Flashcards in Tumour Pathology 2 Deck (33):
How can cancer cells alter genetics?
-loss of tumour suppressor genes
-gain of function of oncogenes
What are tumour-related proteins and what do they do?
- proteins found in abnormally large quantities in cancerous cells
-altered cellular function
Describe the function of oncogenes?
-normally switched off or function at very low levels in normal cells
Describe the function of tumour suppressor cells?
-genes function in normal cells to prevent abnormal cell proliferation
What are 4 properties of cancer cells?
-altered cellular function
-cells capable of independent growth
However, no single feature is unique to cancer cells
How does cancer affect cellular function? (3)
-loss of cell-to-cell adhesion
-altered cell-to-matrix adhesion
-production of tumour-related proteins such as tumour biomarkers
What are 3 examples of tumour biomarkers?
-growth factors and receptors
What are the clinical uses of tumour biomarkers?
-prognosis (patients specific outcome)
-predictive (patients treatment plan)
What cancers can the alpha-fetoprotein be useful in?
-teratoma of the testis
What cancer can carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA) be useful in?
What cancer can oestrogen receptor be useful in?
What cancer can prostate specific antigen be useful in?
What type of cancer is Kras a biomarked for?
What type of cancer is EGFR a biomarker for?
What type of cancers is Her2 a biomarker for?
What type of cancer is Braf a biomarker for?
How do cancer cells appear?
-show cellular and nuclear pleomorphism
-marked variation in shape and size
-mitosis present and often abnormal
What is tumour growth a balance between?
-cell growth and death
How does angiogenesis benefit the spread of cancer?
-New blood vessels are formed by tumours
-They are required to sustain cell growth
-They provide a route for release of tumour cells into circulation
-More blood vessels in a tumour equals poorer prognosis.
What is apoptosis?
programmed cell death
What is the role of apoptosis in cancer
-regulates tumour growth
-involved in response to chemo/radiotherapy
What does the prognosis of cancer depend on?
the extent of cancer spread
What is a major clinical problem of cancer?
the formation of metastatic tumours
What does invasion and metastasis result in?
-increased matrix degradation by proteolytic enzymes
-altered cell-to-cell and cell-to=matrix adhesion
What are the modes of spread of cancer?
Describe the process of tumours cells spreading to show clinical evidence of metastasis.
-invasion into connective tissue
-invasion into lymph/blood vessels
-adherence of tumour cells to lymph vessels
-invasion from lymphatics
-invasion into lymph node
-formation of metastasis in lymph node
-clinical evidence of metastasis
What is trans-coelomic spread?
Spread of tumour cells across body cavities e.g. pleural or peritoneal cavities
Tumours of what organs show trans-coelomic spread?
What is tumour metastasis dependent on?
Tumour and tissue related factors
What are the common sites of metastasis?
-bone (axial skeleton)
What are uncommon sites of metastasis?
Where do breast tissue commonly metastasise to?