Breast cancer researchers isolate stem cell in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
May 9, 2011
New findings by University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, breast cancer scientists are paving the way for enhanced treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), according to News-Medical.net.
Patients with TNBC are very likely to experience cancer metastasis, which occurs when the tumor spreads to other organs and parts of the body. Thus, finding a way to characterize the method in which cancer spreads and finding a way to inhibit it is crucial for TNBC as well as other cancers.
Gary Johnson, the chair of pharmacology and senior author of the new findings, says that the new research is exceptional in its isolation of a specific cancer stem cell.
"We changed only one amino acid in normal tissue stem cells... While they maintained their self-renewal, these mutant stem cells had properties very similar to what people predict in cancer stem cells: they were highly mobile and highly invasive. No one has ever isolated a stem cell like that," said Johnson.
One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. More than 200,000 women were newly diagnosed in the year 2010 alone. As a means of prevention and screening, annual mammograms are recommended for all those over 40.