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Cancer

  • By: Justin Glasgow & Aliasger K. Salem
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

THERE CURRENTLY DOES not exist a full understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer. Identification of various carcinogens helped develop an understanding of how healthy cells mutate and lose normal cellular controls leading to the development of cancer. However, it remains unclear which cells in the body are associated with these accumulated mutations. Similarly, it is not clear how the tumor maintains itself, proliferates, and metastasizes.

The origins and nature of malignant cells in cancer have still not been definitively determined. Two potential models to explain the development, maintenance, and recurrence of cancer include the stochastic model and the stem cell model. Recent advances in technology related to isolation and identification of stem cells have allowed researchers to develop a strong supporting argument for the stem ...

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