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找到癌症的特点有助于治疗

Source: VOA  Onion  2011-03-23  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

What we think of as cancer is not really one disease but a large number of related diseases. And while each is different, they share certain characteristics. These "Hallmarks of Cancer" were identified in an influential publication a decade ago, and now the authors are back with an update.

我们平时所说的癌症,其实并不是一种疾病,而是多种相关的疾病。虽然各不相同,但它们有某些共同的痛惜,这就是所谓的“癌症的特征”。早在10年前,一份很有影响的出版物就介绍了这些特征。当年那些作者们现在又做了一些新的补充。

Writing in the journal Cell in 2000, Doughas Hanahan and Robert A. Weinberg identified six cellular traits as "Hallmarks of Cancer." They included features such as sustained growth of blood vessels to feed the growing cancer and what the authors called "self-sufficiency in growth signals."

2000年,道格拉斯·哈纳翰和罗伯特·温伯格在《细胞学》杂志上发表专文,提出了6种细胞特性为“癌症特征”,其中包括供养癌细胞的血管持续生长,以及他们称作“自足的生长信号”。

"Normal cells in our tissues will not start growing unless they're stimulated to do so by getting signals from their neighbors," Weinberg explained in a telephone interview.

温伯格说:“我们身体组织里的正常细胞,除非有临近细胞发出生长信号,否则不会开始成长。”

"However, cancer cells become independent of these signals from their neighbors, and as a consequence they stimulate their own growth, making them independent and allowing them to drive their own proliferation relentlessly."

“而癌细胞不必依靠临近细胞发出的生长信号。因此,它们自行刺激自己的生长,使它们可以漫无限制地繁殖。”

Weinberg, who is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says the value of identifying these hallmarks of cancer is that they can suggest new ways of fighting cancer that might be more effective than current therapies.

温伯格与麻省理工学院以及怀特黑德生物医学研究所都有工作关系。他指出,找出癌症这些特征的好处在于,可以由此研究出新的、比现行治疗手段更有效的抗癌方法。

"In other words, there may be two or three molecules inside cancer cells that are functioning abnormally in order to confer on the cancer cell unrelenting growth. And if we hit this hallmark vulnerability, then we believe we may be able to get a long-term clinical response," he said.

温伯格说:“换句话说,癌细胞里面可能有两、三个功能异常的分子,使癌细胞得以无限生长。如果能抓住这种特征的弱点,相信我们就能够找到一种长期的治疗手段。”

In the decade since the original Hallmarks article was published, there has been a lot of cancer research. The newly-published version of the Hallmarks paper reflects a better understanding of the original six hallmarks, plus two new ones.

自从第一篇有关癌症特征的报告发表后,10年来,对癌症有过大量的研究。最近发表的一篇癌症特征研究报告,反映出对最初6种特征更深入的了解,另外,还加上了两种新的特征。

"One of them is the need for a tumor, during its development, to evade elimination by the immune system. Another is the possibility that tumor cells have a very unusual metabolism, which sets them apart from normal cells," Weinberg said.

温伯格说:“其一是,肿瘤在生长期间需要躲避被免疫系统消灭。其二是,肿瘤细胞可能具有非常特殊的代谢,使它们和正常细胞不同。”

And that might suggest another vulnerability that could be targeted by cancer researchers.

这可以意味着研究人员可以采取针对性措施的癌细胞另外一个弱点。

The original "Hallmarks of Cancer" article has been cited by other researchers more often than any other paper published by the journal Cell, which also published the update. Despite that benchmark for influence in the scientific community, Robert Weinberg admits that his analysis of cancer's hallmarks has not yet had a major impact in actually producing new cancer treatments.

在《细胞学》杂志上发表的专文中,最初那篇有关癌症特征的文章被引用得最多。但温伯格说,不论那篇文章在科学界产生了什么影响,但他对癌症特征的分析迄今还没有对研发新的癌症治疗手段发挥重大的作用。


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