Navigation Links
Why don't we get cancer all the time?
Date:12/19/2007

The seemingly inefficient way our bodies replace worn-out cells is a defense against cancer, according to new research.

Having the neighboring cell just split into two identical daughter cells would seem to be the simplest way to keep bodies from falling apart.

However that would be a recipe for uncontrolled growth, said John W. Pepper of The University of Arizona in Tucson.

"If there were only one cell type in the group, it would act like an evolving population of cells. Individual cells would get better and better at surviving and reproducing," said Pepper, a UA assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a member of UA's BIO5 Institute.

"When cells reach the point where they divide constantly, instead of only when needed, they are cancer cells."

Instead, multicellular organisms use a seemingly inefficient process to replace lost cells, Pepper said. An organ such as the skin calls upon skin-specific stem cells to produce intermediate cells that in turn produce skin cells.

Although great at their job, the new skin cells are evolutionary dead ends. The cells cannot reproduce.

Losing the ability to reproduce was part of the evolutionary path single-celled organisms had to take to become multicellular, Pepper said.

What was in it for the single cells?

"Probably they got to be part of something more powerful," Pepper said. "Something that was hard to eat and good at eating other things."

Pepper and his colleagues published their paper, "Animal Cell Differentiation Patterns Suppress Somatic Evolution," in the current issue of PLoS Computational Biology. Pepper's co-authors are Kathleen Sprouffske of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Carlo C. Maley of the Wistar Institute.

The National Institutes of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Santa Fe Institute funded the research.

Pepper became curious about the origins of cooperation between cells while he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico.

"Organisms are just a bunch of cells," he said.

"If you understand the conditions under which they cooperate, you can understand the conditions under which cooperation breaks down. Cancer is a breakdown of cooperation."

Pepper and his colleagues used a kind of computer model called an agent-based model to compare different modes of cellular reproduction.

The results indicate that if cells reproduce by simply making carbon-copies of themselves, the cells' descendants are more likely to accumulate mutations.

In contrast, if cellular reproduction was much more complicated, the cells' descendants had fewer mutations.

Suppressing mutations that might fuel uncontrolled growth of cells would be particularly important for larger organisms that had long lives, the team wrote in their research report.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona  
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Growing Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease Focus of National Gathering for Health Care Leaders
2. Treating your periodontal pockets may benefit your pocket book
3. Ortho Organizers(R) Announces the Launch of the Ancor Pro(TM) Orthodontic Anchorage System Hands-on Course
4. Survey confirms Americans prefer root canal treatment by endodontists
5. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
6. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
7. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
8. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
9. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
10. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
11. Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Why don't we get cancer all the time?
(Date:4/22/2017)... ... April 22, 2017 , ... Ecommerce sales have grown every year ... be $394.9 billion. The consequences of rapid innovation and growth are often neglected ... technology, it is every business and individual’s job to give something back to the ...
(Date:4/22/2017)... ... April 22, 2017 , ... PharmacyChecker.com released ... save an average of 70% when buying medication online from Canadian pharmacies verified ... when purchasing from other countries. The report (chart below) compares U.S. and foreign ...
(Date:4/22/2017)... Juan Capistrano (PRWEB) , ... April 22, 2017 , ... The San Juan Capistrano ... recently released a parenting report outlining the need for summer camps to provide physical activities ... The Importance of Physical Activity In Summer Camps , With an increase in specialty camps ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Providing broad access to life-saving drugs and rewarding the innovators ... way to address this problem. , That was the message from Dana Goldman, PhD, ... the University of Southern California, who served as the keynote speaker for Western University ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Contrary ... that youth violence is declining—and at noteworthy rates. Between 2002 and 2014, Salas-Wright ... people involved in violence in the United States. The study, Trends in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 Cardiology devices segment is anticipated to reach ... The Cardiology Devices segment is likely to create absolute $ ... 2018 over 2017. By the end of 2027, Cardiology Devices ... US$ 700 Mn, expanding at a CAGR of 18.4% over ... Asia Pacific reprocessed medical devices market in ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... DALLAS , April 19, 2017  Vanderbilt University ... first patients in Nashville , Tennesse ... Lower Esophageal Sphincter Stimulation for GERD (LESS GERD) trial. ... to provide long-term reflux control by restoring normal function ... nearly 65 million people in the United ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  Novartis today ... the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ... that 58% of patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic ... when treated with eltrombopag at the initiation of ... The study evaluated three sequential treatment groups, or ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: