Research Succeeds In Isolating Cancer ‘Stem Cells’

Published on Friday, 04 January 2013 by Webmaster

Research Succeeds In Isolating Cancer ‘Stem Cells’
One of the more recent breakthroughs in cancer research has been the understanding that not all cancerous cells have the same reproductive capability. In fact, some cells are designed to “fuel” the disease. These cells are called cancer stem-cells, and a new research done at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel has succeeded in isolating them – and destroying them.

The researchers focused on isolating cancer stem cells that lead to the growth of Wilms' tumors, a type of cancer typically found in the kidneys of young children. The researchers used these cancer stem cells to test a new therapeutic approach that one day might be used to treat some of the more aggressive types of this disease. The results were published on EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Wilms' tumors are the most prevalent type of tumor found in the kidneys of children. While many patients respond well if the tumors are removed early by surgery and if patients are given chemotherapy, recurrences may occur and the cancer can spread to other tissues, increasing the risks for the patient's health. Conventional chemotherapy is toxic to all cells in the body and if given to children may lead to the development of secondary cancers when they become adults, the researchers explain. For this reason, targeted treatment is much sought-after, and identifying specific cells is of paramount importance.

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