Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Cancer Cells Can be Re-Programmed to Become Normal Cells

Cancer Cells Can be Re-Programmed to Become Normal Cells | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

A team of scientists from Mayo Clinic in Florida have managed to reverse the progress of cancer by “reprogramming” its cells preventing further tumor growth.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The mechanism behind how cancer cells become malignant has been the focus of many biological studies. Recent research done at the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus has revealed a major step forward in further understanding this mechanism.

The process by which normal cells undergo the transition to become tumorigenic has become much clearer. This discovery could change the way we think about cancer progression and open up other avenues of consideration, confirmation and study.

Cells bind together as a normal part of the process of maintaining biological health and the integrity of organs, tissues and structures. The binding together is facilitated by adhesion molecules which are proteins located on the cell surface involved in binding with other cells or with the extracellular matrix. In effect they act like glue to help cells stick to each other and to their surroundings. However it has been known for many years that these adhesion molecules also play another important signaling role.

Both the shape and the physiology of cancer cells are irregular in comparison to normal health cells. In cancer cells the adhesion molecules no longer form particular structures that enable cells to connect, and they signal by turning on or off certain microRNA molecules. These microRNAs are a recently discovered class of non-coding RNAs that play key roles in the regulation of gene expression which can result in alteration of the program of cell growth.

In normal cells the adhesion molecules regulate microRNAs and signal to inhibit cell growth. In cancer cells the absence of the adhesion molecules results in lack of microRNA signaling to inhibit cell growth. This leads to uncontrolled growth of the cancer cells.

The Mayo Clinic study identified the two key components of the adhesion structures and the microRNAs. One drives tumor progression and growth, and the other is acting in opposition by inhibiting that process. In the majority of tumor samples they found that the inhibition component is missing, while the component that drives tumor progression and growth remains active and unopposed.

The study also found that by reintroducing the deregulated microRNAs that inhibit cell growth into cancer cells, it had the effect of reprogramming the cancer cells to become normal cells again. This is a critical turning point in understanding the biology of cancer and how it may be therapeutically addressed.

The challenge that remains is to find the delivery method of introducing the deregulated microRNAs into the cancer cells to regulate the expression of the genes that will reprogram cancer cells to normal cells.

Another benefit of this research is that it may lead to more definitive diagnostic conclusions from biopsies in terms of identifying the presence of cancer. If deregulation of the adhesion signaling is found to be present, then it may determine the presence of cancer.

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Biological “Switch” That Determines Cancer Cell Fate Discovered

Biological “Switch” That Determines Cancer Cell Fate Discovered | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Cornell Chronicle: Daily news from Cornell University
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A team of researchers made up of engineers, biologists and doctors discovered a “switch’ inside colon cancer stem cells that determines the fate of the cell in terms of whether it should proliferate, leading to metastasis, or spread of cancer cells, or not to proliferate.

The “switch” is controlled by microRNA, a molecule thought to be dispensable in normal tissue. Its role in cancer has been largely overlooked until now.

This could be a major step forward in understanding cancer and devising new therapeutic approaches.

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A MicroRNA That Drives Both Cancer Onset and Spread Identified

A MicroRNA That Drives Both Cancer Onset and Spread Identified | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Two new studies reveal that one of the tiny noncoding molecules called microRNA-22, plays an key role in two types of cancer.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

This discovery may lead to the development of future therapeutic opportunities.

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