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How Cancer Stem Cells Drive the Tumour to Metastasis Stage and Beyond

A tumour is a collection of harmful cancer cells in a particular region of the body. If the cancer is diagnosed in the initial stages, the tumour can be removed through surgery. But after the process of Metastasis commences, Cancer is incurable. In this process, the cancer cells spread to new locations of the body through the blood stream. Though advanced treatment techniques like Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy are available, Cancer is found to reappear in treated patients sometimes. A research study carried out at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University, has now an answer to this issue. This article tries to gain further insight into the findings of this research on cancer tumour.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • A Cancer tumour is a collection of different types of cancer cells with different destructive functionalities.
  • The tumour contains special types of cells immune to even chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • These cells are known as Cancer stem cells and are responsible for the growth and driving of the disease from initial stage to metastasis.
  • Cancer stem cells are like normal stem cells.
  • They have the ability to divide and replicate themselves.
  • They also can get transformed to different types of destructive cancer cells.
  • Available cancer treatment techniques, can kill all the types of cancer cells, but not the Cancer stem cells.
  • It was earlier believed that these cancer stem cells were very small in number because of their special role of driving the cancer cells in tumour.
  • But the study revealed that the number of these stem cells increase proportionally as the nature of the tumour gets more and more aggressive.
  • The exclusive study on these Cancer stem cells took time to gain momentum in laboratory because it was difficult to spot and separate them from the rest.
  • In February 2010, scientists at the Cancer Research Center in Oxford, discovered a novel method of obtaining these cancer stem cells in large number for laboratory study.
  • The focus of the research is now on developing anti cancer stem cells drugs.
  • Development of such a drug will not only cure cancer but also ensure no recurrence of this dreadful disease in future.

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