Case report of Fibrous Dysplasia 120,000 years post mortem

PLoS One has published archeological evidence of a possible primary rib cancer in a Neanderthal era human from over 120,000 years ago. (1)

This, clearly, is a very long time to wait for the publication of a case report!

The authors provide photographic and radiographic evidence of the tumour and presume it to be a primary bone tumour – fibrous dysplasia, “a benign disease of bone with rare potential for malignant transformation” (2). They go on to discuss the possible environmental factors associated with this type of abnormal growth / malignancy and that tumours can occur in the unpolluted environment of our ancient human ancestors.


1. Monge J, Kricun M, Radovčić J, Radovčić D, Mann A, Frayer DW. Fibrous Dysplasia in a 120,000+ Year Old Neandertal from Krapina, Croatia. PLoS ONE 2013 Jun;8(6):e64539. Available from:

2. Riddle ND, Bui MM. Fibrous dysplasia. Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med. 2013 Jan;137(1):134–138. Available from: