Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sick Kids researchers identify cancer stem cell for brain tumours

15.09.2003


A research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T), led by Dr. Peter Dirks, has identified for the first time a cancer stem cell in both malignant and benign brain tumours. This discovery may change how brain tumours are studied and how this deadly condition is treated in the future. This research is reported in the September 15, 2003 issue of the scientific journal Cancer Research.



"The discovery of a cancer stem cell for brain tumours means that only a small number of cells in a brain tumour have the ability to drive tumour growth. Many current cancer therapies may fail because they do not kill the cancer-sustaining stem cells. We now have to work on designing therapies that will attack these stem cells," said Dr. Peter Dirks, an HSC neurosurgeon and scientist-track investigator in the Developmental Biology Research Program, and an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at U of T.

Brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer mortality in children and remain difficult to cure despite advances in surgery and drug treatments. In adults, most brain tumours are also amongst the most sinister of cancers with formidable resistance to most therapies.


"We found that cancer stem cells from different tumour types, from aggressive malignant tumours to more slow-growing benign ones, share similar properties to each other as well as to normal brain stem cells. This suggests that mutations that lead to cancer formation may have originated in the brain’s own small numbers of stem cells," said Dr. Sheila Singh, the paper’s lead author, an HSC neurosurgery resident and U of T graduate student who is enrolled in HSC’s Clinician-Scientist Training Program.

The biology of the brain tumour stem cell may also shed light on metastases (tumour spread). The non-stem cells in the tumour may break off and spread, but may not be able to grow at distant sites. "It is possible that only the tumour stem cells will be able to grow at distant sites. If this is indeed the case, then the destruction of tumour stem cells may also be important for preventing metastatic disease," added Dr. Dirks.

Next stages of this research involve genetic studies of the purified cancer stem cells to find new genes that are critical for cancer stem cell growth. The identification of these genes is important for determining new targets for brain tumour therapy. Dr. Dirks’ laboratory is also investigating whether a patient’s cancer stem cells alone can cause growth of the patient’s tumour in a mouse. If the tumour resembles the patient’s original tumour, this may lead to a mouse model for the tumour type.


Dr. Dirks’ laboratory is located in the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children. Other members of the research team included Dr. Ian Clarke, Dr. Mizuhiko Terasaki, Victoria Bonn, and Dr. Cynthia Hawkins, all from The Hospital for Sick Children, and Dr. Jeremy Squire from the Ontario Cancer Institute and the University of Toronto.

This research was supported by The Terry Fox Foundation through the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation with funds from the American Brain Tumor Association, and The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation including gifts from Arthur and Sonia Labatt and the Baker family.

The Hospital for Sick Children, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is Canada’s most research-intensive hospital and the largest centre dedicated to improving children’s health in the country. Its mission is to provide the best in family-centred, compassionate care, to lead in scientific and clinical advancement, and to prepare the next generation of leaders in child health. For more information, please visit http://www.sickkids.ca.

Laura Greer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca/
http://www.sickkids.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>