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Samples from Remote Communities Contribute to Vital Cancer Research

Transmissible Venereal Tumour samples from remote communities ready for transport to the UK for cancer research.

Sadly Transmissible Venereal Tumour, a type of cancer, is found in dogs all over the world, including those in remote Australian communities. This particular cancer effects the dogs genitals and is passed on through sexual transmission.

The Transmissible Cancer Group (TCG) (www.tcg.vet.cam.ac.uk) at the University of Cambridge studies the genetic changes that cause cancers to become transmissible. There are only two known naturally occurring transmissible cancers in mammals, the canine transmissible venereal tumour (TVT) affecting dogs, and the transmissible facial tumour affecting Tasmanian devils.

Thanks to several very cooperative veterinarians who work remotely, there are now 69 Transmissible Venereal Tumour samples from remote communities on their way to the genome researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom (UK) to support cancer research. AMRRIC assisted with this process by coordinating the samples so they could be sent to the UK.

The good news is that whilst this tumour was previously not an uncommon sight, AMRRIC is now seeing a reduction in its occurrence in Indigenous community dogs due to more dogs being desexed, therefore reducing the transfer of the disease.

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