DAVID GRANOVSKY

STEM CELL THERAPIES TARGET OVARIAN CANCER

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

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“Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States get ovarian cancer. Among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death, after lung and bronchus, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, but it accounts for only about 3% of all cancers in women. When ovarian cancer is found in its early stages, treatment is most effective.†”

Ovarian cancer stem cell study puts targeted therapies within reach

“Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified a key link between stem cell factors that fuel ovarian cancer’s growth and patient prognosis.  Yingqun Huang, M.D. and her colleagues have demonstrated a connection between two concepts that are revolutionizing the way cancer is treated.

First, the “cancer stem cell” idea suggests that at the heart of every tumor there is a small subset of difficult-to-identify tumor cells that fuel the growth of the bulk of the tumor. This concept predicts that ordinary therapies typically kill the bulk of tumor cells while leaving a rich environment for continued growth of the stem cell tumor population.  The second concept defines a critical role for the tumor cells’ “microenvironment,” which is the special environment required for cancer cell growth and spread.  “Both concepts have particular relevance for the treatment of adult solid tumors such as ovarian cancer, which has been notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Ovarian cancer patients are plagued by recurrences of tumor cells that are resistant to chemotherapy, ultimately leading to uncontrolled cancer growth and death.”

Cell Cycle Vol. 12, Issue 1

Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2009 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2013. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.

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