Navigation Links
Researchers reveal a chemo-resistant cancer stem cell as cancer's 'Achilles' heel'

Scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered a subpopulation of cells that display cancer stem cell properties and resistance to chemotherapy, and participate in tumor progression. This breakthrough could lead to the development of new tests for early cancer diagnosis, prognostic tests, and innovative therapeutic strategies, as reported in Cancer Cell.

Resistance to chemotherapy is a frequent and devastating phenomenon that occurs in cancer patients during certain treatments. Unfortunately, tumors that initially respond to chemotherapy eventually become resistant to it, contributing to tumor progression and death. The study reveals that these new cancer "stem" cells, which have not been differentiated into more specific cell types, are capable of multiplying despite being exposed to chemotherapy, while differentiated cells die.

Led by Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD, Chair of Pathology, and Josep Domingo-Domenech, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Mount Sinai, the research team generated cellular models of drug resistance by treating prostate tumor cell lines with increasing doses of the common chemotherapy drugs, including docetaxel. They identified a cell population expressing markers of embryonic development. In addition, these cells displayed cancer stem cell functions, including the capacity to initiate tumor cell growth. Next, the team evaluated human tissue samples of prostate cancer and found that patients with more aggressive or metastatic tumors had more of these cancer "stem" cells.

"This is the first time these so-called cancer stem cells of prostate have been identified as the basis for drug resistance and tumor progression, indicating that they are cancer's 'Achilles Heel,'" said Dr. Cordon-Cardo. "These findings are the culmination of more than six years of innovative research, which has led to the successful unveiling of cancer characteristics that are critical to understanding how the disease works and progresses."

The study also defines a new therapeutic strategy for patients with prostate cancer, consisting of a combination of standard chemotherapy and two pharmacological agents that inhibit key signaling pathways associated with embryonic development and cell differentiation. Results showed that chemotherapy eliminated differentiated tumor cells, whereas the signaling pathway inhibitors selectively depleted the cancer stem cell population. Some of these inhibitors are already in clinical trials, and some are FDA-approved.

"By targeting these newly identified cancer 'stem' cells, we are attacking the foundation of tumor growth, rather than treating the symptoms of it," said Dr. Domingo-Domenech. "The novel discovery of this cell population could lead to the development of new tests for early cancer diagnosis, prognostic tests, and innovative therapeutic strategies."

Ongoing studies suggest that this new cell type exist in other tumor types such as breast cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer. Dr. Cordon-Cardo's team is studying these disease areas to determine the presence and impact of these cancer cells.

Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Related biology news :

1. Researchers use banker plants to help battle whitefly pests
2. Researchers find first evidence for a genetic cause for Barretts oesophagus
3. CIRM funds 6 UC San Diego stem cell researchers
4. Rice University researchers optimize photoluminescent probes to study DNA and more
5. Researchers identify biochemical functions for most of the human genome
6. NIH-funded researchers restore sense of smell in mice using genetic technique
7. UCLA researchers discover missing link between stem cells and immune system
8. Researchers develop new, less expensive nanolithography technique
9. BUSM researchers find potential key to halt progression, reverse damage from emphysema
10. Researchers launch new Rust-Tracker to monitor deadly wheat fungus in 27 nations
11. University of Tennessee Space Institute researchers make clinical trials a virtual reality
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, ... and wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from ... of Healthy Things . Long before health and ... Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating ... from the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , October 27, 2015 ... Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from ... Tracking Glasses , so that they can be ... --> Munich, Germany , October 28-29, ... maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
(Date:10/26/2015)...  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on bringing ... devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris recognition ... by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... to include iris recognition technology, after a very successful ... May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this capability. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is ... cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and ... companion diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... India , November 26, 2015 ... The Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report ... by maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, ... enabling long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such ... the technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of ... way for more effective treatment for one of the most ... --> --> Gum disease is ... yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with ... by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: