Question: Can blank stem cells replace cancer cells and in effect, cure cancer?

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  1. This is a very good idea, which is why people are working on it. Big science – you should go into this area.

    Two problems:

    1) You need to convince the stem cell to become the right kind of cell. If you have cancer in your knee, the stem cell needs to make knee cells, rather than head cells. That’s possible, but still difficult. We have quite crude means to do that right now on isolated samples of cells.
    2) You need to get rid of the cancer. Cancer cells divide fast. They’d still do that if the stem cells were there, so to give the stem cells a fighting chance you kill the cancer. That’s not so easy. What we do at the moment is remove a tumour with surgery, then blast the area with radiation, and we then take medicines. This combination can remove a lot of cancers completely. Some cancers are more difficult to remove. If you can remove the cancer, and if the radiation and medicine works, then the body can repair itself anyway. But maybe we can use stem cells to make more of the body’s tissues more quickly to act as a better way of repairing itself.

    Cutting-edge science that’s changing all the time.


  2. Hi, not sure quite what you mean, but I’ll give you an answer and hope that it’s the right one 🙂

    There are stem cells in everyone’s body which can produce many different types of cell. Stem cells have the potential to be used for healing wounds, curing some diseases and replacing damaged cells.

    A cancer cells is a damaged cell. A change has occurred in the DNA which means that it lives when it is not supposed to, and creates many copies of itself. If you had cancer in your lung, then obviously you would want to get rid of it. I don’t know how stem cells could help you out though. You need to be able to get rid of all the cancer cells so that they don’t spread or do damage to your body. So stem cells might help if you could just take out the whole lung then grow a new one.

    Stem cells would be easier to use for a blood cancer. If you could find an undamaged stem cell that was capable of making all the different types of blood cell, then you could take it out and hold onto it. You could do radiation treatment to kill off all the old blood cells, and hopefully the cancer, then put your blood stem cell back in and help it to make all new blood cells.

    Whatever type of cancer it is, you have to get rid of all the cancer cells to be able to cure it. Stem cells could help after the cancer has been killed off, but I don’t think they could cure cancer on their own.



  1. If you’re interested in finding out more about stem cells, check out the TechNyou website for more information: