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Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
Date:8/13/2007

ls with high tumor-making and metastatic potential while the standard culture medium favors cells with low tumor-making potential. Although the two types are only slightly different, the cells behave completely differently after acquiring the same mutations.

Ince confirmed this behavioral difference by taking a single human breast tissue sample, splitting it in two and growing the cells in the two culture mediums, which select for different cells. Next, he transformed the two populations with the same tumor-initiating genes, injected them in mice and watched the result. The cells that were grown in the new culture medium were 10,000 times more potent as tumor initiators and were the only ones able to metastasize. Thus genes that were previously thought to only initiate tumors initiated metastasis, which is the main cause of cancer mortality in the clinic.

Tan has demonstrated that a critical determinant of eventual metastasis is the identity of the normal cell type that preexists in the breast and becomes the object of mutation and selection, Weinberg says.


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Contact: Alyssa Kneller
kneller@wi.mit.edu
617-258-6851
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

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