Cancer remains a perilous disease in a world where science is at its most advanced stage. When a cluster of cells inside a tumor starts evolving in an abnormal manner, the process gives birth to cancer.
Just like how animals grow in population without any restraint, cancerous cells grow abnormally with the potential to invade other parts of the body. However, a recent study shows that three base mutations in a tumor can destroy all cancer cells in a human body.
Cancer is defined as an unfortunate by-product of the way evolution works. Human bodies have trillions of cells that are heavily controlled. Since cell division is an ongoing process, it is important that it follows all the rules of a controlled division. Cancer happens when cells in a human body start breaking those rules.
Although there are several corrective genes in a human body to kill the corrupted cells (or cancerous cells), threat comes only when these corrupted cells do not get fixed. A person, therefore, has cancer when a corrupt cell gets divided and multiplied into tumor. In other words, the deadly cells keep evolving with higher risk of getting mutable, becoming more genetically diverse.
What makes cancerous cells hard to kill? The reason is that they are constantly changing their genetic makeup.
In a bid to take up the challenge to fight the fatal disease, Charles Swanton of the Francis Crick Institute in UK, who specializes in lung cancer, hopes that his recent findings will ensure an effective, targeted treatment against cancer.
The solution is to target the base of the tumor cells where you will find the original mutation. However, resistance tends to happen over time in these targeted therapies. In simple words, some cancerous cells have evolved in such a manner that makes them less vulnerable to attack through base mutations.
Swanton, along with his colleagues, proposes a better outcome with a therapy that can deal with two basal mutations at the same time. Hence, only a few cells that have evolved in a way that makes them immune to both forms of attack will only remain, with the majority of corrupted cells destroyed.
Swanton, however, was not satisfied with the final therapy since he wants to abolish all cancerous cells. With his colleagues, he examined the total number of base mutations in the cancer “trunk” that would be targeted to destroy each one of the cancer cells. Their calculations suggested three base mutations.
BBC reveals the alarming number of cancer patients in the US, which accounts for 42% in men and 38% in women. The figures are even worse in the UK, with 54% men with cancer and 48% women with the disease.