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Cancer stem cells drive metastasis

A distinct subgroup of cancer stem cells is responsible for metastasis in pancreatic tumors

Jeffrey M. Perkel
A distinct subpopulation of cancer stem cells in pancreatic tumors governs metastasis and renders the tumor resistant to chemotherapeutics, according to a new report in the journal Cell Stem Cell. "This is a confirmation of what a lot of people have been talking about, the hypothesis that cancer stem cells are the source of metastasis," Jeremy Rich of Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study, told The Scientist. Although the study focused on pancreatic cancer, he noted, it could apply to many other tumors as well. "The implications are much, much broader," he said. Recent research has suggested that some tumors, including breast, colon, brain, prostate, and most recently, pancreas, arise from a small subset of stem-like cells called cancer stem cells, which often are marked by the cell surface antigen CD133. These cells induce tumor formation and are often resistant...

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