Cloning Experiment Shows Cancer Reversible
10/19/2005 5:11:20 PM
A cloning experiment may show that the body itself has the ability to reverse cancer, U.S.-based researchers said on Saturday.
They cloned mouse embryos from a melanoma skin cancer cell, and created healthy adult mice using some of the cloned cancer cells, showing that malignancy is not the inevitable fate of a cancer cell.
"This settles a principal biological question," said Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the country's leading experts in cloning.
He said while the genetic elements of cancer cannot be reversed, the epigenetics -- how the genes are actually turned on and off -- can be.
The finding, published in the journal Genes and Development, point to a new way to treat cancer, said Lynda Chin of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, who worked on the study.