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:7/24/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... ... student scholarship will be awarded for the fall semester to a deserving student. ... Emergency Centers Spring 2017 scholarship was awarded to Mariana Castillo who is a nursing ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... A ... destroyed the construction site and threatened numerous homes and businesses nearby, causing some ... on NBCLosAngeles.com. Los Angeles Area consulting firm Fire Protection Group, Inc. notes ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... , ... Axiad IDS , a leading provider of trusted identities for ... to expand its solution to help government contractors more quickly and cost-effectively comply ... to address the authentication requirements within NIST SP800-171, but no matter how you ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... Puregraft, the global ... the issuance of United States Patent Number 9,695,398 (the '398 patent) and South ... The '398 and '324 patents cover methods and systems for optimizing fat grafts ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 ... ... first comprehensive sleep management solution focused on delivering end-to-end sleep health ... (OSA) program. , Recent literature shows that adherence rates for positive airway pressure ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/17/2017)... 2017  MedX Holdings, Inc., the manufacturer and global ... rehabilitation equipment, today announced the national roll out of ... the gold standard for the treatment of low back ... equipment. How it ... or practice who prescribe the MedX Home Back Machine ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... -- RK Logistics Group, Inc. was awarded California ... Fremont, CA headquarters facility where it provides ... San Jose for hi-tech, pharmaceutical and biomedical ... with its Fremont Innovation District, is excited to strategically partner ... to the hundreds of biotech, pharma and biomed companies throughout ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... -- Bayer has awarded grants totaling more than $2 million to ... Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program (BHAP). Four U.S. clinicians and researchers ... and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in ... were announced last night during a reception at the International ... Berlin, Germany . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: