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Vet Q. 2003 Sep;25(3):101-11.

Canine transmissible venereal tumour: cytogenetic origin, immunophenotype, and immunobiology. A review.

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  • 1University of Zimbabwe, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Paraclinical Studies, Mount Pleasant, Harare.


Canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) is the only known naturally occurring tumour that can be transplanted as an allograft across major histocompatibility (MHC) barriers within the same species, and even to other members of the canine family, such as foxes, coyotes and wolves. The progression of this tumour is unique in that, it follows a predictable growth pattern. In natural and experimental cases, the growth pattern includes progressive growth phase, static phase and regression phase, and this is followed by transplantation immunity in immunocompetent adults, while metastasis occurs in puppies and immunosuppressed dogs. Because of the uniqueness of CTVT transmission and progression, experimental investigations of various aspects of the biology of CTVT have been used to provide clues to the immunobiology of both animal and human tumours. This review examines the current state of knowledge of the aspects of the cytogenetic origin, immunophenotype, immunobiology and immunotherapy of CTVT.

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