Researchers have been successful in developing a new tool that enlightens the link between stem cells and cancer. They have been able to separate human prostate tissue that takes out the stem cells in the tissue, and then those cells are modified genetically, so that they incite cancer.
Many tissues have a number of stem cells that can replenish the tissue when it’s smashed or when changes take place. Stem cells in the skin make new cells to replace the cells damaged by the sun. stem cells present in the breast generate milk-producing cells when a woman is pregnant. Stem cells can self-renew themselves and these renewing stem cells are related with cancer.
"These cells have a huge capacity for self-renewal, and when the pathways that control self-renewal are augmented or changed, they can form tumors”, says Owen Witte, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Some scientists believe that only the tumor cells derived from stem cells throw in the growth of the tumor. The group is in the initial stages of putting the technique to use.
"Here you can preprogram the genetic buffet, and then evaluate a compound in the face of those specific changes. The field of cancer research has produced a significant number of major new targeted therapies. Now we have to understand how best to use those therapies", said Mr. Witte.
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