The oldest cancer in the world known to science is around 11 thousand years old. This sexually transmitted dog cancer known as Canine transmissible venereal tumor, or CVTV, is one of two known forms of transmissible cancer in the world.
The oldest cancer in the world known to science is around 11 thousand years old.
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom analyzed the DNA from a sample of the cancer, and found the genetic evidence of its origin dates back to a single ancient dog.
This sexually transmitted dog cancer known as Canine transmissible venereal tumor, or CTVT, is one of two known rare forms of transmissible cancer in the world.
The other has been found among Tasmanian Devils, and is transmitted when they bite each other’s face.
Both kinds of cancer are believed to be caused by low genetic diversity due to inbreeding among canine populations and Tasmanian Devils.
Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute is quoted as saying: “The genome of the transmissible dog cancer will help us to understand the processes that allow cancers to become transmissible.”
Most kinds of cancer are not able to spread from the host to other individuals.
Data from the study shows that CTVT survived in an isolated population of dogs and was not spread around the world until the last 500 years.