Knowledge Base

Blocked gas pedal: how do tumors form?

A cell is like a soap bubble with a wall made of lipid layer. In order for cells to communicate “messaging molecules” are required, which are detected by cells using their “antennas” located on the cell surface. When these antennas get a messaging molecule, the information is transmitted by so-called signaling processes toward the information and command center of the cells, the nucleus. These chains used to transmit information are the signaling pathways.
The life of the cells is in order until a communication problem occurs in these pathways. The tumor formation process is like when the brake pedal is jammed during driving a car. In this case, a signal is transmitted continuously and without interruption from the antennas on the cell surface or other molecules within the cell that are part of the communication chain toward the nucleus. However, this is an abnormal signal because it instructs the cells to constantly divide, to grow abnormally or to form metastases. Unfortunately, cells that were healthy up to that point are unable to recognize that the abnormal signal is coming from a “switch left on”. For this reason, they start to execute the instructions to divide uncontrollably. From this point on, cells start to proliferate and tumor tissue slowly forms.

Any molecule of the cellular signaling pathways can fail, so the signal instructing the cell to divide may start from anywhere. The question is always the same: which defective molecule is responsible for sending false information to the nucleus in the case of a specific tumor? This molecule should be “instructed” to “stop sending the false signal!” This message can be sent to the defective molecule or molecules using modern targeted anticancer drugs.

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