Study: Transmissible cancers not as rare as once believed

Research on species like mussels, clams and cockels has found evidence of cancerous cells infecting individuals like a virus, leading scientists to ponder whether contagious cancers are as rare as they thought.

“Now you have to imagine these contagious cells floating around in the ocean, when they managed to be picked up by a susceptible host they can establish a new infection," said study author Stephen Goff, a molecular biologist at Columbia University, noting using speaking of cancer as an “infection” changes how researchers think about the disease.

For more on the study, and how it could inform rare cases of communicable cancer in humans involving organ transplants and tapeworms, click on the link below: