"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a lot of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." – Albert EISTEIN

10 Hallmarks of Cancer – The next generation (2011)

10 Hallmarks of Cancer – The next generation (2011)

“Cancer Patients cannot be Patient” – Unknown

According to authors Hanahan D, Weinberg RA, the hallmarks of cancer comprise six biological capabilities acquired during the multistep development of human tumors. The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. 

These 8 hallmarks are sufficient to generate a lethal cancer:

1Sustaining Proliferative SignallingThe accelerator => full speed ahead;
signals instruct cells to grow and divide chronically (But they grow very slowly compared to normal cells, right ?)
2Evading Growth SuppressorsThe brakes have failed; signals to STOP are disabled
3Resisting Cell Death (Aptosis)Avoiding assisted suicide of outlaw cells;
abrogation of the inborn willingness of cells to die for the benefit of the organism
4Enabling Replicative ImmortalityCircumventing a counting mechanism that disrupts continuing cell division when a set limit is reached
5Inducing AngiogenesisTurning on new blood vessel growth, to feed and
nurture the growing mass of cancer cells
6Activating Invasion and MetastasisGuerilla cells that growing by migrating and invading into normal organs, locally and throughout the body, ‘living off the fertile land’
7De-regulating Cellular EnergeticsAlternative energy sources – hybrid engines – tapped to provide fuel for cell growth; engines that also produce ample supplies of the cellular building blocks needed to generate new cancer cells
8Avoiding Immune DestructionIn some cases, the immune system detects a
problem and tries to kill cancer cells, an attack
which lethal tumors learn to circumvent

The key enabling characteristic for acquiring the above hallmarks

1Genome Instability and MutationFailure of crucial teams of proteins that protect the DNA of the genome from being corrupted,
rearranged, damaged; the result is mutations that convey on cancer cells hallmark capabilities
2Tumor Promoting InflammationTumors are “wounds that don’t heal”;
Immune cells that normally participate in wound
healing inadvertently help cancer cells acquire
hallmark capabilities & become more aggressive


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