Lecture 41 – Even More on Cancer December 4, 2013
• As cells grow and divide, some continue to grow normally, while some experience mutations
that can lead to increased viability, allowing those cells to procreate faster than normal,
resulting in tumors.
• Thus, these proteins accumulate mutations, eventually obtaining one that causes the dramatic
change in viability.
• This accumulation of mutated genes can be assayed using a microarray.
• By viewing multiple mutations, it might be possible to determine what mutation was the major
cause of the cell's behavioral change, and in this way treatments might be found.
• Put another way, scientists are hopeful that they can find certain mutant genes characteristic of
all subtypes of a kind of cancer, and so find an effective and expansive treatment for this cancer.
• Cancer cells are often aneuploid, having an irregular number of chromosomes.
• Cancer cells in a single tumor tend to be clonal, all being the same
• Cancer cells continue to gain more and more mutations, eventually far outdistancing their
original counterparts as well as earlier mutant versions. These advanced mutants become
basically the only type of cell in the tumor, resulting in a clonal appearance.
• Surgery – Remove non-metastasizing tumors before they