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Chapter 20
Cancer

What is Cancer?
Cells and tissues must meticulously coordinate their activities for the normal functioning of the human body. Therefore, they exhibit socially…
Cancers Originate from Somatic Mutations in a Single Cell
Cancer arises from mutations in the critical genes that allow healthy cells to escape cell cycle regulation and acquire the ability to proliferate…
Tumor Progression
Tumor progression is a phenomenon where the pre-formed tumor acquires successive mutations to become clinically more aggressive and malignant. In the…
Adaptive Mechanisms in Cancer Cells
Cancer cells accumulate genetic changes at an abnormally rapid rate due to the defects in the DNA repair mechanisms. From an evolutionary…
The Tumor Microenvironment
Every normal cell or tissue is embedded in a complex local environment called stroma, consisting of different cell types, a basal membrane, and blood…
Metastasis
Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells from the original site to distant locations in the body. Cancer cells can spread via blood vessels…
Cancer-Critical Genes I: Proto-oncogenes
Genes usually encode proteins necessary for the proper functioning of a healthy cell. Mutations can often cause changes to the gene expression…
Cancer-Critical Genes II: Tumor Suppressor Genes
Genes usually encode proteins necessary for the proper functioning of a healthy cell. Mutations can often cause changes to the gene expression…
Loss of Tumor Suppressor Gene Functions
Tumor suppressor genes are normal genes that can slow down cell division, repair DNA mistakes, or program the cells for apoptosis in case of…
The Retinoblastoma Gene
Tumor suppressor genes are normal genes that can slow down cell division, repair DNA mistakes, or program the cells for apoptosis in case of…
The <em>Ras</em> Gene
The Ras-gene-encoded proteins are regulators of signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation, differentiation, or cell survival. The Ras-gene…
mTOR Signaling and Cancer Progression
The mammalian target of rapamycin or mTOR protein was discovered in 1994 due to its direct interaction with rapamycin. The protein gets its name from…
Mechanisms of Retrovirus-induced Cancers
Retroviruses are RNA viruses that have been shown to cause cancers in diverse species, including chickens, mice, cats, and monkeys. The RNA genomes…
Rous Sarcoma Virus (RSV) and Cancer
Rous Sarcoma virus or RSV was discovered by F. Peyton Rous in the year 1911 as a filterable transmissible agent that could cause tumors in chickens.…
Cancer Stem Cells and Tumor Maintenance
Early diagnosis and treatment can often cure cancer. However, even with treatment, residual cells called cancer stem cells (CSC) might remain, often…
Mouse Models of Cancer Study
Mice have long served as models for studying human biology and pathology because of their phylogenetic and physiological similarity with humans. They…
Cancer Prevention
Several factors can increase the risk of cancer in an individual. About 50% of cancer cases can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle, regular…
Cancer Therapies
Cancer therapies are various modes of treatment, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy that are administered to cancer…
Targeted Cancer Therapies
The targeted cancer therapies, also known as “molecular targeted therapies,” take advantage of the molecular and genetic differences…
Treatment Resistant Cancers
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. A cancer cell is genetically unstable and hence can mutate faster. They can also…
Combination Therapies and Personalized Medicine
Combining two or more treatment methods increases the life span of cancer patients while reducing damage to vital organs or tissue from the overuse…
A Mimic of the Tumor Microenvironment: A Simple Method for Generating Enriched Cell Populations and Investigating Intercellular Communication
Understanding the early heterotypic interactions between cancer cells and the surrounding non-cancerous stroma is important in elucidating the events…
Testing Targeted Therapies in Cancer using Structural DNA Alteration Analysis and Patient-Derived Xenografts
We present here an integrative approach for testing efficacy of targeted therapies that combines the next generation sequencing technolo-gies,…
<em>In Vivo</em> and <em>Ex Vivo</em> Approaches to Study Ovarian Cancer Metastatic Colonization of Milky Spot Structures in Peritoneal Adipose
High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC), the cause of widespread peritoneal metastases, continues to have an extremely poor prognosis; fewer than 30%…

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