Is Cancer Surgery = Abortion = Murder? ;)By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Now this is something for religious bigots, who oppose embryonic stem cell research on ethical grounds (logically unsustainable but when have bigots listened to logic?), to chew upon. Latest research on cancer indicates that the dominant mechanism of cancer cells is to behave like early embryonic stem cells.
Until recently most scientists believed that all the cancer cells within a tumor were essentially equivalent to each other. But over the last three or four years, there’s come increasing evidence that within solid tumors, as well as blood-born tumors, there is a hierarchy of cancer cells, with some cells being more important than others. A cancer stem cell is defined as a cell that, when plucked out of the tumor and introduced into a new host like a mouse, is able to spawn an entirely new tumor.
According to research by, professor of biology at MIT and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, it is now increasingly apparent that one possibly dominant mechanism of cancer cell involves the ability by the cells to resurrect early embryonic behavioral programs.
In the embryo, these programs normally enable different tissues to form and depend on the ability of embryonic cells to move from one site in the body to another. This movement in the embryo is superficially similar to metastasis. The way cancer cells acquire this embryonic trait of being able to move throughout the organism depends on their ability to resurrect these early embryonic behavioral programs, which they do through their ability to induce the expression of early embryonic transcription factors. In this case, these transcription factors control groups of genes that, when turned on, allow the cancer cells to move, to become invasive, to resist programmed cell death (which otherwise threatens their existence once they leave the primary tumor), and even to release degradative enzymes that break down the surrounding tissue that represents an impediment to the forward march of the cancer cells. Source: Technology Review (link)
As cancer cells are like embryonic stem cells, so cancer surgery should be akin to abortion and that is made equivalent to murder by stem cell opponents in their warped world-view. Shouldn’t now stem cell opponents be opposing cancer surgery too?
Concept: Joel B.
Tags: Biology, Cancer, Spawn, Stem Cell Research, Stem cells