Low levels of oxygen in cells (hypoxia) may be the main cause of uncontrolled tumor growth in certain kinds of cancer.
A new study from the scientists of the University of Georgia is contrary to the common belief that genetic mutations are fully responsible for the growth of cancer cells. Accordingly, if this data is confirmed by other studies, the classical methods of cancer treatment may change dramatically.
The U.S.researchers analyzed samples of RNA transcription (the synthesis of RNA using DNA as a template, or the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA) of seven different types of cancer (breast, kidney, liver, lung, ovary, pancreas and stomach) using a common database. They found out that the prolonged lack of oxygen in the cells may be a key factor in tumor growth. The study has been published in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology.
In their previous studies, the researchers linked low levels of oxygen in the cells with cancer development, but the fact that this factor may be the driving force for tumor growth became clear for the first time. No more doubts; high cancer rates around the world can not be explained by random genetic mutations. That is why, the researchers explain, modern therapy often fails: most drugs try to destroy mutation at the molecular level, but cancer continues to evolve.