Friday, March 16, 2007

LifeFacts: Some cancers happen when stem cells go haywire - U of M researchers make significant find

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are the first to identify the stem cells that fuel the growth in pancreatic tumors. This is huge because pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly of cancers with the worst survival rate. By identifying these particular stem cells, drugs can be developed to effectively aim and kill these tumor forming cells. Currently cancer treatments fail because they are designed to shrink the tumor by killing as many cells as possible, but may miss the cancer stem cells responsible. This small sub population of cancer cells can not only copy themselves, but can live longer than ordinary cells. To date, when embryonic stem cells have been transplanted in laboratory animal tests, they also go haywire and cause tumors.

For more information about this research, visit this site.