Saturday, December 10, 2005

Stem cells may reverse cancer

We noted here how stem cells may be implicated in the onset of cancer. Even more surprisingly, stem cells may be able to reverse cancer.

Stem Cell Microenvironment Reverses Malignant Melanoma

Northwestern University researchers have demonstrated how the microenvironments of two human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines (federally approved) induced metastatic melanoma cells to revert to a normal, skin cell-like type with the ability to form colonies similar to hESCs. The researchers also showed that these melanoma cells were less invasive following culture on the microenvironments of hESCs.

"Our observations highlight the potential utility of isolating the factors within the hESC microenvironment responsible for influencing tumor cell fate and reversing the cancerous properties of metastatic tumor cells, such as melanoma," said Mary J. C. Hendrix, in whose laboratories at Children's Memorial Research Center the experiments were conducted.


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