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What is the metabolism of tumor cells like?
- simpler than normal cells
- require less oxygen
- can survive under unfavorable conditions
Do tumor cells need less or more energy than normal cells? Why?
need less energy because they have few mitochondria
Do tumor cells make more or less protein than normal cells?
make less protein due to a less prominent RER
Do tumor cells maintain their specialized cell functions?
no, they only retain functions needed for maintenance and proliferation
What kind of respiration do tumor cells use?
use anaerobic respiration to metabolize glucose which results in accumulation of lactic acid
Can we use lactic acid as an indicator of tumor cells?
no, because normal cells that are hypoxic also produce excess lactic acid, therefore it cannot be used as a marker for tumor cells
What does "in vivo" mean?
latin "vivi" - life, alive
What does "in vitro" mean?
- latin "vitrum" glass
- early experimental vessels were glass
What is "in vivo" and "in vitro" used for?
- comparing how tumor and normal cells grow
- in vitro characteristics of tumor cells are similar to in vitro
What do tumor cells do better in than normal cells?
- cellular adhesiveness
- surface for support of growth
Describe the nutrition of normal cells versus tumor cells in vitro.
- normal cells: do not do well because they have complex requirements
- tumor cells: do fine, much less picky and grow on simple nutrients
Describe normal cells versus tumor cells cellular adhesiveness in vitro.
- normal cells: stick together as they grow
- tumor cells: can detach and float around
Describe normal cells surface for support of growth in virto.
- normal cells need support
- attach to inner surface of flask
- grow in orderly manner
- cover surface, then stop growing
- have contact inhibition - prevents cellular overgrowth
Describe tumor cells surface for support of growth in vitro.
- do not require firm surface for support of growth
- do not need to attach
- grow in disorganized manner
- lack contact inhibition
- exhibit exuberant proliferation
- form irregular lumps
What do we use tumor staging and grading used for?
- used for prognosis of tumor outcome
- staging is more useful predictor of tumor behavior than grading
What are ways to stage a tumor?
- clinically assess the extend of tumor spread
- surgical exploration
- considers size and spread
- size of primary tumor
- presence or absence of metastasis of local lymph nodes
- presence or absence of metastasis to distant sites
What is grading of a tumor based on?
based on histological examination of tumor tissue
What are the different grades?
- grade I: well differentiated
- grade II: moderately well differentiated
- grade III: undifferentiated
How does the immune system know to respond to a tumor?
malignant tumors are altered enough to appear foreign to the immune system
How does the immune system respond to a tumor?
- tumor antigens induce antibody response
- also induce cell-mediated immune response
Do immunosuppressed patients develop tumors more readily than the general population?
When should we consider neoplasia in a patient?
- whenever the patient has an unusual signs
- local clinical signs
- systemic clinical signs
What are some local clinical signs of neoplasia?
- compression: atrophy of adjacent normal tissue
- destruction of normal organs: liver failure, renal failure, maldigestion
- hemorrhage: due to invasion, destruction of blood vessels (blood in stool, hematuria)
- obstruction: tumors growing into lumen of hollow organs
What are systemic signs of neoplasia?
- cancer drains energy and nutrients from the body
- generalized weakness
What is cachexia?
severe emaciation, wasting
What is cancer epidemiology?
- the study of cancer in populations
- helps to determine causes of cancer, predict risk of cancer, take preventative measures
What is incidence?
number of new cases in a specific population within a specific time frame
What is prevalence?
number of all cases of cancer, old and new in a specific population within a specific time frame
Why is prevalence of neoplasia increasing?
due to improved diagnostics and treatments, aging of the population, may be more carcinogens in the environment
What is mortality?
the number of deaths due to cancer in a specific population within a specific time frame
When is the treatment of cancer the most successful?
if diagnosed early, and treated correctly and aggressively
What is the goal of cancer treatments?
kill the tumors cells without killing the patient
What are the different combinations of cancer treatments?
combinations of surgery, irradiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy
When is surgery a good choice for cancer treatment?
- good for small or localized tumors
- make wide excision and use clean surgical instruments
What are some complications of surgically removing a tumor?
surgery may accidentally "stir it up" - accelerate the rate of growth or increase the spread of the neoplasia
What do we use irradiation to treat cancer?
- deliver a dose that will not harm surrounding tissue
- may irradiate from different angle
What is chemotherapy?
treatment of cancer with drugs
What are some different drugs used for chemotherapy?
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- vincristine (Oncovin)
- cytosine arabinoside
What are some examples of complications with chemotherapy?
- hemorrhagic cystitis
- vomiting and diarrhea
What is immunotherapy?
manipulating the host's immune system so it is more effective against tumor cells (wart vaccines, interferon)
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