Short films about the Cancer Cell

Here we show four of what will be a series of eight filmed scenes where the audience meets the cancer cell in person. Each scene illustrates one or more characteristics of the cancer cell as described by cancer researchers Weinberg and Hanahan, 2011.

The cancer cell works in the Corporate Body and is most likely the “World’s Worst Colleague”. In these films we follow the cancer cell’s career from the initial sign of megalomania to a full-blown metastasizing tumour. A cancer cell manipulates, deceives and exploits normal cells in the body using methods one would think required a brain to come up with. That implies dressing up by expressing proteins on the surface of the cell that make normal cells confuse the cancer cell for another. It involves pretending to be a damaged cell and therefore receive help from the immune system. It includes instructing tissues in organs far away to welcome a migrating cancer cell. The cell has changed its personality from a normal, collectively oriented cell to become a selfish asshole. The cancer cell is a sociopath of the body.

The cancer scientist introduces: Why do you need to know how a cancer cell thinks?


Normal cells require growth signals from their surrounding in order to move into an active proliferative state. Cancer cells are self-sufficient and do not depend on such signals to grow.


Oxygen and nutrients supplied by blood vessels are necessary for survival of all types of cells. Cancer cells have the ability to recruit blood vessels to secure continuous supply of food, blood vessels they don’t even use effectively.


 Cancer cells have the ability to escape surveillance by the immune system by hiding their questionable characteristics.


During tumour development, some cancer cells acquire the ability to leave the primary tumour mass, invade their surrounding and take up space. Some of them may even travel to distant sites via blood or lymph vessels where they might succeed in forming new colonies.

Weinberg and Hanahan, 2011

So far we have covered the following of Weinberg and Hanahans Hallmarks in our films:                                                   

  • Sustaining proliferative signaling
  • Inducing Angiogenesis
  • Avoiding immune destruction
  • Activating invasion and metastasis

We are looking for funding to make four more films to cover the remaining hallamarks.

  • Resisting cell death
  • Evading growth suppressors
  • Genome instability and mutation
  • Deregulating cellular energetics
  • Enabling replicative immortality
  • Tumour promoting inflammation

The script and actors are ready, all we need is financing.