Cancer cells are, well, cancer cells; cells that grow uncontrollably in the host, and ignore all patterns and signals that govern the structural integrity of tissue and organs.
Much research in the last several decades have defined molecular features attributed to cancer cells, and more importantly what specifically can kill them. Decades of work goes by with the discovery of drugs that change the lives of many individuals and families touched by this disease. Yet despite the euphoria of success, scientists come face to face with a troubling problem of cancer cell resistance to treatment.
The same goes for rabbits thriving in Australia.
Well yes, like cancer cells, rabbits living Australia have no living predators, and so can grow exponentially to unmanageable numbers that will eat the Australia continent threadbare.
According to Professor McFadden during his talk at UBC, these rabbits were once extremely susceptible to myxoma virus infection- a virus that is essential harmless to all animal species except the rabbit.
While inoculation of Australian wilderness with this virus had once completely wiped out the rabbit population, the residents weren't happy for long because- yes you guessed it- the rabbits came back. And here's the catch: these rabbits are resistant to myxoma virus.
Well, the story about the rabbits in Australia is a very good analogy illustrating our present fight against cancer. Through our understanding of the properties of cancer cells including their weaknesses, we managed to create drugs to wipe them out- and curing pateints of cancer.
But watch out.
Like the residents of Australia who witnessed the fateful return of the rabbits, cancer patients often witness the fateful return of their cancer (sometimes with vengeance) after a once successful treatment.
Clearly, the challenge for cancer researchers is to develop multifaceted strategies that not only target the bulk of the tumor population, but the resilient outliers/mutants that may escape treatment and contribute to recurrence.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Robot Tongue Identifies The Correct Beer Every Time
- Mystery Of Morgellons - Disease Or Delusion - Scientific Hypothesis Of Connection With Lyme Disease
- Illegal Immigration To The U.S. Caused By Globalization?
- Numenta And IBM To Build Biologically Inspired Intelligent Machines.
- Brain-Computer Interface Makes Communication For Kids With Cerebral Palsy Easier
- Satellites Catch Birth Of Two Volcanic Islands In Yemen
- Editorial Independence Or Extortion? Frontiers Sacks 31 Editors
- "Well I don't know what the background or the reason for it is, but when I did the google scholar..."
- "Is there any chance this would work on bedbugs? They may not normally carry lethal infections..."
- "This is supported by the following study, which itself begged the question of From whence came..."
- "Hi MB,Sorry but I can't help you - I do not think there is an official schedule with this level..."
- "Isn't it odd that these fringe science / medical theories are so often championed by practitioners..."
- Young Muslim thrillseekers won't find Paradise in Syria
- SanDisk says new SSDs will be price competitive against legacy hard drives
- State regulations for tanning beds not enough: A national regulatory framework is needed
- Hallucinations and delusions more common than thought
- Are antidepressants more effective than assumed?