Towards a case definition for devil facial tumour disease: What is it?

Stephen B. Pyecroft, Anne Maree Pearse, Richmond Loh, Kate Swift, Kathy Belov, Nolan Fox, Erin Noonan, Dane Hayes, Alex Hyatt, Lingfa Wang, David Boyle, Jeff Church, Debra Middleton, Robert Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


In the mid 1990s an emerging disease characterised by the development of proliferative lesions around the face of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) was observed. A multi-disciplinary approach was adopted to define the condition. Histopathological and transmission electron microscopic examination combined with immunohistochemistry help define Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) as a neoplastic condition of cells of neuroendocrine origin. Cytogenetic analysis of neoplastic tissue revealed it to be markedly different from normal devil tissue and having a consistent karyotype across all tumours examined. Combined with evidence for Major histocompatability (MHC) gene analysis there is significant evidence to confirm the tumour is a transmissible neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • Facial tumour
  • Karyotype
  • Neoplasm
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Sarcophilus harrisii
  • Tasmanian devil

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