The Biology of Cancer
The more we come to understand about the biology of cancer, the more possible personalized cancer treatment becomes. Caris Molecular Intelligence™ Service provides doctors with the clinically relevant information necessary to individualize cancer treatment.
Tumor cells are elusive and aggressive, with each patient’s cancer requiring unique and differing approaches to treatment. In order to stop their growth, we must first understand them.
Self-sufficiency in growth signaling
While normal cells require mitogenic growth signals to proliferate, tumor cells produce many of their own growth signals, which release them from dependence on growth signals from the normal tissue microenvironment.
Insensitivity to antigrowth signals
In normal tissue, multiple cytostatic antigrowth signals maintain cellular quiescence and tissue homeostasis. By avoiding these signals, tumor cells are allowed to proliferate.
Invasion and metastasis
In tumor cells, proteins that normally tether cells to the surrounding cell matrix become altered, allowing the tumor cells to develop invasive or metastatic characteristics.
Increased potential for replication
Normal cells have autonomous mechanisms that limit the number of times they can replicate. In tumor cells, these mechanisms are defective, allowing them to freely replicate.
Because oxygen and nutrients supplied by the vasculature are essential for cell function and survival, tumor cells often develop enhanced angiogenic capabilities.
The tumor cell population is controlled not only by its ability to proliferate, but also by its ability to avoid apoptosis. Consequently, tumor cells are often resistant to apoptosis.