Clonally transmissible cancer

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Clonally transmissible cancer is a type of cancer that can be transmitted between individuals via living cancer cells. This type of cancer is rare and has been observed in a few species, including dogs and Tasmanian devils.


The term is pronounced as /kləʊnəli trænsˈmɪʃəbl ˈkænsər/.


The term is derived from the words "clone", "transmissible", and "cancer". "Clone" comes from the Greek word "klōn", meaning "twig". "Transmissible" comes from the Latin word "transmissibilis", meaning "that may be sent across". "Cancer" comes from the Latin word "cancer", meaning "crab", due to the crab-like spread of the disease in the body.

Related Terms

  • Cancer: A group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells.
  • Clone: A group of identical cells that share a common ancestry, meaning they are derived from the same mother cell.
  • Transmissible: Capable of being passed on from one person or organism to another.
  • Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease: A type of clonally transmissible cancer that affects Tasmanian devils.
  • Canine transmissible venereal tumour: A sexually transmitted cancer that affects dogs.

See Also


  • Murchison, E. P. (2008). Clonally transmissible cancers in dogs and Tasmanian devils. Oncogene, 27(S2), S19–S30. doi:10.1038/onc.2009.350
  • Pearse, A. M., & Swift, K. (2006). Allograft theory: Transmission of devil facial-tumour disease. Nature, 439(7076), 549. doi:10.1038/439549a

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