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Bone cancer, SEM

Bone cancer, SEM

M132/0775

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bone cancer. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a cancerous osteoclast cell on the surface of a bone. Osteoclasts are large, multi- nucleated cells that form from the fusion of several macrophage cells in bone. Osteoclasts move by extending cellular processes. They are normally present in bones to absorb and remove unwanted bone tissue during normal bone regeneration. However, osteoclasts may become cancerous causing an osteoclastoma or giant cell tumour, a type of bone cancer that usually affects the ends of the long bones. Treatment is by surgical removal and the use of liquid nitrogen to kill remaining cells.

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