Features of Malignant Cells
Malignant cells show the following features:
i. Once cells become malignant, they stop functioning normally and add to the burden on the body by competing with the normal cells for space and nutrition.
ii. The more “undifferentiated” a cell is, the lesser its functionality and more its malignant nature.
iii. They undergo rapid and uncontrolled division.
iv. They lose their homing instinct and start invading the basement membrane and enter the vasculature to spread to dissimilar tissues, leading to metastasis and spread of cancer.
It has been postulated that the immune system is responsible in part for the protection of the body against the development of malignancies. At the same time, the prevalence of numer-ous cancers in immunocompetent individuals indicates that immune system has only a partial role in protecting against malignancies and also that it is not very efficient at it.