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content:medicine:diseases:a-f:cancer_dormancy

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Cancer dormancy

Clinical cancer dormancy is defined as an unusually long time between removal of the primary tumor and subsequent relapse in a patient who has been clinically disease-free. The condition is frequently observed in certain carcinomas (e.g., breast cancer), B-cell lymphoma, and melanoma, with relapse occurring 5โ€“25 y later.

Source :PNAS 108 ( 30 ) 12396-12400

There are a number of unanswered questions about cancer dormancy, including :

  • What are the cellular population dynamics and control mechanisms underlying clinical cancer dormancy?
  • What is the cause of 'awakening' dormant cancer cells?
  • Is the mechanism of cancer dormancy the same for different types of cancer?
  • Do all long-term cancer survivors that are free of relapse also have dormant cancer cells hidden somewhere?
  • What is the role of both adaptive and innate immunity in controlling cancer,
Clinical cancer dormancy is a fascinating and mysterious phenomenon. Its understanding will undoubtedly lead to new insights into cancer biology and possibly improved treatment.

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