Essay on Cancer And Its Effects On Cancer

2106 Words Nov 21st, 2014 9 Pages
Cancer is a disease that has affected many people, being the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States. Historically, the only treatments available were surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, the more researchers have studied cancer the more they have come to understand it at the molecular and cellular level. Recently, scientists discovered the existence of a subset of cancer cells with stem cell-like capabilities. The research that is done on these cancer stem cells is showing promise in finding new ways to not only detect cancer earlier, but to treat it more effectively. Over one hundred and fifty years ago there was a German scientist by the name of Julius Friedrich Conheim. Dr. Conheim proposed what seemed like a ridiculous concept. He proposed that the cancer might arise from a small subset of cells responsible for the cancer’s ability to adapt and metastasize. It took almost one hundred and forty years before researchers found evidence that cancer cells with stem cell-like properties existed. The first major breakthrough in discovering the existence of cancer stem cells was an experiment done by Dominique Bonnet and John Dick. They induced human acute myeloid leukemia in immunodeficient mice. From there they learned that the leukemia-initiating cell possesses the differentiative and proliferative capacities and the potential for self-renewal expected of a leukemic stem cell (Bonnet). In 2003, Sheila Singh reported, “The identification and…

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