KankerCel: The Hallmarks

The Incredible Shrinking Man has taken a keen interest in cancer, perhaps the most damaging of all unwanted-growth related diseases. Studying and abstracting the mechanisms behind cancer hopefully allows us to formulate new ideas on how to deal with undesired, unnecessary and malignant growth as it has manifested itself in unnecessary tall people over the last two centuries.

Point of departure is the paper The hallmarks of cancer, originally published in the journal Cell in January 2000 by Douglas Hanahan and Robert Weinberg. The cancer researchers believe that the complexity of cancer can be reduced to a small number of underlying principles that govern the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells. The traits that the authors highlight in the paper are (1) Cancer cells stimulate their own growth; (2) They resist inhibitory signals that might otherwise stop their growth; (3) They resist their programmed cell death; (4) They can multiply indefinitely; (5)  They stimulate the growth of blood vessels to supply nutrients to tumors; (6) They invade local tissue and spread to distant sites; (7) They use abnormal metabolic pathways to generate energy; (8) They evade the immune system; (9) They generally have severe chromosomal abnormalities which worsen as the disease progresses, and (10) Cancer cells are often induced by local chronic Inflammation.

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