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Destroying abnormal stem cells could be a way to kill off bowel cancer in its very earliest stages, say UK experts.
Immature cells line the gut and normally replace and repair the tissue but malfunctions can lead to cancer.
Scientists believe detecting and obliterating these rogue cancer stem cells as soon as they appear could be a potent new anti-cancer strategy.
A UK National Stem Cell Network conference heard the same method might also work for other cancers.
Professor Malcolm Alison, of Barts and The London School of Medicine, has been looking at how bowel cancers grow
Scientists have found the first “conclusive evidence” of the existence of cancer stem cells in humans, in a discovery which could put an end to years of scientific controversy and pave the way for more effective cancer treatments which could attack the disease “at the root” (…)
The existence of cancer stem cells – mutated stem cells responsible for the development and growth of cancers – has been hypothesised for decades, and their existence in mice was established two years ago. Whether or not they are also responsible for the growth of cancers in humans has remained controversial (…)
The Jumonjd3 protein is a sort of nervous system regulator, allowing stem cells to become neural cells. Researchers from the IFOM-IEO Campus of the European Institute of Oncology (EIO) in Milan, whose studies were published in Plos One magazine discovered the regulator protein. The researchers explained that the protein is an enzyme capable of activating the stem cell genes necessary to differentiate a cell into a nervous system cell.
The result, underlined the scientists led by Giusepe Testa, “adds an important perspective to understanding the intricate mechanisms of stem cell function.” This protein could soon become “a target to improve