Epithelial Cells Can Treat Cancer

Researchers from the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), have discovered that the epithelial cells can inhibit the growth of cancer. The results of the study are published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The experts found that surrounding the cancer tumor by these cells, leads to absorption of biochemicals which can suppress the growth of the tumor. The experiments was found to be successful in the case of laboratory mice.

According to the experts, there must be constant struggle going on between the malignant cancer cells and the epithelial cells. Most of the time, the latter cells manage to gain victory. Only when the cancer cells overpower the epithelial cells, the risk of developing cancer increases manifold.

Out of the many biochemicals secreted by the epithelial cells, a complex protein called perlecan, and a cell messenger cytokine known as interleukin-6 were found to play the most significant role. The study found that secretion of the protein in large amounts and less secretion of the cell messenger IL-6 provided the endothelial cells the ability to inhibit tumor growth.

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