Tapeworm Cancer Develops Inside Man’s Lungs, Killing Him After Diagnosis

Posted: Nov 5 2015, 9:06am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Tapeworm's cancer cells
Photo credit: CDC

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

A 41-year-old man from Columbia is dead, 72 hours after learning that tapeworms are the cause of his growing lung cancer. The man also had untreated HIV, and doctors believe his weakened immune system aided the tapeworms to multiply inside of him, finally wrecking him.

The unnamed man had lung tumors, and doctors eventually found out that the cancer cells growing inside of him weren’t those of human, but those of a tapeworm.

"We were amazed when we found this new type of disease — tapeworms growing inside a person, essentially getting cancer, that spreads to the person, causing tumors," said study researcher Dr. Atis Muehlenbachs, a staff pathologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch (IDPB).

The man visited the hospital after suffering from weight loss, cough, and fever for several months, and there the Columbian doctors discovered he’d been diagnosed with HIV a decade ago and that he’d not been taking any antiretroviral drugs as recommended.

A series of CT scan indicated lymph nodes and growing tumors in the man’s lung, and further biopsies revealed something unusual in the cells of the tumors. Confused, the Columbian doctors reached out to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for help to properly diagnose the patient.

The CDC team found that the cells in the man’s tumor did not behave or appear like those of human, and that they multiplied and lumped together when analyzed under a powerful microscope. They were also 10 times smaller compared to those of humans.

Further tests revealed DNA that came from H.nana, a type of tapeworm, in the man’s tumor. Researchers then believed that the HIV-weakened immunity of the patient kept the tapeworm growing in his body, and the cell mutations in the parasite made the man’s tumor cells cancerous.

This is the first reported case of an individual getting sick from cancer cells that developed inside a parasite such as a tapeworm. Health experts believe about 75 million people worldwide are infected with the H.nana tapeworm.

The problem doctors now face is how to treat another patient that comes down with the same diagnosis as the deceased patient. This is because drugs used in treating tapeworm may be ineffective at treating cancer cells produced by tapeworms; there is however the probability that dedicated cancer treatments might prevail against tumors caused by parasitic cancer cells.

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus