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Medicineworld.org: Developing Drug to Stop Cancer Recurrence

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Developing Drug to Stop Cancer Recurrence




After years of working toward this goal, researchers at the OU Cancer Institute have found a way to isolate cancer stem cells in tumors so they can target the cells and kill them, keeping cancer from returning.

A research team led by Courtney Houchen, M.D., and Shrikant Anant, Ph.D., discovered that a particular protein only appears in stem cells. Until now, scientists knew of proteins that appeared in both regular cancer cells and stem cells, but none that just identified a stem cell.

The group has already begun work to use the protein as a target for a new compound that once developed would kill the stem cells and kill the cancer. By targeting the stem cells, researchers and physicians also would be able to stop the cancer from returning.



Developing Drug to Stop Cancer Recurrence

Houchen and Anant are focusing on adult cancer stem cells because of the major role they play in the start of cancer, the growth of cancer, the spread of cancer and the return of cancer.

Current therapies generally do not target stem cells in tumors. This allows stem cells to wait until after chemotherapy or radiation therapys to begin dividing. Scientists believe these stem cells are often responsible for the return of cancer after therapy. The identification of the stem cell marker enables scientists to develop new therapeutics that can target these cells.

Adult stem cells work as essential building blocks in organs by replenishing dying cells and regenerating damaged tissues.

Scientists expect to have initial testing completed to begin the first phase of clinical trials within 5 years led by Russell Postier, M.D. The compound, if proved to be successful in human trials, is expected to be available to the public within 10 years.

A quarter of the funding for the cancer research comes from an $800,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health with remaining funds from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

NOTE: Unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and treatment is not controversial because the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
After years of working toward this goal, researchers at the OU Cancer Institute have found a way to isolate cancer stem cells in tumors so they can target the cells and kill them, keeping cancer from returning. A research team led by Courtney Houchen, M.D., and Shrikant Anant, Ph.D., discovered that a particular protein only appears in stem cells. Until now, scientists knew of proteins that appeared in both regular cancer cells and stem cells, but none that just identified a stem cell.

Medicineworld.org: Developing Drug to Stop Cancer Recurrence

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