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  • Despite advances in medicine,

    儘管醫療發達,

  • cancer remains one of the most frightening diagnoses patients can receive.

    癌症依然是病患最害怕被診斷出來的病症之一。

  • What makes it so difficult to cure is that it's not one illness,

    會這麼難以治療的原因,是因為癌症不只包含一種疾病,

  • but a family of over 100 diseases occurring in different types of cells.

    而是超過100種病症出現在不同的細胞裡。

  • And one type of cancer has the unfortunate distinction

    有一種癌症,相較於其他種類的疾病,

  • of afflicting children more than any other type.

    更讓幼小孩童感到折磨、痛苦。

  • This is leukemia,

    這就是所謂的白血病。

  • a cancer that begins in stem cells found in the bone marrow.

    這種癌症發源於骨髓中的幹細胞。

  • A stem cell is a bit like an infant,

    幹細胞有如嬰兒一般,

  • undeveloped but possessing great potential.

    未被開發但擁有強大的潛力。

  • Many stem cells specialize and become cells of organs,

    許多幹細胞專化成為器官的細胞,

  • like the liver, brain and heart.

    例如肺臟、大腦以及心臟。

  • But in some tissues,

    但在一些組織中,

  • they can continue to divide into new stem cells throughout development,

    他們可以在整個發展過程中持續分裂成新的幹細胞,

  • and into adulthood in order to frequently generate new cells

    並且進入成長期,為了頻繁生殖新的細胞,

  • and keep up with the body's needs.

    以及維持身體所需。

  • One example is the bone marrow,

    其中一個例子就是骨髓,

  • where stem cells differentiate into many types of blood cells.

    幹細胞分化成不同種類血球的地方。

  • That includes red blood cells,

    包含了紅血球,

  • which carry oxygen from the lungs to all tissues,

    從肺部運送氧氣到各個身體組織。

  • platelets, which help stop bleeding by sticking to damaged blood vessels,

    血小板,透過黏合受損血管的地方來止血。

  • and white blood cells,

    另一個是白血球,

  • which patrol the body, destroying potentially harmful invaders.

    到處在體內巡邏,消滅潛在的有害侵入者。

  • Every once in a while,

    每過一段時間,

  • something goes wrong during a stem cell's specialization process

    幹細胞特化過程出現問題,

  • and harmful mutations occur in the cell's DNA.

    細胞中的DNA發生有害的突變。

  • Cells with compromised DNA are supposed to self-destruct,

    DNA受到危急的細胞照常理會自我毀滅,

  • but some damaged cells ignore this order,

    但一些受損的細胞跳過這個程序,

  • replicating uncontrollably, even as they lose their original function.

    不受控制的複製,即便已經沒有原先的機能。

  • These are what we know as cancer cells.

    這就是我們所謂的癌細胞。

  • It is not yet clear why leukemia is the most common childhood cancer,

    我們還不清楚為什麼白血病多發生在孩童身上,

  • but one contributing factor may be

    但其中一個可能因素是

  • that leukemias are often caused by just one or two DNA modifications,

    通常一兩個DNA變異便會造成白血病,

  • while most cancers require many of them,

    而其他癌症則需要更多的DNA變異,

  • allowing leukemias to arise faster than other types of cancer.

    相較於其他癌症,這使白血病擴散更迅速。

  • Moreover, some DNA alterations can occur in white blood cells

    此外,白血球中的DNA變異

  • during fetal development,

    最早有可能發生在胚胎生長時期,

  • further increasing the risk of early leukemia.

    這更增加早期罹患白血病的風險。

  • But though it affects more children than any other cancer,

    雖然白血病比起其他癌症對孩童的影響更多,

  • adults constitute the majority of leukemia patients overall.

    成人罹患白血病依舊是占大多數。

  • Once leukemia strikes, the damaged cells reproduce in the blood and the bone marrow

    一旦病發,受損的細胞在血液及骨髓中繁殖,

  • until they take up all available space and resources.

    並且佔領所有空間和資源。

  • When the bone marrow can no longer produce

    當骨髓無法製造

  • the required amount of functional cells,

    人體所需的機能細胞,

  • the blood becomes depleted.

    血液開始衰竭。

  • The lack of red blood cells

    缺少紅血球,

  • means that muscles don't get enough oxygen,

    表示肌肉無法獲得充足的氧氣,

  • the reduced number of platelets is not sufficient to repair wounds,

    血小板數量銳減將無法有效修復傷口,

  • and the dearth of functional white blood cells impairs the immune system,

    功能性白血球的減少,削弱了免疫系統,

  • increasing the risk of infections.

    增加感染的風險。

  • To restore the normal function of the blood,

    為了儲存正常機能的血液,

  • leukemic cells have to be eliminated.

    白血病的細胞必須被消滅。

  • But because leukemias are not solid tumors,

    但是白血病不是腫瘤,

  • they can't be removed surgically.

    無法透過手術移除,

  • Instead, the cells are killed inside the body using various treatments

    藉由使用不同的治療方式代替,讓身體內的細胞被消滅,

  • that include chemotherapy,

    其中包含了化療,

  • a combination of drugs that destroys quickly multiplying cells.

    使用不同種類的藥物迅速銷毀細胞繁殖的方式。

  • Unfortunately, this has the side effect of killing healthy cells,

    不幸的是,其副作用為健康細胞也無一倖免,

  • such as those found in hair follicles or intestines.

    例如頭髮毛囊或小腸。

  • And in some cases, the dosage required is so high

    在某些情況,需要高劑量

  • that it kills all cells in the bone marrow,

    殺死骨髓中的細胞,

  • including stem cells.

    包括幹細胞。

  • When this happens, the body is no longer able to create new blood cells on its own.

    在此情況下,身體不再能自行製造新的血球。

  • Fortunately, outside help can come in the form of stem cells

    好消息是,身體可以接受

  • from the bone marrow of a donor.

    捐贈者骨髓中的幹細胞。

  • Once transplanted into the patient,

    一旦移植到病患體內,

  • they rapidly repopulate the bone marrow and the blood.

    幹細胞迅速重新注入骨髓和血液。

  • However, bone marrow transplants are a complicated process

    然而,骨髓移植是個複雜的過程,

  • requiring antigen compatibility between the donor and recipient

    捐贈者和接受者雙方的抗原必須要一致,

  • to keep the transplanted cells from attacking the patient's own cells

    為了讓移植的細胞不會被患者自身的細胞

  • as foreign bodies.

    視為外來物而攻擊,

  • Unlike with blood transplants,

    和血液輸送不一樣。

  • there are thousands of HLA types,

    人類白細胞抗原(HLA)有上千種,

  • and even siblings and close relatives may not have compatible bone marrow.

    即便是兄弟姐妹或近親也無法有相同的骨髓。

  • If this is the case, the search is expanded to a database

    如果此事發生了,搜尋便擴大至整個資料庫,

  • containing the genetic makeup of millions of voluntary bone marrow donors.

    包含數以千萬自願骨髓捐贈者的基因配對。

  • The more potential donors there are,

    越多潛在的捐贈者,

  • the more patients lives can be saved through successful transplants.

    越多患者可以透過移植而成功存活下來。

  • Leukemia may be a frightening disease, but there is strength and hope in numbers.

    白血病雖然可怕,但背後依然有許多人給予力量和希望支持著。

Despite advances in medicine,

儘管醫療發達,

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B2 中高級 中文 TED-Ed 骨髓 細胞 幹細胞 癌症 捐贈

【TED-Ed】什麼是白血病? (What is leukemia? - Danilo Allegra and Dania Puggioni)

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    稲葉白兎 發佈於 2016 年 01 月 04 日
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