Cancer Cell Biology Research Paper

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Cancer Cell Biology

The fundamental unit of life is the cell and in the body it is the smallest structure exhibiting performance capability of all the processes defining life. Specialized cells are contained in each of the body organs like the lungs, colon, breast and brain which are able to perform the particular function in the body such as digestion, oxygen transportation, locomotion and excretion. Proper performance of the organs is ensured through its replacements when they get worn out which are injured and in particular responding to the changes in the environment. For instance the production of oxygen is increased by the bone marrow in response to high altitude or bleeding. Also during an infection there is rapid production of certain white blood cells. Cell reproduction is through a cell division process and this is highly regulated in the normal cells. DNA is the responsible for the cell inheritance, growth and containment. The DNA which acts as the brain of the cell is highly intricate molecule that the cell nucleus manufactures. The blue print of everything done by the cell is the DNA. The chromosomes are the distinct arrangements of the DNA in the human cell and they are 46 of them. There is pair arrangement of the chromosomes characterized by each biological parent giving 23 chromosomes (Pelengaris et al., 2006, p.25).

Specific location on a chromosome is occupied by each gene. Different proteins are made through the instruction of the each gene through various biochemical steps. Structural proteins are manufactured by some genes instructions which act as the building blocks. The cell is instructed to produce growth factors, hormones and cytokines by other genes which communicate with other cells after exiting the original cell. Regulatory proteins are produced by other genes and these are responsible for other protein functions control or instructs other genes when to turn "off" or "on." RNA is manufactured when the gene gets turned on and this is a complex molecule containing the information required for new protein formation.

When the proper signal is received by the cell, it then under goes division and this signals circulate the bloodstream originating from growth factors. The cell undergoes a cell cycle when the messages for dividing are received by the cell and this involves several division phases. The proper execution of these events is monitored by the checkpoints in each step. For proper cell division, all these processes should take place because the cell reproduction involves many processes. A cell develops to be cancerous if something goes wrong in the process. An uncontrolled cell is cancerous because they don't pay attention to signals instructing the end of the division process, shed or die unlike the normal cells (Seer Training Module, 2002).

Understanding cancer from cell biology / Cellular understanding of cancer

A lot of information can be obtained from the studying of the cancer cells characteristics though inferences made from the whole organism appearance and laboratory observations. A unified view of the cancer disease has been constructed by the scientists from the various key understandings resulting from the cellular biology study of the cancer. For instance a major understanding from this is that the cancers cells are actually indigenous cells which then become abnormal and they come from the normal body tissues. Moreover almost all the tumors which are malignant are monoclonal in their origin and this means they came from one ancestral cell which was transformed somehow to a cancerous state from the normal state. Even though these insights seem straightforward, they were not easily reached. A question that was raised is the manner in which a cell pedigree of cell mass which would be known as a tumor eventually be described.

The transplanting of the tissues from persons to persons was one of the approaches attempting to identify the cells which were cancerous. As the involved people became more distantly related, the less the transplants seem to work but they worked well in the twins who were identical. The distinction by the immune system of the recipient between the foreign origin cells and the cells which have lived in the self always is the barrier to the successful transplantations. The classification of the tissues as either non-matching or matching before the organ or tissue is grafted in to the body of another person is one of the practical application of this discovery. The tumor cells of a specific patient of cancer have been shown to be cell types as those of tissues which are normal and located in the other parts of the person's body as has been revealed by these tests of tissue typing when conducted on the cancer cells. Therefore tumor arises from the tissue of the person and not through infections which can introduce the cells from the body of another person (Pelengaris et al., 2006, p.307).

From two scenarios which are distinct which will aid in explaining the development of the cancer cells within the normal tissue, we can know the monoclonal nature of the tumors. The first being because the tumor which results from the many cells becoming cancerous is a representation of the original cell descendants. Therefore the tumor nature is considered polyclonal. The second scenario is that the resulting tumor is a representation of the cell descendants which in this case it's the only one that is transformed to a cancerous from a normal cell.

There has been difficulty in the obtaining the direct for almost all malignant tumors evidence which will support the monoclonal origin due to the absence of obvious distinguishing marks in the tumor cells and these are used in their clonal relationship demonstration. Indication of this relationship can however be done by using one cellular marker for the relationship indication by the scientist: the X-chromosome is inactivated and its occurrence is in about all the human female body cells. During the embryonic development of the females, the inactivation of the X-chromosomes occurs randomly. Having disparate X-copies turned off or on in the disparate body cells makes the female like a mosaic. The same inactivation of chromosomes is present in the future cell generations originating from the cell which was inactivated initially and this is either the paternal or maternal X. It can therefore be inferred that tumor cells originated form one ancestral cell by observing that there is the same X chromosome inactivation in the cells within the tumor.

Therefore cancer is a disease which one body cell which is normal goes through a genetic transformation to become the cancer cell. The population of cells produced from the proliferation of this cell and its descendants over several years which is thus referred to as tumor. The symptoms experienced by the individual as cancer are produced by the tumor. Tumor formation is not completely described in its involved events by this account even though it is accurate. The cells constituting the tumor become differ from each other with time due to the novel traits which have been acquired as the tumor develops as has been revealed by additional research. Distinct cell subpopulations are formed within the tumor. Therefore the cells which have experience these changes are able to compete against cells which don't have the complete changes set. Thus a series of clonal expansions leads to the cancer development which is from one ancestral cell. The biology of cancer cells led to another critical understanding that there are a lot of differences shown by these cells from the normal cells. For instance, cancer cells are not stable genetically and prone to duplications, rearrangements and chromosomes deletion which results to their progeny having usual trait. Hence the tumor can have many cells with different characteristics even though its origin is monoclonal.

There are differences in the way in which the cancer cells look and act when compared to the normal cells. The nucleus of the cancerous cell can be so large that most of the volume of the cell is occupied by it while the normal cell the nucleus is only one-fifth the cell's size. The normal cell's differentiated traits are usually not present in the tumor cells of which they are the descendants of those cells. Whereas mucus is produced and released by the normal secretory cells, these characteristics may be lost in the cancer cells. Similarly large quantities of keratin is contained in the epithelial cells, this protein may not be accumulated in the cytoplasm of the skin cancer cells (Weinberg, 2006, p.29).

However the growth restraint characterizing the normal cells is lost in the cancer cells and this is the principal difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. Significantly mitosis is engaged by a large number of the tumor cells whereas the normal tissues rarely have the mitosis process. Several unusual characteristics are demonstrated by the cancer cells when they are grown in culture and these are the contact inhibition absence and reduced reliance on the growth factors present in the environment. There is no cooperation of the cancer cells… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Cancer Cell Biology.  (2010, April 16).  Retrieved February 21, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Cancer Cell Biology."  16 April 2010.  Web.  21 February 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Cancer Cell Biology."  April 16, 2010.  Accessed February 21, 2019.