Cancer Research in Ancient Bodies:

(CRAB) Database


Authors: Kathryn Hunt, Casey Kirkpatrick, Roselyn Campbell, Jennifer Willoughby


The CRAB Database is a living collection of information regarding the published and disseminated evidence of cancer in skeletal or preserved soft tissue remains of humans and human ancestors who lived before 1900 CE. It will continue to be updated with new published evidence, and adjusted to reflect the most recently recovered information.

All data reflected in the Database was directly derived from published peer-reviewed articles, bioarchaeological reports, conference papers, and reference books, and does not reflect the academic opinions of the Database authors. 

If you would like to suggest bioarchaeological evidence of cancer in humans or human ancestors that is currently not included in the CRAB Database, or would like to suggest a correction, please fill out this contact form.

The CRAB Database was last updated November 3, 2017. To access the database, please click here

CRAB Database citation: Hunt, K., Kirkpatrick, C., Campbell, R., Willoughby, J. (2017) Cancer Research In Ancient Bodies (CRAB) Database. Retrieved from

The Paleo-oncology Research Organization (PRO) operates under the third party fiscal administration of the Resilient Living Council, which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Paleo-oncology Research Organization may be tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Please check with your personal tax advisor regarding the deduction of your gift.

PRO is a member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, 2015. Content on the PRO website is available for personal use only. If content is downloaded, it must be for the sole purpose of viewing, or for "fair use" as defined in United States copyright law. Requests to publish PRO images must be submitted in writing to

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

​© 2019 by Paleo-oncology Research Organization.


Paleo-oncology:  The study of cancer in antiquity