Skip to comments.Study Shows Cancer Cells May Revert
Posted on 08/20/2006 1:28:32 AM PDT by neverdem
A cloning experiment in mice indicates that for one type of cancer, at least, cancerous cells may be able to revert to normal.
But the study does not reveal a way to cure cancer. Instead, it addresses a theoretical question about the genetic nature of one type of cancer.
In their experiment, published in the current issue of the journal Genes and Development, the investigators cloned mouse embryos from a melanoma skin cancer cell. Using cells from these embryos, they created healthy adult mice who had some cells derived from the cloned cancer cells, showing that malignancy is not the inevitable fate of such cells.
Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology worked on the study and is one of the country's leading experts in cloning. He said that while the genetic elements of cancer could not be reversed, the epigenetics, how the genes are actually turned on and off, could be.
Other experts cautioned that the study involved basic research with animals and was far from leading to a cancer cure for humans.
''This is actually an incredibly early basic science study done in animals,'' said Dr. Otis Brawley, a cancer researcher and professor at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University.
''Translating this sort of thing to human benefit would take years, maybe even decades,'' Dr. Brawley said. ''Is this going to help some poor guy with melanoma today or some poor guy diagnosed with melanoma five years from now? No way.''
In their paper, Dr. Jaenisch and his colleagues said they took the nucleus from a melanoma cell and injected it into a hollowed-out mouse egg cell. This started the egg growing as if it had been fertilized by sperm.
They did not allow this embryonic mouse to develop but harvested...
(Excerpt) Read more at query.nytimes.com ...
Note to self: schedule a follow-up chest X-Ray on that SPN.
This is not new, you can differentiate some cancer cells with many chemicals http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Search&db=pubmed&term=cancer+differentiation+agents
hmmmm good stuff very good stuff
Realize that the NY Times's version of medical ethics is, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." If we have to clone and then dissect--mice for now, but later little human beings--to perform our experiments, who are you to object? (BTW, if they stop at mice, I don't think there'll ever be opposition...)
"August 1, 2004"
Thanks, I have a tough time using calendars. Thanks for the link to 6655 citations too.
It's been known for quite some time that transformed cells which have lost contact with the extracellullar matrix will, when induced to reattach, will revert to their normal cell type.