Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Explaining cancer to better prevent it

Date:
July 22, 2013
Source:
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
Summary:
A new disease is affecting developing countries, deadlier than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined. With changes in lifestyles, cancer is spreading in southern countries. Today, more than 70 % of the 7.5 million deaths in the world occur in countries with low or middle income.

A new disease is affecting developing countries, deadlier than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined. With changes in lifestyles, cancer is spreading in southern countries. Today, more than 70 % of the 7.5 million deaths in the world occur in countries with low or middle income. Faced with this alarming fact, IRD scientists and their partners are trying to specify the decisive factors in the illness. They are studying how natural selection has enabled animals to be more or less resistant to the development of certain malignant cells.

Understanding the disease at source

Cancer is the abnormal and disordered production in the body of cells, known as "malignant." During evolution, living beings have put in place natural mechanisms to control this unwanted proliferation and prevent too frequent development of these tumours. Scientists at the Centre for ecological and evolutionary research (Creec) in Montpellier, are studying how natural selection has designed this resistance to cancer in various species.

A yet unexplained paradox

To understand how the body's defences are used, scientists have examined a paradox, known as "Peto's paradox," named after the biologist who discovered it in the 1970's. The larger an animal, the more cells it has and the greater the risk of contracting a cancer. Yet, this is not the case in nature. Using a mathematical model, the research team explains this contradiction in a recent study.

The whale and the mouse: each has its priorities

The scientists showed that the larger the species, the lower the probability of activating genes involved in oncogenesis and the higher the probability of activating tumour-suppressant genes. Species such as beluga, weighing up to 2 tonnes, have lasted throughout evolution by deploying these cancer-fighting mechanisms. However, for a 2-gram mouse, the risk of contracting the disease is low before being devoured. From this viewpoint, it is of no advantage to develop this type of resistance. It seems more judicious in its case, to select other functions (predator avoidance, early sexual maturity, etc.), to ensure numerous progeny.

This new angle of approach to cancer research, by studying selective processes, will define which species are more resistant to the disease and better explain its decisive factors. Ultimately, this work could improve disease prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). "Explaining cancer to better prevent it." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722123009.htm>.
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). (2013, July 22). Explaining cancer to better prevent it. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722123009.htm
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). "Explaining cancer to better prevent it." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722123009.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins