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Oncology question

  1. Nov 16, 2004 #1
    If anyone has read my posts you are probably aware that I take a great interest in cell and cancer biology. So for my next question I want to ask about cancer once again. Now from reading different books and viewing different sites I have come to learn of cancers of the neck, head, bone, muscle, you name it. But one thing I never did see mention in association with cancer is the heart. Is it possible for the heart to develop cancer cells, or more precisely is it possible for the musscle cells in the heart to mutate into cancer cells? :confused:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2004 #2
    I'm thinking that all cells in the body that are nucleated can develop into cancer cells. Since the heart has such an essential function to the survival of humans, any cancer that develops in heart cells would probably not be heriditary, and would be caused by environmental effects.

    Another point would be that cancers usually develop in actively dividing cells (e.g. breast cancer, skin cancer). Cells in the heart are non-dividing, hence myocardial infarctions are very difficult to repair. This is one of the reasons why stem cell research is so popular; stem cells can mature into any type of cell given the appropriate environment and factors.

    Angiosarcoma is a cancer in the lining of blood vessels, and has been known to occur in the heart.

    K
     
  4. Nov 21, 2004 #3

    Moonbear

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    Your answer sounds right on target.
    http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_question.cfm?articleID=0007617E-75E8-1C71-9EB7809EC588F2D7
     
  5. Nov 27, 2004 #4
    thank you very much you two. makes perfect sense.
     
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