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. 2019 Apr;8(4):1652-1654.
doi: 10.1002/cam4.2011. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Human Cancer, the Naked Mole Rat and Faunal Turnovers

Free PMC article

Human Cancer, the Naked Mole Rat and Faunal Turnovers

Anders Bredberg et al. Cancer Med. .
Free PMC article


We argue that the human evolutionary heritage with frequent adaptations through geological time to environmental change has affected a trade-off between offspring variability and cancer resistance, and thus favored cancer-prone individuals. We turn the attention to a factor setting the highly cancer-resistant naked mole rat apart from most other mammals: it has remained phenotypically largely unchanged since 30-50 million years ago. Research focusing on DNA stability mechanisms in 'living fossil' animals may help us find tools for cancer prevention and treatment.

Keywords: Heterocephalus glaber; Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary; Peto's paradox; cancer resistance; human cancer excess; human mutation rate; naked mole rat; rapid human evolution.

Conflict of interest statement

There is no conflict of interest.

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