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Cancer Cells Can Turn Back Into Healthy Tissue, Claim Scientists


Researchers at Mayo Clinic believe they may have found a mechanism by which they can turn cancerous cells back into healthy tissue, BBC News reports.

The scientists at Mayo Clinic performed lab-based work that involved the addition of molecules called microRNAs. This stopped the cancerous cells from replicating and supported the suggestion that there is a biological step that can restore normality by stopping cells from replicating out of control.

However even though the positive lab results do not prove clearly that this mechanism will help treat people suffering from cancer, the Mayo Clinic researchers are optimistic that the new methodology can be applied to all kinds of cancer.

Henry Scowcroft, Cancer Research UK's senior science information manager, said: "This important study solves a long-standing biological mystery, but we mustn't get ahead of ourselves.

"There's a long way to go before we know whether these findings, in cells grown in a laboratory, will help treat people with cancer. But it's a significant step forward in understanding how certain cells in our body know when to grow, and when to stop. Understanding these key concepts is crucial to help continue the encouraging progress against cancer we've seen in recent years."

The researchers at Mayo Clinic have brought together the techniques of cell adhesion and microRNA biology for the process.  Till now, scientists had thought of adhesion molecules as simply the means to hold cells together. The new mechanism performed at Mayo clinic proves that adhesion molecules control cell growth by connecting cells and signals via microRNAs.

According to BBC News, lead researcher Dr Panos Anastasiadis said: "By administering the affected miRNAs in cancer cells to restore their normal levels, we should be able to re-establish the brakes and restore normal cell function.

"Initial experiments in some aggressive types of cancer are indeed very promising."

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