The reason that cancers are so dangerous, so harmful for the body and also so difficult to get rid of is the fact that cancer cells are different from normal cells. According to researcher Weihang Chai of the Washington State University School of Molecular Biosciences, cancer cells can divide forever and live forever.
Whereas other cells are able to divide a certain number of times and then stop growing, either dying or becoming ineffectual, cancer cells have a way to maintain their telomeres and are therefore immortal.
It is the characteristic of cancer cells that makes them divide uncontrollably that is so dangerous. This unchecked growth propensity of the cancer cells is what affects surrounding tissue and disrupts its normal working.
These cells are also able to travel to different places in the body and then cause tumors to appear at new sites.
Researchers are now looking at targeting this immortality of cancer cells to stop them growing and causing the damage that they do.
Researchers such as Chai and her colleagues are therefore looking to identify any specific targets that can be inhibited within the cancer cells, which can help control and limit their occurrence. It is their ultimate goal that being able to identify this will offer a new treatment for cancer.