A cancerous tumor can grow and spread to other parts of the body if it is not identified early and treated. These tumors are difficult to control as they spread to other parts in unexpected ways.
Healthy cells mutate fairly frequently with each division. Unlike these normal cells, tumor cells tend to be identical within large tumors and mutate only at certain rare instances.
Now, scientists have created a high resolution simulation of how a tumor grows from a single cell into a complicated mass of variously mutated groups of cells.
The scientists from the University of Edinburgh, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University have found that that a single cell that gets away from the rest of the tumor can immediately take over as the primary tumor cell type.
The researchers said that this mechanism helps tumors become resistant to chemotherapy.
The results can help scientists focus on those cells that mutate and take over, attacking them early on and preventing further spread of cancer cells.
About Tumors: A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue which may be solid or fluid-filled. A tumor does not mean cancer - tumors can also be non cancerous or benign. There are several different types of tumors and their names usually reflect their shape and the kind of tissue they appear in.