Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332



Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem

Radiation and chemotherapy drugs preferentially kill cells that divide frequently, most notably cancer cells. These cancer treatments also cause hair to fall out. Why?

Summary Introduction

To explain: Why the cancer treatments cause hair to fall out.

Concept introduction: Cancer is a state where the cells grow wildly and uninhibitedly. Every cell must perform its assigned function and undergo death at a particular stage. Cancer cells arise when the normal cells refuse to undergo apoptosis (cell death) and multiply indefinitely by disrupting the task performed by other cells in the body. Cancer cells are formed in our body when the proto-oncogenes get activated and the tumor suppressor genes get inactivated. Cancer cells do not get inherited to the progenies, as they occur in the somatic cells. The cancer drugs like radiation and chemotherapy drugs can kill the cancer cells and cause a lot of hair loss.


All the cells undergo cell-cycle process. The radiation and chemotherapy drugs aim at rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells.

The influence of radiation and chemotherapy drugs on cell cycle results in strand breaks in the DNA. In order to reverse the DNA damage, cell cycle checkpoint mechanisms are initiated with two proteins ATM and ATR, which identify the strand damages. ATR induces a protein p53 that induces another protein p21 which inhibits the G1/S transition Cyclin CDK...

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