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No. 16: Summer 1981

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How Do Cancers Attract A Supporting Cast

The ability of a cancer cell to grow depends upon getting a good supply of blood from its host's capillary system. Cancer cells, always insidious, seem to be able to con its host's body into constructing a special system of capillaries just to support tumor growth. First, the cancer sends out a chemical signal that attracts the host's mast cells. As the mast cells work their ways to the cancer, they apparently leave a heparinlined tunnel for the capillary cells to follow. Before long, the body has provided the blood supply the cancer needs to grow and possibly, eventually kill the host.

(Gunby, Phil; "How Do Cancers Attract a Supporting Cast?" American Medical Association, Journal, 245:1994, 1981.)

Comment. In view of all of Nature's marvelous adaptations, why hasn't the body evolved a counter strategy to foil cancer sabotage?

Reference. Many more anomalous features of cancer can be found at BHH23-35 in our Catalog: Biological Anomalies: Humans II. Details on this book here.

From Science Frontiers #16, Summer 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987