British researchers have discovered a confusing and disturbing recent cancer-like affection in a 40-year-old patient, who is thought to have contracted the illness through common stomach bugs. This situation, the first identified transmission of melanoma tissues from parasites to humans, is related to an HIV sufferer from South America who had several, huge cancers in various areas of the body.
Local physicians biopsied those tissues and discovered that these cells behaved like melanoma tissues in their destruction of healthy organs, but were unusual in other aspects. For example, they were around ten times smaller than regular cancer cells.
Pathologists were not sure about the origins and composition of the tissues samples when they first analyzed them with modern technology. The cells’ development was similar to those of cancer, overcrowding and maximum multiplication, however all these tissues also merged, which is unusual for cancer cells.
One idea was that the affection could represent a new type of contagious parasite. But after conducting a multitude of tests, the group of experts found that these tissues included DNA fragments of a small tapeworm. That research was confirmed by a specialist and tapeworm professional.
During the initial weeks, experts asked themselves if it was a strange individual melanoma or some uncommon, growing amoeba-protozoa-like disease. Discovering that these tissues had segments of tapeworm DNA was a major shock for all physicians who have studied it.
The scientists, who released their results this week in the English scientific publications, now think that the Colombian patient may have consumed food containing minute tapeworm eggs, probably infected by rodent excrements, bugs or human waste. Because of the patient’s affected immune system, these tapeworms have grown extremely quick inside his digestive system and the tissues penetrated other organs of the body.
It is still unclear if these cells hidden in the tapeworm eggs showed cancer-like characteristics before they affected the patient’s organs or if some links between the parasites and the human body activated the tissues to become cancerous. It is the first time when doctors have found parasite-derived melanoma calls growing within a human, and this is an unusual and strange affection.
Image source: Hbpl.com