Why do some cancer cells divide not into two, as cells are supposed to do in mitosis, but into three-four new cells that look thoroughly abnormal? This question was raised as early as the 1890s by the German tumor researcher David Hansemann, who could observe the strange mitosis even using the microscopes of his day. Now another David, Lund University researcher David Gisselsson, has found an answer.
Together with associates from the Section for Clinical Genetics, David Gisselsson has long been studying chromosome changes in various sorts of cancer cells. Contrary to the earlier belief that tumor cells are rather stable genetically, a few years ago he was able to show that genetic chaos prevails in certain severe cancer forms.
"The normal number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46. But in tumors from skeletal and pancreatic cancer, some cells can have far fewer than 46 chromosomes while others have several hundred. The structure of these chromosomes is also often abnormal-for example, they have lost some parts, traded segments with each other, and copied certain genes in mass production," says David Gisselsson.
Ingela Björck | alfa
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