Continuing Discovery of Cancer Stem Cells

Keeping pace with the identification of normal stem cell populations throughout the body, researchers are also isolating the errant stem cells that drive cancer. From EurekAlert!: scientists "have identified, characterized and cloned ovarian cancer stem cells and have shown that these stem cells may be the source of ovarian cancer's recurrence and its resistance to chemotherapy. ... These results bring us closer to more effective and targeted treatment for epithelial ovarian cancer, one of the most lethal forms of cancer ... Present chemotherapy modalities eliminate the bulk of the tumor cells, but cannot eliminate a core of these cancer stem cells that have a high capacity for renewal. Identification of these cells, as we have done here, is the first step in the development of therapeutic modalities." With a clear understanding of the biochemical differences that identify cancer stem cells, researchers can unleash the array of targeted therapies presently performing so well in the laboratory. The elimination of cancer as a threat of old age is very much underway.


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