[Cell-biology] Re: Animations of a Possible Cure for Cancer

PiLS via cellbiol%40net.bio.net (by pils from invalid.ca)
Tue Nov 8 17:34:19 EST 2011

Le lun, 07 nov 2011 17:46:37, John a ploppé:
> Animations of a Possible Cure for Cancer
> This is an approach to the cure or treatment of cancer using a
> relatively simple mathematical algorithm.
> http://math-blog.com/2011/10/31/animations-of-a-possible-cure-for-cancer/

That is a nice animation but has little to no merit as far as curing 
cancer goes. Not all cancer cells are aneuploid, nor is every normal 
cell diploid. Bacteriophages target bacteries, not mamalian cells, 
although it would be possible to find another vector, like a lentivirus.
But in that case it would be much easier to target only cancer cells
based on the surface receptor they display. Which, surprise surprise,
is already being studied.
The surface recognition strategy is also used by our own immune
system to eliminate most cancer cells (some escape from time to time),
or in therapeutic strategies based on autologous immune cells modified
to kill the (escaped) cancer cells -already in use.

The problem with using a virus is that it usually triggers the immune
response, which can lead, in the best case scenario, to the destruction
of the therapeutic vector, and in the worst case, to very toxic effects.

Basing the system on the number of chromosome is typically a bad idea as
exposed higher (this is a common mistake: most cancer cells are aneuploid,
so let's kill all the non-diploid cells. Cancer cured. It amounts to 
Most cancer cells are alive, so let's kill all live cells, cancer cured.)
Not to mention that it would be extremely difficult to "automatically"
count the number of chromosomes. Telomeres and centromeres vary in size 
and "geometry" between cell types, depending on the age, etc...

As I said, that's a nice animation.


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