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Thread: Spontaneous genetic elimination of cancerous cells?

  1. #1 Spontaneous genetic elimination of cancerous cells? 
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    Hello everyone! I just joined the forums, and it's a pleasure to be on!
    I was reading an article in "The Economist" which states "Researchers now know, for example, that certain genes switching on and off can cause spontaneous elimination of cancerous cells," but provides no citation. I am not familiar with any studies identifying this, and I could not find any online - all I could unearth was relatively new methods of insertion of microRNA into cancerous cells, but this is anything but spontaneous, being accomplished by physicians. Can anyone provide me with a study or studies corroborating the above? Thanks so much!
    God bless,
    Kyle


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurebiologist1 View Post
    I was reading an article in "The Economist" which states "Researchers now know, for example, that certain genes switching on and off can cause spontaneous elimination of cancerous cells," but provides no citation.
    They are likely referring to apoptosis - programmed cell death. In normal cells, genetic damage that might result in uncontrolled growth (cancer) also causes apoptosis, and the cancer is not spread. Apoptosis is regulated by specific genetic sequences. It's always a fine balance, of course - have it happen too often and you die as all your cells shut down. Have it happen too infrequently and you become prone to cancer.


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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Futurebiologist1 View Post
    I was reading an article in "The Economist" which states "Researchers now know, for example, that certain genes switching on and off can cause spontaneous elimination of cancerous cells," but provides no citation.
    They are likely referring to apoptosis - programmed cell death. In normal cells, genetic damage that might result in uncontrolled growth (cancer) also causes apoptosis, and the cancer is not spread. Apoptosis is regulated by specific genetic sequences. It's always a fine balance, of course - have it happen too often and you die as all your cells shut down. Have it happen too infrequently and you become prone to cancer.
    Ah, I see! I will do some research, thank you!
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