A boost by new clinical data from a study in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, AML, has been given by the cancer stem cell hypothesis.
Researchers from Stanford University, who say the clinical implications are ‘huge’, reported the findings.
According to the cancer stem cell theory, a small group of hardy, self-renewing cells, causes and maintains cancer and cure will take place by only eradication of this cell population.
From transplantation assays in immunodeficient mice, the strongest support for this theory has come; the researchers commented that, "Self-renewing leukemic stem cells drives the human AML."
New clinical data that support the hypothesis is reported by them now.
The medical records of 1047 patients with AML were studied by Andrew Gentles, PhD, and colleagues from Stanford University School of Medicine in California.
Worse outcomes than the other patients are experienced by patients with AML who had higher activity of certain genes associated with leukemic stem cells.
Dr Gentles said, "The stronger the leukemic stem cell signal, the worse the patients did. Their lives were shorter, they relapsed sooner, and they were less able to respond to therapy."