WHAT IS A VIRUS? Unlike bacteria, viruses are not cells; most consist of DNA or RNA molecules, containing the virus's genes, surrounded by a protein coating. A virus can attach itself to cells and inject molecules into the cell, or the cell may absorb it. Once inside, the molecules cause the infected cell to make new viruses that can spread to other cells.
ABOUT CANCER STEM CELLS: Scientists previously believed that tumors were lumps of cancerous tissue that must be completely removed or destroyed to cure a patient. But over the last five years, cancer researchers have learned that not all cancer cells are created equal. In the same way that normal tissue in the body is generated from stem cells, so is cancer. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the ultimate source of the tumor, consistently supplying it with new cells. Researchers have identified the CSCs for acute myeloma leukemia, four types of brain cancer, and breast cancer. So it is possible that we need not kill all cancer cells to rid a patient of the disease. Targeting the CSCs specifically might be much more efficient.
The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.