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Squamous Cell Carcinoma’s Cellular Origin is Discovered

It was already known to the researchers that the origin of squamous cell carcinoma is related to the hair follicles. However, the types of cells associated with this event were not known.

Now researchers from the UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have found that mother stem cells of the hair follicles are responsible for the origin of this cancer type. Interestingly, the progenitor cells of the follicles were not found to be related to the onset of this cancer.

The results of the study are published in the April 18th, 2011 online edition of the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Further insight on why the progenitor cells could not develop cancer can lead to the development of drugs to inhibit this type of cancer affecting multiple organs in the body.

The period of this study was four years and was funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, Johnson Cancer Center Foundation and other research agencies.

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