News tagged with cancer cells

Related topics: cancer · breast cancer · cells · tumor cells · protein

Study reveals new insight into DNA repair

DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the worst possible form of genetic malfunction that can cause cancer and resistance to therapy. New information published this week reveals more about why this occurs and how these breaks ...

Aug 03, 2015
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Researcher discovers trigger of deadly melanoma

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and melanoma, which accounts for 2% of skin cancer cases, is responsible for nearly all skin cancer deaths. Melanoma rates in the US have been rising rapidly over the last 30 ...

Aug 03, 2015
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Fighting cancer head-on

Head and neck cancers are the sixth most common malignancies worldwide. Yet few are diagnosed before stage 3 or 4, when the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes or beyond. New research is helping scientists better ...

Aug 03, 2015
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Childhood cancer cells drain immune system's batteries

Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body's immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease, according to new research published in the journal ...

Aug 02, 2015
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Watching a tumor grow in real-time

The ability to visualize and characterize the composition of a tumour in detail during its development can provide valuable insights in order to target appropriate therapeutics. The polymer chemist Prof. Dr. Prasad Shastri ...

Jul 31, 2015
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Strange circular DNA may offer new way to detect cancers

Strange rings of DNA that exist outside chromosomes are distinct to the cell types that mistakenly produced them, researchers have discovered. The finding raises the tantalizing possibility that the rings could be used as ...

Jul 30, 2015
popularity137 comments 0

Cancer

Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize. Most cancers form a tumor but some, like leukemia, do not. The branch of medicine concerned with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer is oncology.

Cancer may affect people at all ages, even fetuses, but the risk for most varieties increases with age. Cancer causes about 13% of all human deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, 7.6 million people died from cancer in the world during 2007. Cancers can affect all animals.

Nearly all cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of the transformed cells. These abnormalities may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke, radiation, chemicals, or infectious agents. Other cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may be randomly acquired through errors in DNA replication, or are inherited, and thus present in all cells from birth. The heritability of cancers are usually affected by complex interactions between carcinogens and the host's genome. New aspects of the genetics of cancer pathogenesis, such as DNA methylation, and microRNAs are increasingly recognized as important.

Genetic abnormalities found in cancer typically affect two general classes of genes. Cancer-promoting oncogenes are typically activated in cancer cells, giving those cells new properties, such as hyperactive growth and division, protection against programmed cell death, loss of respect for normal tissue boundaries, and the ability to become established in diverse tissue environments. Tumor suppressor genes are then inactivated in cancer cells, resulting in the loss of normal functions in those cells, such as accurate DNA replication, control over the cell cycle, orientation and adhesion within tissues, and interaction with protective cells of the immune system.

Diagnosis usually requires the histologic examination of a tissue biopsy specimen by a pathologist, although the initial indication of malignancy can be symptoms or radiographic imaging abnormalities. Most cancers can be treated and some cured, depending on the specific type, location, and stage. Once diagnosed, cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As research develops, treatments are becoming more specific for different varieties of cancer. There has been significant progress in the development of targeted therapy drugs that act specifically on detectable molecular abnormalities in certain tumors, and which minimize damage to normal cells. The prognosis of cancer patients is most influenced by the type of cancer, as well as the stage, or extent of the disease. In addition, histologic grading and the presence of specific molecular markers can also be useful in establishing prognosis, as well as in determining individual treatments.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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