Chapter five of Rigor Mortis talks about breast cancer and in vitro fertilization, and how some cells have been or could be contaminated and /or mislabeled. The information which surprised me the most about this chapter was the fact that a form of breast cancer cells labeled MDA-MB-435 actually was not breast cancer, but melanoma cancer; all meaning that the cell tissue which was thought to be breast cancer was actually misidentified. The author mentions “Over the years, hundreds upon hundreds of journal publications reported breast cancer experiments involving MDA-MB-435, as scientists hoped they were homing in on better treatments or even a cure. It turned out that MDA-MB-435 was an imposter.” The fact that hundreds of scientists who thought they were coming close to finding a cure for breast cancer and are now back at square one is unbelievable. The author also writes about how some scientists were testing out the gene patterns of cancer cells, and the MDA-MB-435 gene pattern matched the gene patterns of the melanoma cancer cells. “Further investigation has since revealed that the cells are nearly identical to another cell line in the NCI-60, a melanoma cell line called M-14. The NCI put up a note of caution to alert breast cancer researchers that the cell line appeared to be misidentified.” This is also surprising because in the book it said that scientists had been researching the NCI-60 breast cancer cell for many years and then they find out that all of their research may have been for nothing. I would be interested in learning more about breast cancer because many of my family and friends have or have had breast cancer and breast cancer runs very high in my family. Breast cancer is a scary disease because I never realized how many people get breast cancer, and how many people die from it this year. I was shocked when I found out that about 40,890 people are estimated to die from breast cancer this year. It would be nice to find a cure for breast cancer because one in eight women will get breast cancer in the lives. Breast cancer is too common and I hope a cure is found soon.
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