Non-genetic Cancer Gets Decoded Further
A recent study has revealed that cancer may actually be caused by an imbalance of protein molecules within individual cells. This news comes as a fascinating discovery to the scientific world since the sole cause of cancer was previously believed to be genetic anomalies. These findings could change our whole understanding of the disease and potentially lead to more effective treatment methods as non-genetic cancer gets decoded further. The research itself was published in the cancer research journal Oncogene and was undertaken by teams working together from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Leeds.
The findings of this study show that observable imbalances of proteins in cells can lead to the onset of cancer. These imbalances can help doctors to determine the ways in which certain patients will respond to different treatments, and they can also help to show where and when a cancerous tumor might develop. This sort of information will prove to be vital in the battle against cancer and will help doctors to more efficiently assign treatment methods to their patients. In addition, new treatments could be developed to combat protein imbalances and prevent the initial onset of cancer.
The research itself was focused on something known as the “Akt pathway”, a certain part of a cell that can be involved in the development of cancers all around the human body. This pathway can effectively be turned on or off, depending on the signals it receives from the body. When turned on, the pathway encourages the cell to reproduce. Unfortunately, genetic problems or imbalances in proteins can actually lead to the pathway being turned on all of the time, causing the cell to constantly reproduce and develop into a tumor. On a more positive note, doctors and scientists will now be able to diagnose this problem by observing the state of individual cells and thereby act to prevent the cancerous formation.
This pathway can be manipulated by two specific proteins known as Plcy1 and Grb2. If Plcy1 manages to attach itself to the cell’s receptor, it will turn the pathway on. Therefore, if a person has an excessive amount of Plcy1 and not enough Grb2 to balance it out, the pathway will be turned on too often and the cell can begin to uncontrollably proliferate. These findings represent a major turning point in cancer research, which had previously been almost entirely dedicated to mapping out genetic sequences. This study proves that genes are not the only culprits when it comes to cancer formation.
Fortunately, this study has been completed and some vital information has been revealed to the world. Now, scientists can focus on exploiting this information in order to help cure more patients, save more lives, and ultimately work towards preventing the development of cancerous cells in countless people all around the world. These findings are clearly very important and could be of great aid in mankind’s long battle with one of the most fatal diseases of all time.