Current Challenges for the Anti-Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) Vaccine Development Academic Article uri icon


  • The devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) is a naturally occurring contagious cancer in Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) which has wiped out more than two thirds of the wild population of devils within just two decades. Because of the alarming rate of the devils decline, it has been listed as an endangered species on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). While several different programs have been established in order to preserve small healthy devil populations, including the successful translocation of healthy devils to several offshore islands, there is major concern that in the absence of an efficient anti-DFTD vaccine, the disease may lead to the extinction of the world's largest remaining marsupial carnivore.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017