Whales and dolphins are good at fighting cancer and a gene helps these marine mammals to fight the growth of tumour. Moreover, a latest study also showed that cetaceans (most long-lived mammals) fight cancer than any others do.
Having a large body means more cells. Lead author Daniela Tejada-Martinez at the Austral University of Chile pointed out that large boy size means more cells. It means higher risk of damage of cells. However, whales and dolphins are better in fighting cancer, the researcher said.
The researchers studied the evolution of 1077 Tumour Suppressor Genes (TSGs). They compared the evolution of the genes in 15 mammalian species. They selected genes regulating DNA damage, tumour spread and the immune system. They found that cetaceans gained and lost TSGs at a rate 2.4 times higher than in other mammals.
However, she said that the finding does not mean injecting the whale or dolphin gene in humans for the cure of cancer. She said that the findings of how the Tumour Suppressor Genes play a role in tumour suppression in animals could help in developing a drug that could mimic that for humans.