Cancer stem cells caught
06.08.2012 - Belgian and UK researchers have for the first time tracked the existence of cancer stem cells in vivo. The study provides another piece of evidence that cancer stem cells are drivers of tumour recurrence.
The study published in Nature demonstrates for the first time the existence of cancer stem cells during unperturbed solid tumour growth. The team led by Cédric Blanpain from Université libre de Bruxelles found specific subsets of cells in mouse tumours that seem to be responsible for the re-growth of tumours. These findings shed new light on the controversial issue of whether cancer stem cells exist in growing tumours and may have implications for potential therapies.
Cancer stem cells are proposed to be responsible for tumour recurrence after anti-cancer treatments fail. However, evidence for cancer stem cells in solid tumours remained unproven so far. Blanpain and co-workers tracked tumour progression in mouse model of skin cancer and observe a persistent subpopulation of tumour cells with stem-like properties. There are two more groups publishing in parallel on their tracking success of cancer stem cells in Nature and Science.