Cancer cells are easy to kill using drug therapy; however, they are hard to kill without damaging normal cells. This is because cancer cells rely on processes that are fundamentally similar to the processes used by normal cells. Their differences are in activity, not function. It is like two clocks—one that keeps the right time and one that is fast. Both clocks use the same mechanisms, but one works at a higher speed. Any treatment that harms the structure of the fast clock, when given to the normal clock, would harm its structure as well.
Regarding the cellular level then, the best way to inhibit a cancer cell (and to spare normal cells) is not to destroy its structural properties but to normalize the signals that drive it. These signals derive from its genetic instability, abnormal expression of genes, abnormal sig nal transduction, and abnormal communication with healthy cells—the first four clusters of procancer events.
Part I is about these first four clusters and the natural compounds that inhibit them. Chapter 2 discusses the workings of DNA, the role of transcription factors in gene expression, and the causes of genetic instability. Chapter 3 presents the results hoped for from cancer treatment: cell death, lack of proliferation, or normalization of a cell's form and behavior. In Chapter 4, growth factors are discussed, as well as how growth-factor signals travel via signal transduction to reach the DNA. Chapter 5 reviews several transcription factors and the effects that oxidants and antioxidants have on them. Lastly, Chapter 6 discusses cell-to-cell communication.
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