Cancer cell has potential on-off switch

Lung cancer treatment in India

Epigenetics is the phenomena in which genetically identical cells succeed in expressing their genes differently and it result in different physical traits.

At present, it is believed that cancer develops from environmental and genetic changes to cancer progenitor cells. These changes occur due to mutations, exposure to toxic substances or hormonal imbalances.

“If we believe that everything in nature occurs in an organised fashion, then it is logical to assume that cancer development cannot be as disorganised as it may seem,” said Sibaji Sarkar, instructor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

“There should be a general mechanism that initiates cancer progression from predisposed progenitor cells, which likely involves epigenetic changes,” said Sarkar.

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“If we believe that all of the irreversible changes, mutations and effects of carcinogens make cells rapidly grow, then the mechanism that allows cells to stop growing and assume new changes in character must be of great importance,” added Sarkar.

“The study of cancer progression is key to understanding how cancer cells continue to differentiate,” said Sarkar.

The research was published in the journal Anti-cancer Research and Epigenomics.

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