Low dose radiation and cancer

experiments with mice showed this could happen if cellular DNA was damaged, say, by repeated exposure to low doses of radiation. When the body attempts to replace the damaged tissue it drives tumour development

Cells’ demise provides clues about cancer | The Australian, 21 Aug 2010, Research into apoptosis is taking place worldwide, with several large drug companies pouring money into the area, but critical work is being undertaken in Australia.

“The key is to look at how cancer cells differ from healthy cells,” says Andreas Strasser, of the molecular genetics of cancer division at Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

…………Apoptosis is the study of programmed cell death….

All healthy cells in the body have genes that can cause or program them to die. Cell suicide and replenishment are crucial to all living organisms and play critical roles in the body’s development even before birth.

But many cancer cells can override or ignore their programmed death machinery. They grow, mutate and multiply at a rate enabling them to take over and eventually destroy their host.

There’s also good evidence that subversion of the cell death machinery is necessary for the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells…….

we discovered that, in certain settings, the opposite can also hold, that the body’s natural cell-suicide program can fuel tumour development.”

Specifically, their experiments with mice showed this could happen if cellular DNA was damaged, say, by repeated exposure to low doses of radiation. When the body attempts to replace the damaged tissue it drives tumour development because the damaged cells will divide quickly, promoting tumour development……..

Cells’ demise provides clues about cancer | The Australian

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