WebMD On Cancer Stem Cells

WebMD gives an overview of some of the latest research into cancer stem cells: "Are most current cancer treatments -- as well as many in development -- aimed at eradicating the wrong cancer cells? That's the position of some leading researchers, who say that cancer is, fundamentally, a stem cell problem -- and that therapy should be targeted at so-called cancer stem cells. ... In the stem cell hypothesis, cancer is driven by specific cells that contain stem cell properties ... These cells then reproduce and replenish malignant tumors. Currently, most treatments target cancer cells, but not necessarily cancer stem cells ... While the treatment may shrink the tumor and keep it in check for a while, eventually, the untreated cancer stem cells proliferate into cancer cells, leading to a return of the tumor and death ... If the treatments targeted the cancer stem cells, however, the tumor would lose the ability to generate new cancer cells, eventually resulting in a cure." The article goes on to look at some specific demonstrations of errant stem cells and stem-like cells from recent months.

Link: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20070420/stem-cells-may-be-at-root-of-cancer?print=true

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