A malignant group of uncontrollably dividing cells that form a tumour. Questions regarding (proto)oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes should also use this tag.

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1answer
367 views

Extremely rare occurence of Heart cancer?

The occurrence of Heart cancer (similar, but not the same as Rhabdomyosarcoma) is extremely rare, about 1 per year according to MayoClinic. The reason for this rarity is explained to be the ...
13
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3answers
285 views

Can plants get cancer?

I can't think of any reason why plants wouldn't be able to get cancer, but I've never heard of a plant growing a tumor. I've also never seen a plant with a noticeable abnormal growth. Can plants get ...
13
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1answer
360 views

Looking for a cancer drug target database to guide sequencing of patient tumor DNA

I have a question I would like to pose to the community. I have recently received access to a bench-top ion torrent DNA sequencer. Our idea is to use this machine to sequence the DNA from patient’s ...
11
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2answers
198 views

Why do most breast cancers occur in women?

According to Korde et al. (2010): Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancers in men and less than 1% of breast cancers. This raises the question: Why do most breast cancers ...
10
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1answer
513 views

Do larger multicellular organisms have an increased risk of mutation and thus cancer?

So I was thinking that if each cell has P(X) of becoming cancerous, then the chance of cancer is 1-((1-P(X))^n) where n is the number of cells in the organism. Since larger organisms have more cells ...
9
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1answer
244 views

Can cancer grow forever if supplied with unlimited resources?

If somehow a human could give a tumor unlimited resources, would the cancer grow forever? It seems like it would until it gets so large that it physically affects vital organs. Is what would likely ...
9
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1answer
102 views

What is the base cancer rate for an arbitrary carcinogen?

Are all carcinogens equally potent? Is the relationship between dose and probability of cancer roughly equal, or are there some carcinogens that provoke cancer significantly more than their cousins?
8
votes
1answer
93 views

Why doesn't yearly screening for lung cancer decrease mortality rates?

In a large trial, screening yearly for lung cancer hasn't reduced mortality rates. Why is this? Isn't cancer best treatable when caught early? Is this because lung cancer is hard to treat anyway, ...
7
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1answer
105 views

Can cancer cells in the same person, organ, and origin have different DNA?

Is it possible for cells from the same tumor to have different genetic material, and if so, to what degree is it possible (how fast do they mutate) ?
6
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2answers
199 views

Can oncogenesis happen without apoptosis pathway being affected?

Has there ever been incidences of one or more cancerous cells having all it's cell-death pathways and apoptosis mechanisms intact and functional?
6
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1answer
303 views

How similar are Circulating Tumor Cells and Cancer Stem Cells?

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) are linked with metastasis and their presence can be used to indicate the onset of metastatic cancer. Likewise, the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) hypothesis suggests that ...
6
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1answer
418 views

How does Topoisomerase II inhibition affect cancer cells?

Topoisomerase II poisons represent some of the most important and widely prescribed anticancer drugs currently in clinical use. These drugs encompass a diverse group of natural and synthetic ...
6
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1answer
80 views

What are the biological mechanisms behind the increase in cancer risk and alcohol consumption?

Alcohol consumption is known to be a risk factor for developing cancer. Compared to obvious causes like tobacco where one is exposed to known carcinogens, I don't see an obvious mechanism by which ...
5
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5answers
295 views

What is the lowest common denominator of cancer?

What is the lowest level attribute that all cancers share? Also, what is the highest level attributes that all cancers share?
5
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2answers
140 views

Could cancer be in itself a evolutionary process?

Could cancer be in itself a evolutionary process? Maybe in some way could it be a process of variation? Or would this idea be completely without support, if so, why? I don't mean that each case ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

How fast do cancer cells divide, compared to normal cells?

This question suggests that we have, on average, 50-70 billion cell divisions per day. I just read that cancer cells divide more often and are therefore more prone to radiation. I am wondering, for ...
4
votes
3answers
141 views

Robotic surgery for treating cancer?

We can localise cancer cells in the body. We can manufacture materials thin and hard enough to penetrate the body without harming it. So what stops us from creating an automated surgery where the ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Is solving cancer required in order to avoid aging?

When the telomerase enzyme is not active the telomere shortens every time the cell duplicates leading to a reproductive limit (Hayflicks limit). On one hand this is a believed reason for aging. On the ...
4
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2answers
49 views

Are there known downsides to removing UV mutation hotspots to prevent some skin cancers (Genetic sunblock)?

Khavari et al. recently demonstrated that a significant fraction of one of the major forms of skin cancer (cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas) are associated with a mutated KNSTRN gene (a protein ...
4
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1answer
127 views

which signalling pathway is involved in cancer?

Columnar epithelial cells from the colonic mucosa are studied to identify abnormalities in cell signaling pathways. Abnormal epithelial cells from colonic adenocarcinoma are shown to have a mutation ...
4
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3answers
106 views

Can a tumor produce something not currently found in our own bodies?

While speaking with my co-workers, the topic of tumors growing things came up. The examples were (and backed by images) of tumors growing a tooth, hair, and sometimes even more complex objects such ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Transcriptionally-mediated DNA damage

I'm researching the genetics of brain cancer, and finding a huge number of mutations in voltage-gated channels. It stands to reason that some of this DNA damage is due to the DNA being transcribed ...
4
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2answers
140 views

Are all mutagens carcinogens?

Not all carcinogens are mutagens. Alcohol and estrogen, for example, do not damage DNA. It's one of the assumptions of the Ames test that mutagenicity implies carcinogenicity, but is this always the ...
4
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1answer
458 views

Breeding laboratory mice with cancer; how does this work?

It has recently been brought to my attention that live laboratory mice with specific cancer strains can be readily purchased for medical research. For example, the Jackson Laboratory sells mice with ...
4
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1answer
82 views

Do cancer cells give off specific chemical signatures?

Do cancer cells give off specific chemical signatures? Are these signatures different from normal cells?
4
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2answers
92 views

Is there a standard reference for the importance of tumor heterogeneity?

In a recent post, Philip Gerlee highlighted the two biggest contributions of mathematical oncology to cancer research: (1) increasing focus on the progress of cancer as an evolutionary process, and ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Are there any types of cancer that cause neurons to divide?

After birth neurons generally do not divide. But is there any specific type of rare cancer or tumour where neurons divide? And if there is such a cancer, then how is it possible for a neuron to regain ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Why do we think chronic inflammation can cause cancer?

Why do we think chronic inflammation can cause cancer? I know the pathway is not fully understood, but what makes scientists believe that inflammation causes cancer?
4
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1answer
52 views

Where can I find histograms and tables of prevalence of mutations in cancer?

At some point in the past I found a cancer portal site which had aggregated data for the relationships between various mutations and their prevalence in cancer types and tumor data. The data was ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

About sharks and how they find fish

Other than olfactory senses do sharks use some kind of sense that uses electromagnetic waves? Is this similar to an electric eel? I saw a book with the cover statement 'Sharks never get cancer'. IS ...
3
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2answers
67 views

Cancer growth and cell division [closed]

I am confused about the prerequisites for cell division and cancer. Which of the following is necessary for the cell cycle to progress? Hormones Growth factor Cyclins Cyclin dependent kinases ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Detecting cancer or a genetic predisposition based on DNA sequencing

I am not by any means a biologist - so go easy. What would be a method for determining whether or not a patient has cancer based only on a genomic sequence? Update Thanks for the help in revising ...
3
votes
2answers
57 views

Can radiation equilevant to 1 CT (computer tomography) scan causes significant changes in human body?

I've read that CT scan causes radiation equivalent to few hundreds of ordinary X ray scan. It sound scary at the first look of it but I wonder is it the amount considered significant? Can dosage equal ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Regarding apoptosis and inhibitors

If there is an apoptosis shut-off mechanism of any kind, one could call it a null-apoptosis mechanism. If this is possible, could there be a null-apoptosis inhibitor? Something that inhibits an ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do liver and lung metastases cause death?

Metastasis to the liver and lungs are the main causes of death in colorectal cancer.(1) I understand that colorectal cancer may have metastases. But how do these metastases cause death? Reference ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Do both TSG and Proto-oncogenes have to suffer mutations to cause cancer?

I'm having a conceptual nightmare trying to understand when a group of cells may become cancerous and the more resources I consult the more confused I seem to get. In order for a cell to become ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

By what mechanism is Streptococcus bovis acting as a risk factor for colorectal cancer?

Streptococcus bovis bacteremia/endocarditis is considered a risk factor for colorectal cancer. What pathophysiological mechanism may link the two together?
3
votes
1answer
63 views

How does electrolarynx work?

I have heard that this is an effective replacement for patients who have a dysfunctional larynx, partly due to cancer. I am curious to know the inner working of this device and why such a robotic ...
3
votes
0answers
18 views

How to make sure a stem cell culture is cancer free?

Say I take a blood sample from an adult, extract the white cells and apply to them the process described in <this article>. Assuming this actually turns the adult white cells into stem cells, which ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Regarding cancer cells and telomeres

If cancer cells have telomeres are they different than the telomeres in non-cancerous cells? Would cancer cell telomeres be somehow 'set-up' to function almost indefinitely; in other words are 'they' ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Why cancer mutations do accumulate sequentially?

According to Knudson hypothesis, cancer mutations accumulate in order. Statistics says, that cancer probability increases as sixth order of age, which may mean six consequential steps to cancer. But, ...
2
votes
2answers
41 views

Studying changes in DNA for causes of cancer

First of all let me say that I'm not into Biology myself... but I have a question for those of you who are. From what I've read, cancer is caused by 'faulty' DNA that behaves abnormally. Mutations ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Which cells will pass cancer to offspring?

Each of these types below contains a DNA mutation. Which type(s) will affect the children of the individual whose cell it is. Red blood cell T cell Skin (epithelial) cell Neuron from the brain Sperm ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Is excessive hydration a risk factor for cancer in humans?

I was reading a book on radiation biology, and the book describes the process of "indirect action", where radiation can first ionize a water molecule forming a free radical, which then may interact ...
2
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2answers
42 views

Functioning of BRCA2

I know that BRCA2 interacts with RAD51 to repair DNA damage. But how exactly does it function ? What are the other proteins that interact with it ?
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Connection between genes and pathways

I am reading about a paper about inferencing pathway information in cancer cells. Authors refer to ERBB2 as a gene and a pathway. I don't have solid biology background. What exactly means when we ...
2
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2answers
120 views

How does smoking, an environmental factor, cause cancer, fundamentally a genetic disease?

If cancer is fundamentally a genetic disease, how might an environmental factor such as smoking cause cancer?
2
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1answer
49 views

What does “rapamycin-sensitive oncogenic transformation” mean?

Can someone explain exactly what "rapamycin-sensitive oncogenic transformation" is? I get that it's a drug that suppresses the immune system but what does it have to do with oncogenic transformation? ...
2
votes
1answer
807 views

Why is Sanger sequencing inferior for detecting SNPs in cancer cells?

I am familiar with Sanger sequencing, but at the level of an undergraduate. A lecturer of mine tried to describe Sanger sequencing as losing the sequence information in noise when used to detect ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

In cancer, why do cells duplicate themselves?

In regards to cancer why do cells replicate themselves? If it's a mutation, what kind of mutation would this be classified as?