Medical Dictionary: Contact inhibition


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Contact inhibition: Cell property where they tend to grow only until they meet other cells
Introduction: Normal cells will stop growing when they start to touch other cells and have filled up an area. This is called "contact inhibition" of cells. The main area of interest in this property is that cancer cells do not stop growing when they reach other cells, but will either push these cells, or penetrate into the cell area. Hence, lack of contact inhibition causes tumors to continue growing even when they press on other organs (causing damage or other problems), and also promotes metastasis of the cancer cells.
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