Much to the dismay of patients and physicians, cancer stem cells — tiny powerhouses that generate and maintain tumor growth in many types of cancers — are relatively resistant to the ionizing radiation often used as therapy for these conditions. Part of the reason, say researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, is the presence of a protective pathway meant to shield normal stem cells from DNA damage. When the researchers blocked this pathway, the cells became more susceptible to radiation.
“Our ultimate goal is to come up with a therapy that knocks out the cancer stem cells,” said Robert
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Dalhousie Medical School cancer researcher Dr. Patrick Lee has proven that a common virus can infect and kill breast cancer stem cells. This breakthrough finding is published in the current issue of Molecular Therapy, the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy.
It is only within the past few years that the scientific community has understood the full significance of cancer stem cells and the urgent need to find a means of eliminating them.
“Cancer stem cells are essentially mother cells,” explains Dr. Lee, Cameron Chair in Basic Cancer Research at Dalhousie Medical School. “They continuously produce new
Making a breakthrough in the battle against breast cancer, scientists have used a combination of drugs to target cancer stem cells that cause the disease to spread.
Current treatments kill only the surface cells in a breast tumour, but scientists now say they can destroy the root, the Mirror reported.
They hope that the findings, revealed ahead of World Cancer Day, can be used to help women with advanced and aggressive cancers. Targeting cancer stem cells takes us a step closer to better clinical options for those with the disease, said Dr Rob Clarke, of Manchester University.
Madison, Wisconsin – More than a decade of laboratory research at the University of Wisconsin has proven that a single chemical compound may both detect and treat malignant tumors and certain cancer stem cells.
In three posters presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago, March 31-April 4, UW-Madison researchers describe exciting advances involving CLR1404, described as a “diapeutic” agent that can both image and destroy a wide range of malignant tumors and the one type of cancer stem cells examined so far.
The presentations are based on basic research in the lab of
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British team pioneers reconstruction technique using enriched tissue
A remarkable reconstruction technique is being trialled by British surgeons, who are harvesting stem-cell-enriched fat from women’s bodies to plug the dip often left by breast cancer operations.
The procedure appears to restore the softness and suppleness of breast tissues, undoing the damage frequently caused by lumpectomy and radiotherapy. Early signs indicate that it also eases the considerable pain with which patients are often left after treatment.
More than 31,000 women a year in Britain with early-stage breast cancer undergo operations in which just the lump and a healthy margin of tissue