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Thread: cancer research (proteins)

  1. #1 cancer research (proteins) 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Where are we in cancer research right now? I kinda thought we would be able to at least have a home test for a certain protein that is found in all cancers already. Are the proteins too complex that we aren't able to design a test yet for specific ones? I though I had read that there was a specific protein that was synthesized in all cancer cells so we could have a test for it and find out if cancer is present right when the first cancer cells form?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cancers do not appear to be that similar to one another.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    As Sealead pointed out, cancers are not that alike. There are many different proteins, which are called "oncoproteins", and other proteins that act as tumor suppressors, which are downregulated or inhibited and leads to cancer. There are many of these proteins and each one, when coupled with another tumor-creating protein, can cause cancer. You can get screened for oncoproteins (screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2 is a common tool for people who have breast cancer in their family history), but just because you don't have a certain protein being expressed abnormally doesn't mean you don't have other proteins that can cause cancer being expressed in your body. As far as where we are with oncology research....there have been great advancements in the recent year in regard to immunotherapy, which is using your own immune system to kill the cancer cells. It is now going through FDA trials for leukemia treatment and hopefully, if all goes well, will be able to cure leukemia in any hospital within a year or so. Unfortunately, cancer is so tissue specific that it is hard to say if this will work on other cancer types.
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    city of wine and roses
    If it helps, think of cancer as being a category of illness, like infection, rather than a specific condition.

    And just like infections, there are a whole swag of possible causes and the full range of effects, just like infections. From easily treated and quickly dealt with, to chronic but unlikely to shorten your life, through manageable if treated properly, all the way to devastating illness followed by death.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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