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NCI Cancer Center News

Researchers pinpoint sources of fibrosis-promoting cells that ravage organs

  • Posted: July 5, 2013

Scientists have tracked down and quantified the diverse origins of cells that drive fibrosis, the incurable, runaway wound-healing that scars and ultimately destroys organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys. Findings from research conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and continued at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are reported in an advance online publication at Nature Medicine on June 30. The researchers point out that fibrosis is a precursor for development of cancer.

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Among 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.