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The War on Cancer

Cancer is a genetic disease caused by mutations in proto-oncogenes and tumor-repressor gene, the genes that control cell division. A mutation in proto-oncogenes increases cell division, while in the tumor-repressor gene inhibits cell division. A mutation in either of these can cause a cell to divide rapidly. This forms malignant tumors that invade healthy tissues. If not destroyed quickly, these malignant tumors can establish in vital organs and interfere with their functions.

Since cancer is the leading cause of death in the US there has been a high demand for treatments. Some anticancer drugs developed by scientist stop the cell cycle of cancer cells. This prevents the division of the cell. The downside to this is that it stops division in all cells, damaging healthy tissue cells. Many cancer cells lack the tumor-repressor gene p53, which prevents the cell from reacting to chemotherapy. There are 112 possible compounds that may help against cancers with mutated p53 genes. Malignant tumors increase their own growth by building a supply of blood vessel. Scientists know more than 20 compounds that prevent this process from occurring. These compounds can help in slowing the growth of small cancer cells and even stopping it. The best way to fight against cancer today is a combination of several therapies. But hopefully in the future there will be a sure cure for all cancer.

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