ITALY – Role of Stem Cells in Thyroid Tumors Discovered

(Stem Cells News image)

carla giordanoStem cells could be responsible for some forms of aggressive thyroid tumors (ATC, anaplastic thyroid carcinoma). The discovery was made by a young group of biotechnologists, biologists, and doctors from the Endocrinology department of the General Hospital of the University of Palermo. In the study, published in Plos One, the researchers described a subset of tumor stem cells that were able to proliferate continuously and may be responsible for uncontrolled tumor growth. These cells are resistant to chemotherapy and explain why ATC is so highly fatal in such a short period of time. The authors of the study also discovered which specific markers thyroid stem cells express. With these observations it will soon be possible to identify tumors and target them in new therapeutic approaches. Carla Giordano, the head of the Molecular Endocrinology lab where the study was conducted said, “This discovery creates possibilities for treating not only anaplastic thyroid tumors, but also neoplastic thyroid tumors considered incurable due to their resistance to conventional therapies.”

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