Researchers recently pointed out to the fact that cancer treatment needs to diversify from the present universal model of approaching the issue linearly. Leading cancer scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in UK noted that the idea of cancer is like a tree. It grows from a single trunk, and then diversifies into different branches. So, a patient affected with the disease can actually have different types of cancer cells invading the healthy cells. Following a linear approach thereby often becomes ineffective because the treatment then focuses on destroying only a particular kind of cancerous cells, neglecting the others. The study implied that the doctors must identify the total picture of the cancer affectation to decide on a comprehensive treatment plan.
Researchers pointed out to ‘extraordinary’ differences between different kinds of cells inhabiting the same body. The tumor would invariably begin at a single cell that overcomes the natural immunity resistance and begins to mutate without balance. This rapid and uncontrolled mutation then diversified into different types of cancers. The researchers based their findings on investigating the nature of the disease in five children affected by leukemia. The findings on the mutation were in comparison against a known database of different kinds of mutations. The results, available at the Genome Research journal, revealed that the five patients displayed from two to ten types of leukemias in distinct genetic classification. This widespread diversity among only five patients clearly proves to the diversity of the disease.
In this aspect, independent observers also pointed out to the fact that the natural immune system of every person destroys at least one potentially cancerous cell every day. The observers also focused on connecting medical mysteries like the placebo effect to interpret how to improve the amazing healing powers of the natural immunity in the body. Professor Mel Greaves from the team of researchers pointed out that the findings have ‘huge implications’ in devising effective treatment against cancer. Doctor Greaves also implied on focusing to individuality instead of following a general treatment approach. He said that every patient has a ‘completely unique tree’ and requires the implementation of a close treatment plan, specific only to that individual.
As the cancer tree spreads its branches, the conventional treatment affects only a particular ‘sub clone’ of the disease, but never the entire condition. The doctor expressed to follow the harder ‘chopping the disease tree’ strategy over the ‘pruning the disease branches’. Professor Greaves insisted that the treatment must strategically target the core cancer cell and destroy it along with providing comprehensive medication to kill all its branches also.
The professor also focused on the importance to examine the surrounding environment of the cancerous cells. This is important because the mutating cells would derive their nourishment from the surrounding healthy cells before affecting them. So, the placement of a proper preventing strategy to fortify the natural immunity of the surrounding environment must be in perusal. The Leukaemia and the Lymphoma Research director, professor Chris Brunce noted that this research would be instrumental in opening the perceptions to the diversity of the complex cancerous issue.