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Mice ‘could give cancer to humans'

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  • Mice ‘could give cancer to humans'

    October 10, 2007 -- A deadly virus similar to HIV could make it possible for humans to catch cancer from mice, a study claims today.

    Mouse Mammary Tumour Virus, which is known to cause breast cancer in rodents, can also reproduce and spread in human breast cells, scientists say.

    Although the research is still at an early stage, it provides evidence that the virus – discovered in the 1930s – might be responsible for some breast cancers.

    The disease, which affects more than 44,000 women each year in Britain, is believed to be caused partly by genetic and partly environmental factors.

    Little is known about what triggers 90 per cent of cases.

    Today, in online journal Retrovirology, the scientists said they proved conclusively that MMTV 'rapidly spreads' in cultured breast cancer cells. While they still don't know how the virus would spread to humans, experts found they could stop it replicating with the anti-HIV drug, AZT.

    The team at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, said: 'Despite the widely accepted belief that human cells are not an appropriate host for MMTV, our data demonstrate the productive infection of human breast cells.

    'This finding might help to explain the presence of MMTV-like sequences in at least a certain proportion of human breast cancers.'

    Cancer Research UK said the laboratory study did not prove mice infected people in the real world.

  • #2
    wow... how on EARTH would farah cancer cells get inside a human and get them sick


    • #3
      October 11, 2007 -- A rodent virus similar to HIV may make it possible to "catch" breast cancer from mice, new research suggests.

      Mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV), discovered in the 1930s, is known to cause breast cancer in the animals.

      Now, for the first time, scientists from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have shown that the virus can reproduce and spread in human breast cells.

      Although the research is still confined to the laboratory and at an early stage, it provides strong evidence that the virus might be responsible for at least some breast cancers.

      How the virus may be spread from mice to humans is a question still to be answered. If the link is confirmed, it will have important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

      The Austrian-led scientists who carried out the work found they could stop the virus replicating with the anti-HIV drug, AZT.

      Treating breast cancer triggered by the mouse virus may therefore offer a new use for the HIV drug.

      The idea that MMTV might be involved in human breast cancer was first suggested more than 50 years ago.

      But evidence was lacking until the 1990s when researchers detected what looked like elements of MMTV in human breast tumour tissue. However, many experts concluded this was a case of mistaken identity.

      A number of key questions still have to be answered, said the researchers, including whether MMTV can infect cells taken directly from the body rather than a laboratory-grown culture line.


      • #4
        hmmm... well either by ingesting rat meat (yummy ) or by contact with contaminated feces...

        or through some other transfer means- like tics.

        *shudders* eeeeeekkkkhhh
        It seems as if one fails to conceive
        The meaning my name strives to achieve

        To a biological form you cannot relate-
        Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

        It means to unite, -to become consolidated
        So without me in, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?


        • #5
          Does not look good. and yuck, i dont want to think of rat and products infected by rats, it's soo horrible.

          It is often the case that viruses can cause the onset of cancer in other types of cells.


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