Transmissible cancers, are they more common than thought?

tas_devilAuthors: Ujvari, Beata; Gatenby, Robert A.; Thomas, Frederic

Source: EVOLUTIONARY APPLICATIONS, 9 (5):633-634, JUN 2016

Brief summary of the paper: Although many cancers are associated with infectious agents, only four naturally occurring transmissible cancers have so far been identified in dogs, soft‐shell clams and Tasmanian devils (DFT1 and DFT2). The recent discovery of DFT2 provides an intriguing story to the evolution of transmissible cancers and poses several questions:

  1. How could two transmissible cancers emerge in the same species?
  2. How will the two DFT variants evolve?
  3. Are transmissible cancers rare?