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Colon Cancer

Why is elephant cancer rare? Answer might help treat humans

Cancer is much less common in elephants than in humans, even though the big beasts' bodies have many more cells. That's a paradox known among scientists, and now researchers think they may have an explanation — one they say might someday lead to new ways to protect people from cancer. Compared with just one copy in humans, elephants' cells contain 20 copies of a major cancer-suppressing gene, two teams of scientists report. The gene helps damaged cells repair themselves or self-destruct when exposed to cancer-causing substances. The findings aren't proof that those extra p53 genes make elephants cancer-resistant, but if future research confirms it, scientists...