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How can Tasmanian Devils give cancer researchers a hint into the spread of tumors and how they interact with the body? The spread of facial tumors in the population may be an appropriate starting point.

Press play to learn:

  • How Tasmanian devil facial tumors are spread
  • If extracellular vesicles play a role in the incubation of the disease
  • How vaccines and other treatments may be effective

Camila Espejo, a researcher at the Tasmanian School of Medicine in the College of Health and Medicine, shares her work with Tasmanian Devils and oncology.

When Tasmanian devils bite each other, there is a chance that a tumor-laden devil can spread the cells into healthy devils through saliva. If the disease can be detected early before the tumor begins to form, treatment becomes an option and can extend the lifetime during the disease’s incubation.

It is crucial to understand how the disease spreads and can be treated to prevent a possible extinction event. Without devils present as apex predators, the ecosystem may be thrown out of balance, and native species could be impacted.

To learn more, contact Camila Espejo on twitter at @CamilaEspejo19.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

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