This chapter on “Cancer Traits; Present and Future” begins with a description of the process of carcinogenesis and, finally, the abnormal process leading to carcinogenesis.
Cancer is a multi-step mechanism in which cells undergo biochemical and behavioral changes, causing them to proliferate in an unnecessary and untimely manner. These changes occur from modifications in mechanisms that regulate cell proliferation and longevity, relationships with neighboring cells, and the ability to escape the immune system. Modifications that contribute to cancer require genetic modifications that alter the DNA sequence. Another way to alter the program of cells is to adjust the conformation of chromatin, the matrix that bundles up DNA and controls its access through DNA reading, copying and repair machinery. These modifications are called “epigenetic. The abnormal process that leads to carcinogenesis includes early mutational events in carcinogenesis, microRNAs in human cancer and cancer stem cell hypothesis, Contact inhibition of proliferation, autophagy, necroptosis, signaling pathways, telomere deregulation, microenvironment, growth suppressors evasion, resisting cell death and sustained cell survival, enabling replicative immortality through activation of telomeres, inducing angiogenesis, ability to oppose apoptosis, and activating invasion and metastasis. Intensive research efforts during the last several decades have increased our understanding of carcinogenesis and have identified a genetic basis for the multi-step process of cancer development. Recognition and understating of the prevalent applicability of cancer cell characterization will increasingly affect the development of new means to treat human cancer.