Researchers Block Pathway to Cancer Cell Replication
Research suggests that patients with leukemia sometimes relapse because standard chemotherapy fails to kill the self-renewing leukemia initiating cells, often referred to as cancer stem cells. In such cancers, the cells lie dormant for a time, only to later begin cloning, resulting in a return and metastasis of the disease. One such type of cancer is called pediatric T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or T-ALL, often found in children, who have few treatment options beyond chemotherapy. A team led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center studied these cells in mouse models that had been transplanted with human leukemia cells. They discovered that the leukemia initiating cells which clone, or replicate, themselves most robustly activate the NOTCH1 pathway, usually in the context of a mutation. The study, which included contributions from the Dana-Farber/Children Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, was published June 29 in PLoS ONE.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.
This text may be reproduced or reused freely. Please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source. Any graphics may be owned by the artist or publisher who created them, and permission may be needed for their reuse.