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Cancer – Cancer Cell Challenge

Sanjay Juneja, MD Sanjay Juneja, MD February 1, 2021
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Transcript

"What makes a cancer cell tricky to treat is the fact that a cancer cell is really a regular cell of yours that underwent a few mutations or some mechanisms to basically become unregulated. So cancer, isn't something you're catching, right? It's not a foreign body or something that you get from another person. It's literally a regular cell that for whatever reason did not get destroyed by your immune system or with a detonation button that says, okay, there's some errors here. I need to blow up. That's how usually the cells that do get mutations are reconciled as you get older and as you age. What happens is regular cells have switches that tells them to turn on. And by that, it means to continue to replicate. And that switches sometimes turned off, sometimes decreased, sometimes sped up, but it's always regulated. What happens in a cancer cell is that proto-oncogene, or that switch all of a sudden gets stuck in the on position and it's not being regulated anymore.

And it just keeps growing. Or that detonator button that I was just mentioning, those tumor suppressor genes. You can actually lose that. And now the genes that's supposed to say, well, this is not probably a good thing in this mutation. We needed to abort. It doesn't do that anymore. And then now you have unregulated growth because that detonator button has gone. That is what makes cancer treatment difficult. That a lot of the characteristics and things about that cell are very much similar to yours, but it doesn't listen. And that's why when you learn about treatments, you can see why some of the side effects that happen vary based on what you're trying to attack."

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