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Discovery of good -- and bad -- liver stem cells raises possibility of new treatment
By Dross at 2008-02-09 02:32
 

Many scientists believe up to 40 percent of liver cancer is caused by stem cells gone wild – master cells in the organ that have lost all growth control. But, despite years spent looking, no one has ever found these liver “cancer stem cells” – or even normal stem cells in the organ. Until now.

In the February 19, 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center report discovering both types of stem cells, and by comparing their genetic “signatures,” they found evidence to suggest that a new type of experimental drug now being tested in other cancers might offer benefit in treating liver cancer.

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