Eva Vertes looks to the future of medicine | Video on TED.com. This is a talk by a 19yr old who is trying to find a way to approach cancer in radically new ways. It had me returning to a future fiction story I started to write in the early-mid 90s, in which the capacity to develop cancerous cells had become a 'talent', because we had worked out how to manipulate cancer in desirable directions once it appeared. So, for instance, if you developed bowel cancer, you might direct this cancer into the capacity to digest certain substances in more efficient ways, or a brain cancer might allow for new sensory/thought processing capacities. Basically, the idea was that because cancer cells are versatile, we could use them as design tools.
In what Eva is saying here, cancer cells are perhaps initially part of a repair mechanism. So, perhaps we can fine tune this repair response, as she suggests, but towards new designs for bodily capacity.