2022 journal article

Of Elephants and Other Mammals: A Comparative Review of Reproductive Tumors and Potential Impact on Conservation


author keywords: Elephas maximus; Loxodonta africana; fertility; leiomyoma; neoplasia; prevention; treatment; uterine; fibroid; comparative oncology
Source: ORCID
Added: August 13, 2022

Reproductive tumors can impact conception, pregnancy, and birth in mammals. These impacts are well documented in humans, while data in other mammals are limited. An urgent need exists to understand the reproductive impact of these lesions in endangered species, because some endangered species have a documented high prevalence of reproductive tumors. This article documents that the prevalence of both benign and malignant neoplasia differs between African and Asian elephants, with Asian elephants more frequently diagnosed and negatively affected by both. The prevalence of these tumors across mammalian species is compared, and impact plus treatment options in human medicine are reviewed to inform decision making in elephants. Evidence suggests that reproductive tumors can negatively impact elephant conservation. Future studies that document reproductive outcomes, including the success of various treatment approaches in elephants with tumors will benefit conservation efforts.