Yale Scientists Isolate Specific Tumor Cells that Cause Cancer

January 4, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from Yale Cancer Center and other institutions are the first to demonstrate how distinct groups of cells from the same tumor are capable of forming tumors. Their findings, which appear January 1 in the journal Cancer Research, could impact the evaluation of patient therapy.

The research team, led by Marcus Bosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and associate professor of dermatology and pathology at Yale School of Medicine, generated new mouse models of to study differences between cells in the same tumor. Using stem cell markers, they were able to divide tumor cells into three distinct groups. One group of cells always formed tumors after injection of a single cell, a second sometimes formed tumors, and the third group of cells rarely formed tumors.

These results are the first to show high rates of following the injection of single purified cells. Until now, laboratories have attempted to purify cells capable of reforming tumors in mouse models but typically needed 100-100,000 purified cells, which slowed the analysis process.

“This is the only time a research group has been able to take individual cells from a cancer and determine that one will definitely form a tumor and the other will not,” Bosenberg said. “This detailed analyses will help us to develop more effective treatment options for our patients and may explain why some patients have a partial-response to treatment.”

The ability to purify the specific cancer-causing cells within a may allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of the molecular features that define tumor-forming capability and resistance to chemotherapy.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Poliovirus therapy induces immune responses against cancer

September 20, 2017
An investigational therapy using modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors appears to unleash the body's own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter's the ability of cancer cells ...

Scientists restore tumor-fighting structure to mutated breast cancer proteins

September 20, 2017
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have successfully determined the full architecture of the breast cancer susceptibility protein (BRCA1) for the first time. This three-dimensional information provides ...

Brain cancer growth halted by absence of protein, study finds

September 20, 2017
The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain's nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School ...

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.