Scientists identify new cancer stem cell mechanism

June 27, 2012

Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have uncovered a link between two genes which shows how stem cells could develop into cancer.

The research, published in the online journal , found a novel mechanism which could be the catalyst for changing into a tumour.

Dr Ahmad Waseem, a reader in oral dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London who led the research, said: "It was quite an unexpected discovery. We set out to investigate the role of the stem cell gene Keratin K15 which was thought to be a biomarker for normal stem cells.

"Through our research, we discovered there was link between K15 and the notorious cancer gene FOXM1. We found FOXM1 could target K15 to induce ."

Cancer develops when there is a problem with stem cells; the cells that carry out internal repairs throughout the human body. The loss of stem cell function leads to uncontrolled growth which ultimately develops into a tumour.

The team went through a process where they used extremely sensitive cell and molecular approaches to establish this link.

The study, funded by the Facial Surgery Research Foundation, Saving Faces, paves the way towards identifying new anti-cancer drugs which could be tailored towards cancer stem cells.

Consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon Professor Iain Hutchison, founder of Saving Faces and co-author on the study, said: "We are excited about this finding as it could lead to more effective being developed to target cancer stem cells and prevent ."

Explore further: Research gives hope to detecting cancer in early stages

More information: dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038599

Related Stories

Research gives hope to detecting cancer in early stages

March 26, 2012
Research from Queen Mary, University of London has uncovered the mechanism which causes normal cells to develop into cancer, giving hope in the fight against one of the UK's biggest killers.

Cancer stem cell vaccine in development shows antitumor effect

April 2, 2012
Scientists may have discovered a new paradigm for immunotherapy against cancer by priming antibodies and T cells with cancer stem cells, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association ...

Recommended for you

Researchers develop test that can diagnose two cancer types

December 12, 2017
A blood test using infrared spectroscopy can be used to diagnose two types of cancer, lymphoma and melanoma, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Atoh1, a potential Achilles' heel of Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma

December 12, 2017
Medulloblastoma is the most common type of solid brain tumor in children. Current treatments offer limited success and may leave patients with severe neurological side effects, including psychiatric disorders, growth retardation ...

Cancer-causing mutation suppresses immune system around tumours

December 12, 2017
Mutations in 'Ras' genes, which drive 25% of human cancers by causing tumour cells to grow, multiply and spread, can also protect cancer cells from the immune system, finds a new study from the Francis Crick Institute and ...

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, ...

MRI scans predict patients' ability to fight the spread of cancer

December 12, 2017
A simple, non-invasive procedure that can indicate how long patients with cancer that has spread to the brain might survive and whether they are likely to respond to immunotherapy has been developed by researchers in Liverpool.

Scientists discover possible master switch for programming cancer immunotherapy

December 11, 2017
During infection or tumor growth, a type of specialized white blood cells called CD8+ T cells rapidly multiply within the spleen and lymph nodes and acquire the ability to kill diseased cells. Some of these killer T cells ...

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.