Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New model of cancer development proposed

In an article scheduled to appear in the Annals of Epidemiology, epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH and his associates at the University of California San Diego's Moores Cancer Center propose that cancer, rather than commencing with genetic mutations, is initially caused by a reduction in the of ability of cells to stick together.

Research has shown that inadequate vitamin D can result in a loss of stickiness between cells as well as a loss of differentiation, which causes cells to revert to a stem cell-like state. Additionally, extracellular calcium ions are necessary for intercellular adherence.

"The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels," explained Dr Garland, who is a professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine "In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over." Continue Reading

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