Genetics alone do not explain cancer growth

Genetics alone do not explain cancer growth

Genetics are not the only contributing factor in the growth of cancerous tumours. 

The latest research has shown that ‘genetically indistinguishable’ tumour cells had varying capacities for cell division and resistance to chemotherapy treatment.

“I thought we’d be able to look at the genetics that let some cells propagate, or not be susceptible to chemotherapy, but lo and behold there was no genetic difference.  That goes against a main dogma of the cancer enterprise: that if a tumour comes back after treatment it’s because some cells acquired mutations that made them resistant.  The conclusion that we came to was that there must be non-genetic mechanisms that are governing drug resistance.  What our paper is saying is that on top of [targeting] the genetic properties of these cells you have to target the biological properties to be more effective.  Everything doesn’t just rest on genetics”.
Professor John Dick of the University of Toronto, Canada, December 2012.

“In my mind, the findings are not unexpected. Other things besides genes matter: The environment, in which a tumor is growing, for instance, plays an important role in whether therapy will be effective”.
Professor Steven Libutti from the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, December 2012.

Full article here:

The study was published in the journal Science and reported in BioNews issue 686, Reuters and The Toronto Star on 17 December 2012.


Posted: Saturday 12 January 2013