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Linheng Li proposes novel theory for mammalian stem cell regulation
Date:1/29/2010

e longevity of stem cells within organisms that have long life spans and large bodies.

The existence of two sub-populations of adult stem cells offers another advantage in the rapidly regenerating tissues in mammals by reducing the risk for mutations that cause tumors.

Intriguingly, cancers may utilize this same mechanism to maintain co-existing active-quiescent pools of stem cell sub-populations that support fast tumor growth (by active stem cells) while preserving the root of malignancy (by quiescent stem cells). This may explain the basis of drug resistance to cancer treatment.

"If this hypothesis is true, the critical question will be how to target quiescent drug-resistant cancer stem cells," said Dr. Li. "We will test this model in cancers in an effort to determine how to activate quiescent (drug-resistant) cancer stem cells for further targeting."


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Contact: Susan Weigel
slw@stowers.org
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Source:Eurekalert

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