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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cancer Medical Research Advances

Cancer is a genetic and developmental disorder. The recent advents of systematic sequencing studies have revealed thousands of somatic mutations, hundreds of chromosome rearrangements and copy number variants in the cancer genomes. The genomic changes can differ markedly between individual cancers, even within a particular cancer type, individual tumours often display wide variations. Heterogeneity of cancer or cancer cells is the well observed phenomenon and is considered the major hurdle for successful treatment. Mutational clonal evolution and cancer stem cell models could only partially explain the ubiquitous heterogeneous tumour cell population.

Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying heterogeneity of tumours have remained one of the interesting and unanswered questions in the field of cancer biology. The cancer cell population diversity (intratumour heterogeneity) is of great importance to investigate due to its profound implications for disease progression, diagnosis and treatment [25]. In order to precisely identify cancer cells or cancer stem cells within a heterogeneous tumour population, we need to find their molecular signatures through performing gene expression analysis. For example, Shipitsin et al. [24] has been shown a differential expression of genes involved in TGF-β pathway in CD44+ and CD24+ subpopulation cells, therefore, eliminating CD44+ subpopulation (cancer stem cells) through inhibiting TGF-ß signaling becomes effective treatment [24]. To achieve such stratification of subpopulation in heterogeneous tumor cells, a unique technique, single cell gene expression detection is necessary to be developed.

References:
Journal of Stem Cell Research And Therapy
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