UCSF study finds deadly liver cancer may be triggered by cells changing identity
A rare type of cancer thought to derive from cells in the bile ducts of the liver may actually develop when one type of liver cell morphs into a totally different type, a process scientists used to consider all but impossible. UCSF researchers triggered this kind of cellular transformation — and caused tumors to form in mice — by activating just two genes. Their discovery suggests that drugs that are able to target those genes may provide a way to treat the deadly cancer, known as cholangiocarcinoma.
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.