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Title:Magic Eye: Karkinos emerging from the deep
Author(s):Schlein, Lisa J.
Abstract:According to Greek mythology, Karkinos the giant crab was crushed underfoot by Hercules during combat. As a reward for Karkinos’ valor, the goddess Hera immortalized him among the stars as the constellation we call Cancer—Latin for crab. Hippocrates chose “karkinos” to describe a disease in his patients. Perhaps this was because tumors physically resemble these crustaceans: hard in the center, sending elaborate finger-like cellular and vascular projections in all directions…analogous to the spindly limbs of a crab. Whatever his reason, the word “cancer” has remained in medical parlance for millennia. As a future veterinary pathologist and cancer researcher, I hope to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients, and in my current graduate work, I am evaluating a novel therapeutic for brain cancer (PAC-1). One day at the microscope, I came across this intricate array of blood vessels nourishing malignant cancer cells in a tumor from a dog. To me, the image is both terrifying and beautiful—the cells have many microscopic criteria of malignancy, yet they artfully unveil their history. If you look carefully, you will see that the fine, pink blood vessels outline the silhouette of a spotted crab, camouflaged amongst variably-sized, speckled stones.
Issue Date:2017
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Lisa J. Schlein
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-04-20

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