Today I learnt in my biology class that cancer cells are immortal. That left me wondering what if our whole body is made up of cancer cells? Will that make us immortal? Is it possible or why is it not possible?


closed as primarily opinion-based by AliceD, James, Tyto alba, canadianer, another 'Homo sapien' Feb 26 '17 at 12:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Many cancers are deadly for a reason you know. Vote to close being pob $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 26 '17 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it lacks research. $\endgroup$ – Tyto alba Feb 26 '17 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ This question shouldn't be closed; it's a good question and has an objective answer which @JayCkat gives. There is a difference between immortality as seen in stem cells and immortality as seen in cancer cells. There is tons of research on this kind of thing as well; you can discuss stem cell transplantation vs teratoma formation assays. $\endgroup$ – Artem Feb 26 '17 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Artem Thank you XD I really wish they don't remove my question. $\endgroup$ – Jfjdkksjsjk Feb 27 '17 at 14:22


One aspect of cancer cells is that they no longer follow their programming, ie they stop doing all the work that a normal cell in that particular part of your body would do.

The next aspect is that cancer cells keep growing even when they are told to stop, even when there is no more space to grow.

Cancer cells also tend to destroy surrounding extracellular matrix in the quest for more nutrient. SO stuff like bone get deformed or just broken down leaving holes.

So if your entire body were made of cancer cells... well it would fall apart as cell stop doing their assigned job in the body, start growing without care and break down existing structure for better access to more nutrients.

What you want are immortal cells that still do their job.. stem cells.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.