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Tumor Stem Cells Turn Out to be Good Models for Brain Tumor Research

  May, 16 2006 17:14
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), both part of the National Institutes of Health, have found that tumor stem cell lines derived directly from human glioblastoma brain tumors are a better model to study the biology and physiology of glioblastomas than are cancer cell lines that have been commonly used in cancer research laboratories. They also discovered the conditions under which to preserve the biological integrity and genetic characteristics of these glioblastoma tumor stem cell lines. The study results appear in the May 15, 2006, issue of Cancer Cell .

Cells in traditional cancer cell lines often bear little resemblance to the cells found in the corresponding original tumor. Glioblastoma tumor stem cells, however, accurately reflect the biological mechanisms and genetic characteristics of the parent tumor. These tumor stem cells are capable of self-renewal — a characteristic that is essential for tumor growth — and of developing into glioblastomas when injected into mice with compromised immune systems. Thus, these tumor stem cell lines offer a powerful new tool to study the biology of glioblastomas and to test drugs for treatment of this disease.

NCI Media Relations Branch

Message posted by: Rashmi Nemade

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