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July 27th, 2012

A New View of Cancer

By Jenny Xiao | Comments (0)
For decades, researcher Mina Bissell pursued a revolutionary idea: a cancer cell doesn't automatically become a tumor, but rather, depends on surrounding cells for cues on how to develop. She shares the two key experiments that proved the prevailing wisdom about cancer growth was wrong. Mina Bissell's groundbreaking research has proven that cancer is not only caused by cancer cells. It is caused by an interaction between cancer cells and the surrounding cellular micro-environment. In healthy bodies, normal tissue homeostasis and architecture inhibit the progression of cancers. But changes in the microenvironment--following an injury or a wound for instance--can shift the balance. This explains why many people harbor potentially malignant tumors in their bodies without knowing it and never develop cancer, and why tumors often develop when tissue is damaged or when the immune system is suppressed. Check out the video in the panel to the right.
Image: Breast cancer cells, Annie Cavanagh/Wellcome Images

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