New research suggests cancer may not be eradicated

The National Cancer Institute has poured massive funds into cancer research, and big Pharmas have developed targets-based blockbusters. Yet a cure remains elusive.


To effectively treat patients with cancer, scientist and doctors have to interfere with fundamental pathways, which make up interaction network. However in some cases, Inhibiting one pathway can’t act as anticancer effectiveness, because of the crosstalk between multiple pathways. That’s why cancer “will probably never be completely eradicated.”

A novel research, published in Nature Communications, suggests that cancer can’t be eradicated. The researchers discovered that hydra, emerged hundreds of millions of years ago, forms tumors similar to those found in humans. It reflects that our cells’ ability to develop cancer is “an intrinsic property” that has evolved.

In the previous study, scientists showed that pulsating polyps carry genes that can cause cancer in humans. To unravel the tumor-causing mechanisms, They discovered tumor-ridden polyps, and saw that stem cells -programmed to turn into female sex cells- divided uncontrollably resembling ovarian cancer in women. Subsequently, they sequenced the tumorous hydra’s DNA and discovered a gene that halts apoptosis, and the activity of which runs amok in tumor tissue.

As known, tumors can grow in hydra, but are hydra tumors invasive the way they are in humans? To find out, the researchers transplanted tumors into healthy polyps. The cells from tumors transplanted in the midsections of healthy polyps migrated all the way to both ends of their bodies.

All this means that cancer genes and the mechanisms that allow tumor cells to evade death and invade healthy tissue, have deep evolutionary roots. Any crucial cell in body can at any point make a mistake, and there’s no way to prevent it.


Naturally occurring tumours in the basal metazoan Hydra. Nature Communications, 2014. 24;5:4222

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