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Lung stem cells vital to lung repair associated with poor cancer prognosis when found in tumor
Date:8/17/2010

eened around 900 tumors removed from patients with non-small cell lung cancer at UCLA and MD Anderson Cancer Center, looking to see whether the adult stem cells could be found in the tumor. In her lab, Gomperts is now studying the pre-cancerous lesions where the adult stem cells persist in an attempt to uncover the cascade of molecular events that may transform these cells into lung cancer stem cells.

More than 222,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year alone. Of those, more than 157,000 will die, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is responsible for more deaths each year than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and skin cancers combined. The overall five-year survival for lung cancer is only 15%, and this is mostly due to cancer recurrence and distant spread of the cancer," Gomperts said. "This fits nicely with the idea that adult stem cells in the lung that are normally involved in repair become cancer stem cells, which are resistant to our conventional therapies. Having a targeted therapy to use against these cancer stem cells may be the key to reducing mortality from this disease."


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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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