Embryonic cells are the root of cancer
According to the Frank McKeon, senior author of the study conducted on embryonic cells, the left over embryonic cells are extremely prone to turning cancerous. He elaborated that at present, the medicines that are available for treatment of cancer only help in prolonging life by a couple of months. However, focus on the embryonic cells in the body can help in uprooting cancer. McKeon added that the cells that run the highest probability of turning cancerous are present in everybody. Wa Xian, the study author also revealed that based on the study, it looks like elimination of embryonic cells is the best way to prevent cancer before it manifests itself in the body.
New finds shatter traditional beliefs about cancer
Contrary to the existing theory that Barrette’s esophagus contains abnormal cells due to acid-reflux, this study has proved that those abnormal cells are actually leftover embryonic cells. McKeon and Xiang, who performed tests on animals have found that the cells present in embryos is very similar to those present in Barrette’s esophagus, which has led them to conclude that the left over cells from the embryonic stage are responsible for cancers. The genetic factors were found to be similar in both the cases. They also found alarming evidence that these cells multiplied rapidly. This find is in contrast to the general belief that the precursors for cancer take years to mature.
Prior to the find, it was presumed that acid reflux triggered the normal cells in the esophagus to behave abnormally and began producing intestine like cells. However, when the two researchers monitored the p36 gene in a mouse, they found that the mutations of this gene caused formation of cells that mirrored the characteristics of intestinal cells. Within very little time, these abnormal cells covered the entire esophagus. The condition in the mouse was very similar to a respective human condition. The speed of mutation was one of the major factors that generated curiosity and suspicion that the cancerous cells were not normal stem cells.
Repercussions of the study
This find is set to bring an upheaval in the general perception about cancer. It strikes out the basic assumption that in cancer, normal stem cells turn against the body and become hazardous. It is in the embryonic cells that cancer finds roots. The study also isolated the place of birth of these cancerous cells as Barrette’s esophagus. This find also opens up enormous opportunities and fields to take the prevention and treatment of cancer further.