December 4, 2009- Working with mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins publishing in the December issue of Neoplasia have shown that a protein made by a gene called “Twist” may be the proverbial red flag that can accurately distinguish stem cells that drive aggressive, metastatic breast cancer from other breast cancer cells.
Building on recent work suggesting that it is a relatively rare subgroup of stem cells in breast tumors that drives breast cancer, scientists have surmised that this subgroup of cells must have some very distinctive qualities and characteristics.
Stem 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
About five years ago, Professor Janet Sawicki at the Lankenau Institute in Pennsylvania read an article about nanoparticles developed by MIT’s Daniel Anderson and Robert Langer for gene therapy, the insertion of genes into living cells for the treatment of disease. Sawicki was working on treating ovarian cancer by delivering — through viruses — the gene for the diphtheria toxin, which kills tumor cells (…)
Image via Wikipedia
Scientists have developed a new tool that illuminates connections between stem cells and cancer.
Researchers have been successful in breaking apart human prostate tissue, extract the stem cells in the tissue, and alter those cells genetically so that they spur cancer.
Many tissues contain pools of stem cells that replenish the tissue when it’s damaged or when changes take place. For example, stem cells in the skin produce new cells to replace those irreparably damaged by the sun, and stem cells in the breast create milk-producing cells when a woman is pregnant.
A characteristic of these stem cells is that
The drug metformin, a mainstay of diabetes care for 15 years, may have a new life as a cancer treatment, researchers said.
In a study in mice, low doses of the drug, combined with a widely used chemotherapy called doxorubicin, shrank breast-cancer tumors and prevented their recurrence more effectively than chemotherapy alone.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that metformin, marketed as Glugophase by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and available in generic versions, could be a potent antitumor medicine.
They also lend support to an emerging theory that cancer’s ability to survive and resist therapy is regulated by cancer stem