Summary of cutting edge cancer research

The Cheerful Oncologist blog had a post called The Quest, where they compared today’s cancer research to Jason and the Argonauts:

a. commit suicide (by the process known as apoptosis, although a vicious six-foot drop from a wooden scaffold wouldn’t bring any tears to my eyes).

b. wound themselves, if not to the point of apoptosis, at least so severely that signaling compounds (think of blood in the water) are released and attract nearby assassin cells (e.g. dendritic cells – think of sharks closing in) ready to finish the job.

c. fail at angiogenesis, the uncanny ability to influence nearby blood vessels to grow a new supply road into the tumor’s rapidly dividing core, thus ensuring it of a secure source of nutrition and oxygen.

d. become docile, losing the Atilla-the-Hun killer instinct that drives tumors to destroy the only home they have ever known – and unwittingly, themselves along with it.

The blogger concludes: “These are extraordinary times in this quest.”

Interesting times, indeed.