Thursday, October 04, 2007

New research discovers stem cells that prompt cancer spread

Researchers have discovered that dangerous changes in cancer cells could be triggered by the body's own stem cells according to a report published by BBC News.

A Whitehead Institute team found human breast cancers in
mice are more likely to spread if mixed with stem cells from the bone

The latest research has linked the arrival of a particular type of "stem cell" to metatasis in breast cancer cells.

Mesenchymal stem cells are found in the bone marrow, and
are a "master cell" used by the body to help generate new bone, fat,
cartilage and muscle.

They were already a suspect in cancer spread after it was noticed that they naturally migrate in large numbers to tumour sites.

When the scientists mixed human breast cancer tumours in
mice with these cells, there was seven times more cancer spread to the
lungs compared with breast cancer tumours left to their own devices.

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