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Comment & Response
April 26, 2016

TP53 Gene and Cancer Resistance in Elephants

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, California
  • 2College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville
JAMA. 2016;315(16):1789. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0449

To the Editor The study by Dr Abegglen and colleagues affirmed the Peto paradox and suggested that elephants are cancer resistant by virtue of multiple TP53 gene copies and enhanced responses to DNA damage.1 This study epitomizes a “One Health” approach to solving important disease problems shared by humans and animals.2 However, from our experience working in a large zoo-based veterinary pathology program, we were surprised by the results because, unlike in the notoriously cancer-resistant naked mole rats,3 we have diagnosed cancers in several elephants.