Cancer: Rogue Cells

This animation describes how cancer grows within the body and how different factors can lead to cancer development.

In this film Professor Sir Mike Stratton (director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) describes how mutations in DNA can cause a cell to grow out of control and develop into a cancerous tumour.  

The human body has about 100 million, million cells and usually those cells behave in a very ordered fashion. They divide only when they are told to divide and remain inactive when told to remain inactive. Cancer occurs when a single cell behaves in a different way due to a mutation in its DNA. As a result, it carries on growing and dividing unchecked, forming a clump of cells or tumour. If allowed to progress, these cells may move into the bloodstream when they can spread to other areas of the body.

The Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is part of an international project using DNA sequencing to identify mutations in genes critical to the development of human cancers.

This page was last updated on 2015-01-14