Universal cure for cancer not anytime soon, tumours have 'almost infinite' ability to evolve: Research
A recent study into lung cancers has left researchers baffled as the key findings show that the tumour cells have almost "almost infinite" to evolve and survive, as per reports which also added that a universal cure for the disease is not likely to be in sight any sooner.
While the study said that even as one should not pin their hopes on a universal cure for cancer, there is a greater need to shift attention to preventive measures.
As per Cancer Research UK, cancer must be detected when it is in an early stage. Under the title, TracerX, the analysis talks about the evolution of cancer and its causes.
It is pertinent to note that cancer cells can mutate and is ever-changing. These cells can reach a state where it becomes more aggressive and dodge the immune system. It further spread itself in different parts of the body.
The research was conducted on lung cancer patients, however, it purportedly applies to all types of cancers. For the study, biopsies for over 400 people who are treated at 13 UK hospitals, were taken from different parts of their lung cancer.
Professor Charles Swanton from the Francis Crick Institute and University College London said, "That has never been done before at this scale."
"I don't want to sound too depressing about this, but I think - given the almost infinite possibilities in which a tumour can evolve, and the very large number of cells in a late-stage tumour, which could be several hundred billion cells - then achieving cures in all patients with late-stage disease is a formidable task."
Professor Swanton said he does not think the universal cures is going to be able to come up by medical research any time soon. "If we want to make the biggest impact we need to focus on prevention, early detection and early detection of relapse," Swanton added.
Further shedding light on the types of cancers, the study suggests that tumours which demonstrate higher levels of genetic "chaos" were more likely to relapse after surgery to other parts of the body. One of the reasons that the study provides is that cellular machinery can get corrupted and make the cells more aggressive.
Head of prevention and early detection at Cancer Research UK Dr David Crosby said, "The exciting results emerging from TracerX improve our understanding that cancer is a disease which evolves as it progresses, meaning that late-stage cancers can become very hard to treat successfully."
"This underscores the crucial importance of further research to help us to detect cancers at the earliest stages of their development or even better, to prevent them from happening at all."