Devil Facial Tumour Disease: Cytogenic Clues to Transmission and Development

  • Graves, Jennifer (PI)
  • Alsop, Amber (CoI)
  • Pearse, Anne-Maree (CoI)
  • Pyecroft, Stephen (CoI)

    Project: Research

    Project Details

    Description

    Devil Facial Tumour Disease is a fatal cancer that is decimating Tasmanian devils. Preliminary work suggests that tumours from different animals have identical sets of highly abnormal chromosomes, including a giant marker chromosome. We will use DNA probes to paint abnormal tumour chromosomes to discover markers for diagnosis, and identify genes contributing to tumour development and immune suppression. Most importantly, we will test our hypothesis that tumours all arose from a single ancestral cancer cell that is transmitted between animals. A cellular transmission has frightening implications for spread of disease, but will allow us to develop appropriate therapeutic strategies to save a unique Australian marsupial from extinction.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date21/12/0531/12/10

    Funding

    • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$117,444.00
    • TAS Department of Primary Industries and Water: A$29,700.00

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