There is no cure for cancer, however there are a lot of potential cures for certain types of cancer or for general cancer. We are a long way from developing a cure for cancer, but each day we get a little closer to that goal. The research section details the milestones in cancer research that we have already surpassed. However, here's a little look to the future!
Every time our cells divide, the DNA must be replicated, or copied. The two strands are pulled apart by enzymes and DNA polymerase catalyzes the addition of nucleotides to the exposed strands, producing two double-stranded DNA molecules at the end of process. However, every time the DNA is replicated, the ends of the DNA strands are not replicated. To prevent the loss of important information coded by the DNA, an evolutionary adaption is the presense of telomeres, repeating strings of TTAGGG at the ends of our chromosomes. Think of telomeres as the aglets, the little plastic piece on the end of shoelaces that keeps the twine from unraveling, for chromosomes. Eventually, the telomeres are all used up and then the cell dies. Embroyonic stem cells have an enzyme called telomerase which repeatedly lengthens the telomeres so that they never are completely used up. 80% of all cancer cells also telomerase, allowing for the cells to divide forever. A possible cure would be to destroy telomerase without destroying the cell so cancer cells would die, but the normal cells of the body would continue to live.
Researchers have also discovered that in order for cancer cells to spread to the rest of the body, through a process called angiogenesis, a new network of blood vessels are formed. Tumor angiogenesis is the proliferation of a network of blood vessels that penetrates into cancerous growths, supplying nutrients and expelling waste products. Without angiogenesis, tumor growth stops. Currently, almost two dozen different angiogenesis inhibitors are being tested on cancer patients to see if they will terminate the growht of the tumors.