Revolutionary Discovery: Shellfish Cancers Spread like Viruses for Centuries – Potential Game Changer in Human Cancer Treatment

2023-10-12 17:10:04

Scientists have discovered cancers that have been spreading like viruses for centuries among species of shellfish, a revolutionary discovery that could change the way cancer is treated in humans.

A study found two strains of an ancient form of leukemia-like cancer that has been spreading silently among shellfish for centuries.

According to the study recently published in the journal Nature Cancer, scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom and the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain collaborated with experts in several other countries to use DNA sequencing to examine the extent to which ancient cancers have silently spread among snails since ancient times.

Contagious cancer is just a fluke in the natural world, and occurs in a limited number of animal species. But the latest discovery in oysters raises the possibility that there are more similar forms of cancer that pose a potential threat to humans.

As far as scientists know, cancer can only be transmitted to humans in extremely rare cases.

By collecting around 7,000 cockles at 36 sites from 11 countries including Spain, Portugal, the UK, Ireland and Morocco, the team was able to find two different types of transmissible bivalve tumors.

Some cancer cells contain more or fewer chromosomes than others, the result of generations of cell division and other abnormal changes in the genetics of cancer cells.

The team discovered that the genomes of transmissible bivalve tumors are highly unstable. The number and size of chromosomes varied significantly between different tumors and between cells from the same tumor.

They found that some cells contain at least 11 chromosomes, others contain up to 354 chromosomes, while the number of chromosomes in normal cockle cells is 38.

“We have shown that there are two independent types of transmissible cancer, and we believe there are many different types,” said Dr. Alicia Brozos, co-first author, in a statement. “Getting a broader view of the different types of transmissible cancers could give us more insight into the circumstances.” Necessary for tumor development and long-term survival.

The team found that these cockle tumors are highly genetically unstable and contain varying numbers of chromosomes, which is unusual for cancers.

Dr. Daniel Garcia Soto, co-author of the study, said: “Our study showed that the cells in these cockle tumors contain highly variable amounts of genetic material, which is very unusual compared to other types of cancer. These cancers have undergone severe chromosomal changes and genetic reorganization.” “Continuously, perhaps for hundreds or thousands of years, which challenges the theory that cancers require stable genomes for long-term survival.”

The results indicate that these cancers are unlike any other transmissible cancer in animals, as a stable genome is not necessary for the survival of these transmissible cancers.

Discovering how these cancer cells are able to tolerate this instability could help experts find new ways to approach cancer treatment in humans.

The team also identified a number of cockles that unexpectedly infected cells from both types of cancer at the same time.

Dr Adrian Páez Ortega, co-author of the study, explained: “Understanding more about the origins and evolution of cockle-borne crabs, and how their cells interact with cockle cells and the marine environment, could help protect animal populations in the future, while providing insight into how the crabs survive.” Living for thousands of years as marine parasites. (Russia Today)

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