Dr. Mills Explains the Vulnerability of Cancer Cells

Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Oct 03, 2011

Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD, chairman, Department of Systems Biology, chief, Section of Molecular Therapeutics, Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, explains how the make-up of a tumor cell makes it vulnerable to blocking signaling pathways.

Targeted therapeutics block important mediators of normal cell function. In a normal cell the homeostatic response mechanism allows it to withstand the stress of blocking the pathway but cancer cells lack this mechanism. A cancer cell is often reliant or addicted to a pathway and when it is taken away the cell lacks the ability to restore equilibrium and dies.

Mills explains that cancer cells have fewer back-up and survival mechanisms in place and this makes them far more vulnerable to blocking important signaling pathways. Cancer cells are far more vulnerable because they are far less robust than healthy cells.

Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD, chairman, Department of Systems Biology, chief, Section of Molecular Therapeutics, Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, explains how the make-up of a tumor cell makes it vulnerable to blocking signaling pathways.

Targeted therapeutics block important mediators of normal cell function. In a normal cell the homeostatic response mechanism allows it to withstand the stress of blocking the pathway but cancer cells lack this mechanism. A cancer cell is often reliant or addicted to a pathway and when it is taken away the cell lacks the ability to restore equilibrium and dies.

Mills explains that cancer cells have fewer back-up and survival mechanisms in place and this makes them far more vulnerable to blocking important signaling pathways. Cancer cells are far more vulnerable because they are far less robust than healthy cells.


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