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University of Chicago study identifies novel mechanism through which normal stromal cells become cancer-promoting cells

  • Posted: November 23, 2012

New understanding of molecular changes that convert harmless cells surrounding ovarian cancer cells into cells that promote tumor growth and metastasis provides potential new therapeutic targets for this deadly disease, according to University of Chicago data published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Researchers set out to learn how normal stromal cells are transformed into cancer-associated fibroblasts, which are found in the tissue immediately surrounding the ovarian cancer cells. Intimate cross talk between cancer-associated fibroblasts and cancer cells boosts tumor growth and metastasis. The University of Chicago is home to the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 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.