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The contagious cancer that conquered the world

last modified May 17, 2016 10:14 AM

Using genetics, scientists at the TCG show how the world’s oldest cancer “metastasised” through the global dog population in an article published today in eLife.

Thanks to dedicated help from our veterinary collaborators based all over the world, we collected and analysed canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) samples collected from over 400 dogs in 39 countries across six continents. Our research showed how CTVT has rapidly spread around the world over the last two thousand years. By tracing the five genetic lineages, or “clades”, of CTVT tumours (see map below), we mapped the geographical routes that the tumour may have taken on its global travels. Excitingly, our work also showed how CTVT has captured, maintained and rearranged its mitochondrial DNA along the way.

If you would be interested in learning more about our recent work on CTVT, you can watch our short video or access the full paper.

Citation: Strakova et al. eLife 2016;5:e14552

CTVT clades map
Five CTVT genetic lineages, or “clades”, and their distribution around the world.

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