The Biology of Cancer – The Formation of a Tumor

In simple terms the cancer is the uncontrolled growth of few cells and the resulting mass of cells produced thereby is tumor. How a biological cell/cells acquire uncontrolled growth and become oncogenic, is a matter of vast research since last several years. The understanding of actual cause of a cell becoming oncogenic and producing a tumor will actually help in preventing and curing the dreaded disease. The most common cause as generally known is the genetical one and the specific DNA sequence are regarded to be responsible for the disease. Environmental factors, intake of some caner stimulants, metabolism related problems etc are also considered for the causal agents of the cancer. The change in DNA structure, function of the protein, changed protein structure and metabolic anomalies are some of the causes which can be attributed to the initiation and further advancements of the cancer and resulting into large sized tumors.

The cancer is not so simple as it seems to be. It is a very complex system. There was an understanding regarding cancer that all the cancerous or oncogenic or malignant cells behave individually and there is no coordination of these cells with one another. But the recent researches have demonstrated that the all the malignant cells behave as an organ or tissue system and the growth of tumor takes place as a result of specific coordination of malignant cells in their own microenvironment/s. Specific biomarkers are needed to diagnose the cancerous cells prevailing in the body of an individual. Samples of DNA and malignant tissues are needed for diagnosis purposes. These clinical samples from diverse resources are covered under biobanking. The interactions of various proteins and their etiology are major things in cancer and tumor research. The cancer specific proteins are treated as biomarkers and are used for cancer diagnosis. The microenvironment of malignant cells as well as normal cell’s environment together is referred to as stroma. For curing the cancer, this stroma is targeted. The integrated system of cancer cure includes the collective efforts of experts of many branches mainly imaging science, medical science, physics, mathematics, information technology and the most important computer technology.

In case of plants, the cancerous or oncogenic or malignant cells are being used in a very positive manner by utilizing the totipotency of the living cells, for producing the new plants from the tumors. In the area of plant tissue culture, for micropropagating a particular plant or species, the cancer is induced in the normal cells of the plants by applying specific amounts of particular hormones. The improper balance of hormones cause the normal cells to act as cancerous and start developing tumor in the normal tissue of the plants. After tumor is formed, application of some specific hormones in specific amounts induces the tumor cells to produce several new plantlets. These plantlets are separated from the tumor cells and after optimization process, each plantlet becomes a new plant. If any how this becomes possible for humans also, the totipotency can be utilized to produce human organs for grafting purposes. This will be a new chapter in the history of medical science.