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The Link Between Inflammation & Cancer

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene
 Chronic inflammation has long been linked with cancer. But, according to a Kanazawa University study, they may have finally cracked the code between the two and may have paved the path for more effective cancer treatments in the future. 
 
inflammation and cancer

But, before you alarm yourself, know that inflammation in the body is perfectly normal. In fact, inflammation in itself is a physiological response that causes injured tissue to heal. 

Your body begins the inflammatory process when chemicals are released by damaged tissue, triggering your body's white blood cells to come in and work their magic. But chronic inflammation is different. Little is known about what causes it. It may be triggered by infections that don't go away, or by abnormal immune reactions to normal tissues, or even common conditions such as obesity. Consequently, chronic inflammation can cause damage to your DNA, leading to your cells' replication system to malfunction, thus cancer is created in the body when cells duplicate without control, creating tumors.

Discover more about the impact of inflammation on your body by watching this video below: 

The Connection

When there are severe forms of inflammation in the body, it isn't easy for researchers to study the primary damaged cells. Inflamed cancerous tissues contain a non-uniform mix of damaged and protective cells, making the process all the harder. Still, researchers at Kanazawa University have discovered a method that may tackle this task. 

By focusing on understanding gastritis or the inflammation of the stomach, researchers from the University were able to isolate the primary cells and study them using a microdissection laser - a method that isolates specific cells of interest from microscopic regions of tissue, cells, and organisms. 

In their research, the team looked at the gene miR-I35B. Interestingly, the gene exists in high levels in both mice and humans with stomach inflammation and may lead to the development of cancer cells in the body, leading scientists to believe that at the very least, the gene is a great indicator of cancerous cell growth. In addition, miR-I35B behave similar to cancer cells and can spread and potentially evolve into cancer. So, by looking further into what is driving inflammation and the genes that are shaping this process, researchers from Kanazawa University eventually hope to create better diagnostic tools for the early detection of cancer. 

Discover more about how inflammation shuts down cancer-fighting genes in this video below: 

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