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New mechanisms that prevent cancer cells from killing healthy cells
Update time:2019-07-31 19:32:16   【 Font: Large  Medium Small

Cancer cells in the face of the body's natural defense system cannot be killed, one of the main reason is the cancer was actually a kind of peculiar to human cells, they have a natural mechanism, can not only avoid the body's defense and tracking system, can even turn into our part of the defense system, so as to speed up the transfer and diffusion. So finding out how cancer cells respond to defense systems is key to fighting cancer.
Lead researcher Filippo Giancotti of the University of Edinburgh has taken an important step in this direction by identifying a cellular competitive mechanism that he calls "health fingerprints".
Filippo and his team found that the cells next to each other in the body are constantly evaluating each other's fitness levels through special markers on their surfaces. "We found that the cells themselves have two markers: one that tells them they're young and healthy, and the other that tells them they're old or damaged," Filippo explains. If a cell is healthier than its neighbors, that means it will destroy its neighbors, ensuring the health and integrity of the entire tissue."
Filippo and his team found that this process plays an important role in cell development, tissue regeneration and preventing aging, but it also gives cancer cells a chance to grow further. Cancer cells use their markers to disguise themselves as healthy cells, which can multiply without aging. In contrast, normal cells around cancer cells appear less healthy. Through a cellular competition mechanism, cancer cells grow, allowing neighboring normal cells to be devoured, destroying tissue and making room for tumors to spread. "But at the same time it makes the tumor more aggressive. The results are acceptable for mice, but too dangerous for humans, "Filippo points out. But the human immune system is also a double-edged sword and cannot allow destructive cancer cells to grow freely. This mechanism could be a potential new way to treat cancer.
Filippo and his team set out to study cell competition in mice and solve it as a basic biological problem: how tissues eliminate cells that are active but not very healthy. Next, they plan to study the mechanism more deeply, while continuing to work with clinicians to develop future cancer drugs. "These findings are encouraging, but they are preliminary, and it will be years before we can use these new findings to help cancer patients," Filippo concludes.

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