Why Elephants Rarely Get Cancer (image) University of Utah Health Sciences Share Print E-Mail Caption Joshua Schiffman, M.D., pediatric oncologist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, has led a study that could explain why elephants rarely get cancer. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the results show that elephants have extra copies of a gene that encodes a well-defined tumor suppressor, p53. Further, elephants may have a more robust mechanism for killing damaged cells that are at risk for becoming cancerous. The findings could lead to new strategies for treating cancer in people. Credit University of Utah Health Sciences Usage Restrictions With credit Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.