Dr. Hennie Palm
“Cancer is the interaction between abnormal cells and its natural environment that results in uncontrolled cellular growth. It is the cancer environment that governs the actions of abnormal cells”
Basic Components of the “Natural Environment”
$11. The Innate Immune System:
$1· Neutrophils and monocytes that become macrophages
$1· The antigen presenting dendritic cells
$1· Natural Killer Cells
These cells recognize foreign cells and destroy them. In the case of cancer these cells are tricked into not recognizing the cancer cells, especially the cancer stem cells that regulate the growth of cancer cells are difficult or impossible to be detected by our immune system.
2. Endothelial Progenitor Cells:
Cancer cells are able to recruit these cells into circulation to create blood vessels that will allow glucose (the primary fuel of cancer cells) to reach the cancer cells to feed them.
3. Extra Cellular Environment (The environment outside and surrounding cells):
Cancer cells excrete acid through a number of mechanisms and thereby creating an acidic extra cellular environment that breaks down healthy tissue for its expansion and promotes the formation of blood vessels that carry glucose to the tumor cells.
4. Energy Supply:
Cancer cells rely on anaerobic (without oxygen) glucose metabolism for energy. While there might be cells in a tumor that still utilize oxygen and glucose to create energy the cancer stem cells that generate new cancer cells rely almost exclusively on glucose as a fuel and do not need oxygen at all. Studies have shown that the more hypoxic (oxygen starved) a tumor is the more aggressive it tends to be.