sharks and cancer

Mr. G. Morley gmorley at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Tue Feb 18 08:53:48 EST 1997


>zxcv wrote:

>Cancerless Sharks

>Do they have better immune systems, more effective apotosis for cancer
>cells, or something else, or is this just a myth

Interesting question... I don't think much work has been done
on this but I would imagine that the shark's immune system etc
would no more be able to prevent cancers than a humans.
Probably the real reasons we don't see (or hear of) many "cancerous
sharks" is because of the environment they live in. Any animal
manifesting signs of weakened behaviour may not live very long, 
or would perhaps (I'm guessing here:)) head for some secluded
place in which to be ill/die.
 However one would imagine that benigne growths would occasionaly be spotted
but then again what proportion of the human population have benign
growths? If the shark is similar then what fraction of their 
population do we ever glimpse? It might be worth the time of
some marine biologist to look into this one on sharks that are
kept in captivity....
Gary Morley





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