According to mainstream oncology thinking, cancer is purported to be a genetic disease (1) Since the genome is localized in the nucleus it is only natural to assume that we would cure a cancer cell by replacing its nucleus with a healthy nucleus.
Has anyone put this hypothesis to the test ?
The answer is yes, see blog.
The reasons why the malignant cell is not cured by a nuclear replacement are various and complex. Metabolism of the cytoplasm seems to play a huge role in that. This is why cancer is now also considered a metabolic disease and not a mere genetic disease.
There are also changes in the mitochondria of cancer cells, that will continue to drive the cells towards growth and division even after you replaced the nucleus.
Additionally some of the key changes during tumorigenesis are conveyed by epigenetic proteins that can reside in the cytoplasm and just occasionally translocate into the nucleus. Those proteins (e.g. HDACs) are often overexpressed in cancer and will still affect the cells after the replacement of the cell’s nucleus.The thing to understand here is that the nucleus and the genome are not the only things involved in the development of cancer. A recent study has shown that you can induce a very aggressive glioblastoma phenotype by inducing just 4 transcription factors that will alter the whole expression profile of the cell without causing a single mutation.