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'Cell of origin' thought to trigger EVERY type of cancer and allow the disease to spread is discovered by scientists


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Oct 15, 2012

Tests found the cell to blame cheats death and breaks out of a zombie-like state

•Salford University researchers found they then run amok to create a tumour
•They described their finding as being like spotting a 'needle in a haystack'

But the findings, hoped to rewrite medical textbooks on the growth of cancer, could be a blow to existing treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Professor Michael Lisanti, study author, said: 'We may have to press the reset button on how we treat cancer with drugs.'

He added: 'Scientists talk about cancer being caused by dying cells coming back to life, so-called 'zombie-cells'.

'We now see it is more dramatic than that. In fact, it could be more accurately described as a prison break.

'In other words, this origin cell breaks out of line and runs amok, multiplying malignant cells and creating a tumour.'

He warned some chemotherapy can encourage stem cells to proliferate more, which may aid the growth of tumours.

The scientists used fluorescent markers to isolate the most energetic cells taken from the samples in the laboratory.

A tiny proportion of the cells - now branded energetic cancer stem cells (eCSC) - had much more energy than the others.

They also had more 'stemness' - capability of creating a tumour - and high levels of proliferation - rapid increase in numbers

Mar 31, 2010
Interestingly, CDKN1A (p21 WAF), which is a CDK-inhibitor and senescence marker, is highly up-regulated by 17.22-fold in e-CSCs. This finding is consistent with the idea that CSCs originate from senescent cells (37–40).

However, e-CSCs are hyper-proliferative, so they must have successfully escaped from senescence. We speculate that this may have occurred through the over-expression of anti-oxidant enzymes or the over-production of NADH/NADPH.

It has long remained a mystery, what is the exact nature of the cancer cell of origin (51–55). While this still remains a mystery, we would like to speculate that our current findings, which are based on functional and operational definitions, will help to provide an additional practical framework for studying CSCs, more from a proliferative and energetic perspective.