Cloning Cancer and Cures

Researchers have reset malignant tumor cells into stem cells that were then used to create mouse embryos, some of which successfully grew into healthy adult mice, according to a new study “Reprogramming of a melanoma genome by nuclear transplantation” published in the August 1, 2004 edition of the journal Genes and Development. The stem cells derived from the tumor cells were found to have spread throughout most of the tissues in the mouse. When the genes for the cancer were turned back on the tumors developed more rapidly than in normal mice.

The finding appears to prove several things, such as:

  • cancer can be “turned off” even though the specific genes involved cannot be corrected;
  • mature cells, even those that are malignant, can be reverted into stem cells; and
  • the body is capable of reversing cancer.

Despite this success, experimentation with human stem cells using federal funding is prohibited in the United States. The idea that stem cells from embryos are a commodity to be used in experimentation is repellent to those who do not hold a materialistic view of the universe. In the meantime, the people most likely to benefit from such research continue to suffer and die from cancer and other diseases.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.