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Cancer breakthrough at Queen’s University, Belfast

August 8th, 2012 by Owen Quinn Comments

Belfast’s Queen’s University makes a fantastic breakthrough in the battle against cancer

Once again the guys at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland (above), have made another breakthrough in the fight against cancer. This time they have found that the tissue surrounding throat and cervical cancer, which claimed the life of Jade Goody a couple of years back, actually have a part to play in the spread of a tumour. Surrounding healthy tissue or the ‘stroma’ has a communications system if you like with cancer.

If someone has a tumour then it is programmed to attack the surrounding tissue, but the healthy tissue also sends signals back encouraging the tumour to spread. What the researchers are working on is a way to shut these signals off thus robbing the cancer of its methodology.

When the Rb protein, Retinoblastoma, is activated it can in fact prevent the spread of the disease. Although this has been documented, this is the first time they have come close to understanding exactly what role it plays. If the stroma tissue around a growth can be replicated then it will aid in the treatment of throat and cervical cancers. This means that the pathways sending the messages to the cancer can be switched off. They are hopeful that this will lead to the effective treatment in other cancers.

Everyone has been affected by this disease at some point whether personally or a family member so we at the Nerd would encourage you to donate where possible in the fight against this disease and maybe one day people will no longer be afraid of the word. Here’s hoping.

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Husband, dad and Ireland's hardest working author, Owen Quinn is currently knee deep in The Time Warriors, arguably the biggest sci-fi epic ever to come out of Ireland. He has an unhealthy interest in Doctor Who, classic TV and Star Wars, he also hangs around with the Emerald Garrison far toooo much. Is it any wonder he fits in at FTN so well? Find Owen at the

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