Ovarian cancer stem cells identified, characterized

April 17, 2008

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified, characterized and cloned ovarian cancer stem cells and have shown that these stem cells may be the source of ovarian cancer’s recurrence and its resistance to chemotherapy.

“These results bring us closer to more effective and targeted treatment for epithelial ovarian cancer, one of the most lethal forms of cancer,” said Gil Mor, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine.

Mor presented his findings recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting in San Diego, California.

Cancerous tumors are made up of cells that are both cancerous and non-cancerous. Within cancerous cells, there is a further subclass referred to as cancer stem cells, which can replicate indefinitely.

“Present chemotherapy modalities eliminate the bulk of the tumor cells, but cannot eliminate a core of these cancer stem cells that have a high capacity for renewal,” said Mor, who is also a member of the Yale Cancer Center. “Identification of these cells, as we have done here, is the first step in the development of therapeutic modalities.”

Mor and colleagues isolated cells from 80 human samples of either peritoneal fluid or solid tumors. The cancer stem cells that were identified were positive for traditional cancer stem cell markers including CD44 and MyD88. These cells also showed a high capacity for repair and self-renewal.

The isolated cells formed tumors 100 percent of the time. Within those tumors, 10 percent of the cells were positive for cancer stem cell marker CD44, while 90 percent were CD44 negative.

Mor and his team were able to isolate and clone the ovarian cancer stem cells. They found that these cells were highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy while the non-cancer stem cells responded to treatment. “Isolating and cloning these cells will lead to development of new treatments to target and eliminate the cancer stem cells and hopefully prevent recurrence,” said Mor.

Source: Yale University

Explore further: Drug suppresses spread of breast cancer caused by stem-like cells

Related Stories

Drug suppresses spread of breast cancer caused by stem-like cells

December 12, 2017
Rare stem-like tumor cells play a critical role in the spread of breast cancer, but a vulnerability in the pathway that powers them offers a strategy to target these cells using existing drugs before metastatic disease occurs, ...

PUMA pathway is a weak link in breast cancer metastasis

December 11, 2017
Substantial advancements have improved the success of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical treatments for primary breast cancers. However, breast cancer that has spread, or metastasized, to other parts of the body remains ...

Researchers identify epigenetic orchestrator of pancreatic cancer cells

December 11, 2017
Genentech researchers have identified an enzyme that shifts pancreatic cancer cells to a more aggressive, drug-resistant state by epigenetically modifying the cells' chromatin. The study, which will be published December ...

Using software, researchers predict tumor markers that could be immune targets

December 11, 2017
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists have developed a software program that can accurately predict which tumor-specific markers will show up on the surface of leukemia cells in patients ...

Novel harvesting method rapidly produces superior stem cells for transplantation

December 7, 2017
A new method of harvesting stem cells for bone marrow transplantation - developed by a team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute - appears to accomplish ...

Study explores use of checkpoint inhibitors after relapse from donor stem cell transplant

December 10, 2017
Immunotherapy agents known as checkpoint inhibitors have shown considerable promise in patients with hematologic cancers who relapse after a transplant with donor stem cells. Preliminary results from the first clinical trial ...

Recommended for you

'Bet hedging' explains the efficacy of many combination cancer therapies

December 14, 2017
The efficacy of many FDA-approved cancer drug combinations is not due to synergistic interactions between drugs, but rather to a form of "bet hedging," according to a new study published by Harvard Medical School researchers ...

Scientists unlock structure of mTOR, a key cancer cell signaling protein

December 14, 2017
Researchers in the Sloan Kettering Institute have solved the structure of an important signaling molecule in cancer cells. They used a new technology called cryo-EM to visualize the structure in three dimensions. The detailed ...

Liquid biopsy results differed substantially between two providers

December 14, 2017
Two Johns Hopkins prostate cancer researchers found significant disparities when they submitted identical patient samples to two different commercial liquid biopsy providers. Liquid biopsy is a new and noninvasive alternative ...

Testing the accuracy of FDA-approved and lab-developed cancer genetics tests

December 14, 2017
Cancer molecular testing can drive clinical decision making and help a clinician determine if a patient is a good candidate for a targeted therapeutic drug. Clinical tests for common cancer causing-mutations in the genes ...

Newest data links inflammation to chemo-brain

December 14, 2017
Inflammation in the blood plays a key role in "chemo-brain," according to a published pilot study that provides evidence for what scientists have long believed.

One in five young colon cancer patients have genetic link

December 13, 2017
As doctors grapple with increasing rates of colorectal cancers in young people, new research from the University of Michigan may offer some insight into how the disease developed and how to prevent further cancers. Researchers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.