Hundreds of cancer-related genes play a different role in the proliferation of cancer cells than scientists could guess. It has long been known that the so-called tumor suppressor genes block cell growth, preventing the spread of cancer cells. Mutations in these genes, according to experts, allow neoplasms to thrive out of control.
The team by Stephen Elledge, scholar ofHoward Hughes Medical Institute, discovered a surprising new action for many of these faulty genes: more than 100 mutated tumor suppressor genes can prevent the immune system from detecting and destroying cancer cells in mice, explained the scientist, geneticist of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The study was published in the scientific journal Science.
Cancer Cells: Here’s What Research Says
It has been argued in the past that for the vast majority of tumor suppressor genes, mutations allow cells to go mad, grow and divide uncontrollably, but this theory has some gaps.