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Type: Journal article
Title: Two decades of the impact of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease
Author: Woods, G.M.
Fox, S.
Flies, A.S.
Tovar, C.D.
Jones, M.
Hamede, R.
Pemberton, D.
Lyons, A.B.
Bettiol, S.S.
Citation: Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2018; 58(6):1043-1054
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1540-7063
Statement of
Gregory M. Woods, Samantha Fox, Andrew S. Flies, Cesar D. Tovar, Menna Jones, Rodrigo Hamede, David Pemberton, A. Bruce Lyons, and Silvana S. Bettiol
Abstract: The Tasmanian devil, a marsupial carnivore, has been restricted to the island state of Tasmania since its extinction on the Australian mainland about 3000 years ago. In the past two decades, this species has experienced severe population decline due to the emergence of devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a transmissible cancer. During these 20 years, scientists have puzzled over the immunological and evolutionary responses by the Tasmanian devil to this transmissible cancer. Targeted strategies in population management and disease control have been developed as well as comparative processes to identify variation in tumor and host genetics. A multi-disciplinary approach with multi-institutional teams has produced considerable advances over the last decade. This has led to a greater understanding of the molecular pathogenesis and genomic classification of this cancer. New and promising developments in the Tasmanian devil's story include evidence that most immunized, and some wild devils, can produce an immune response to DFTD. Furthermore, epidemiology combined with genomic studies suggest a rapid evolution to the disease and that DFTD will become an endemic disease. Since 1998 there have been more than 350 publications, distributed over 37 Web of Science categories. A unique endemic island species has become an international curiosity that is in the spotlight of integrative and comparative biology research.
Keywords: Devil facial tumor
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email:
RMID: 0030127945
DOI: 10.1093/icb/icy118
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Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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