Can cancer be transmitted like an infectious disease?

24/10/2012

The question is not idle. Moreover, in the case of any transaction, coupled with a blood transfusion or organ transplantation, this topic is what is called topical. And if the donor had cancer? Is it dangerous to use such material in trauma and transplant?

Here are some of oncologists. The question should be divided into two parts: the transplant possible "contamination" of organs and blood transfusions, possibly containing metastases. On the last and begin.

Transfer of cancer from blood donor to recipient is extremely unlikely (Figure Adventtr / iStockphoto).

According to scientists from the Research Institute of the Walter and Eliza Hall (Australia), transfusion of blood cancer patient donor to the recipient may result in the transfer of cancer only in the case of compromising the immune system. This is the case with HIV, very sick people, as well as patients who are forced for some reason to take immunosuppressant drugs, for example, after organ transplantation. A person with a normally functioning immune system, cancer of the blood transmission does not occur.

Fortunately, these words are backed up by numerous studies. For example, in one of them were examined 300 thousand blood samples, which contained the 12 th level of detectable cancerous cells (i.e., donor almost certainly suffered oncology, but he can not know about this). A survey of the majority of recipients who have received "sub-standard" blood, no increase in the risk of cancer did not show. All of this is consistent with what we know about the immune response to foreign cells. Blood transfusion physicians strictly follow the coincidence of the blood donor and the recipient (A, B, AB and O). As a result, the immune system does not see the correct antigens protected red blood cells, but cancer cells bearing the donor's unique to the proteins fall into the category of alien and immediately destroyed without a chance for good luck.

Still, blood banks are trying to identify and screen out donors with possible cancer problems — just in case. If the patient's immune system is greatly weakened, for example, as a result of disease or as a result of the operation to transplant organs, it can not rely on the protection (that's you and "just in case"). Cancer can easily get accustomed to the new location.

Transplantation of organs such as the liver or kidneys, things are much worse (again, remember that in such situations, the patient firmly, "sits" on immunosuppressants). Medicine is not just recorded cases of involuntary transfer of cancer. One good thing: bodies designated for a transplant, are tested on the content of malignant cells. Therefore, the probability of contracting cancer that's so not more than 0.015% (in developed countries).

We also mention the existence of evidence that cancer can be passed from a mother to her unborn child. But this, fortunately, is very rare (the same principle of protection of the child's immune system, but there are also failures, because the child's immune system is relatively tolerant to foreign cells, and cancer can be aggressive, especially since during pregnancy can not be disinfected ). For example, according to the literature, only in Australia in 2003 was registered 14 cases of cancer transmission from mother to child (up to match the type of cancer, including leukocytosis, melanoma, lung cancer and a variety of sarcomas).

Prepared according to the ABC Science.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: