Man Dies After Tapeworm Inside Him Gets Cancer

Colombia (WTXF) Cancer cells transmitted from a common tapeworm appear to have caused cancer-like tumors in a Colombian man infected with HIV.

The man died just 72 hours after researchers determined that the tumors were caused by H. nana.

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this is the first known case of a person becoming ill from cancer cells from the parasite--commonly known as the "dwarf tapeworm." Their findings raise concern that other similar cases if they occur may be misdiagnosed as human cancer, especially in less-developed countries where this tapeworm and immune-system suppressing illnesses are widespread.

Study authors believe this type of event is rare. However, they say since this tapeworm is so common they urge further research to see how the disease affects those with weakened immune systems.

Findings appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.