Cancer News Network

Cancer Awareness , Developments in Cancer Research and News on Cancer

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stem cells within tumors may fuel bowel cancer


Cancer Research UK – Researchers have found evidence that bowel cancer may be fuelled by the presence of stem cells within the tumors. The research could one day open up new paths to treatment.

Stem cells are the basic building blocks of life, providing a standard template which can then develop into hundreds of different types of cell that make up our bodies.
Two teams in Canada and Italy have now linked the growth of tumors to bowel cancer stem-cells, following similar findings for leukemia and breast and brain cancers. Both teams were able to isolate cells bearing the stem-cell marker protein CD133 from bowel cancer samples. These 'CD133+' cells could be transplanted into mice and initiate new cancers.

Cancer cells taken from the initial cancers that did not bear the CD133 marker were unable to start new cancers.

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