This group is an open forum to discuss cancer, research, prevention, causes and rehabilitation. Millions of humans are diagnosed with cancer every day. Research is absolutely crucial!
Recent activity in this group:
“What can a data rich biorepository add to your research?
FREE webinar from DaVita. 4/30, 2-3PM EST
“Stem Cell Alter Egos
Researchers show that cancer stem cells can exist in two distinct and interconvertible states.
TWO-FACED: The invasive edge of a tumor (left) harbors mesenchymal-like breast cancer stem cells (green), while the interior of the tumor (right) contains epithelial-like cancer stem cells (pink).
Cancer metastasis is thought to rely on tumor cells losing their polarity and their connections with neighbors, enabling them to migrate and invade other tissues—an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The reverse process—the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition—then allows cells to set up shop in a new tissue. Cancer stem cells can express genes associated with both pathways, but there have been conflicting findings about the relationship between stemness and these transitions.
Cancer biologist Max Wicha of the University of Michigan and colleagues showed that breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) in the same tumor can exist in both states. They found invasive, mesenchymal-like BCSCs at the edges of tumors, while proliferative, epithelial-like BCSCs were localized toward tumors’ interiors. The researchers also demonstrated that the two states are interconvertible, and they suggested that this plasticity might be required for metastasis.
Although breast cancer subtypes are treated differently in the clinic, “the stem cells have much more in common than we thought,” Wicha says. “As we develop therapies that can target cancer stem cells, they may be useful in [multiple] forms of breast cancer.”
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