumstances, so we should not say that a human cancer patient is dangerous to others."

The cancer, called canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT), was first isolated from 16 dogs in Italy, India and Kenya. In each case, a study of the tumors' genetic material showed that it differed from that of the dog in question -- suggesting that it had been passed from another dog.

Further study of cancers from 40 other dogs in five continents found that the tumors were almost genetically identical, meaning that they originally came from a single source and had somehow spread across the globe.

Working with geneticists and computer experts in Chicago, the researchers compared the genetic material of tumors to that of specific breeds of dogs. They concluded that the cancer most likely arose more than 250 years ago -- perhaps as long as 1,000 years ago -- in a wolf or Asian dog such as a Husky or Shih Tzu.

CTVT is transmitted primarily through sexual contact, but experts believe it can also be picked up as dogs lick, bite or sniff tumor-affected areas. It is seldom fatal and usually disappears in three to nine months, just long enough for the dog to pass it on.

"One aspect where this is related to human cancer is not in the mode of transmission, but what it tells us about the nature of cancer," Weiss said.

Generally, as cancers become more aggressive, they become less stable genetically, he said. But CTVT has had the same genetic makeup for centuries and is "the oldest tumor cell lineage known to science," which means that it has become genetically stable, Weiss said.

"This questions the theory of instability," he said. "I don't think that instability is inevitable as a tumor gets worse and worse."

The report also raises wildlife conservation issues, added Elaine Ostrander, chief of the cancer genetics branch at the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, who wrote an accompanying commentary.

Similar cancers are known to exist in two other species, the Tasmanian devil and the Syrian hamster, Ostrander said. For these types of endangered species, exposure to CTVT might endanger the population's survival, she wrote.

There appears to be no danger to humans from the sort of cancers seen in these animals, Ostrander said. While CTVT may occur in stray dogs, pedigreed dogs are usually not allowed casual sex, and the cancer "can't be transmitted to humans by handling dogs," she said.

"We always wonder when we see something in the animal kingdom if we will see the same thing in humans," Ostrander said. "We don't see any human evidence in this case."

More information

There's more on the genetics of cancer at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

First  Previous  2-5 of 5  Next  Last 
 Message 2 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 8/14/2006 8:45 PM
Thank you for posting this. There was a news brief one day last week where they mentioned this was "coming up", but of course, you can't leave the room since it could be the next segment or an hour away....and so I missed it. So thanks!

 Message 3 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JagSent: 8/17/2006 7:55 AM
You're welcome...
Such a strange thing...

 Message 4 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nickname-jujub-Sent: 8/19/2006 2:27 PM
I'm confused. I think this isn't quite as unique as they're saying. The human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes venereal warts is sexually transmitted. And we now know it also causes cervical cancer - in fact, they just introduced a vaccine for it.
Isn't this really similar, or did I not read carefully?

 Message 5 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JagSent: 8/21/2006 12:46 AM
jujub... Yes, it sounds similar.
I was thinking along those same lines...  Thought they were wrong for them thinking it was so unique - just that they hadn't tested that many dogs or something...  and no idea if this article were written before all the publicity about HPV.

First  Previous  2-5 of 5  Next  Last 
Return to Animal Awareness