Eva Vertes on the Origins of Cancer
Teenager Eva Vertes has some of the best ideas on the future of cancer research. She observed what we knew back in the 1970’s that cancer is an evolutionary phenomenon that acts to repair damaged tissue and usually does not kill the host until an age where reproduction is finished. She extends that to an analysis of why the heart and skeleton muscle doesn’t get cancer and observes that microtumors are seen in skeletal muscle but the tumors cannot develop blood supplies to grow. Apparently, the amount of repair in muscle would cause everyone to get cancer all the time, so the body has had to evolve the handling of the cancer repair mechanisms to make it work properly in muscle, whereas in other parts of the body the repair mechansm goes hairwire and kills the host.
She concludes that in the future, cancer cells make be used as therapy which can repair the body if and when they can be controlled properly.