Stem cells and their connection to cancer
This is to be avoided at all cost. Let’s not use this kind of information. There is a HUGE confusion regarding the use of the words “stem cells” when linked to cancer. Stem cells released by the bone marrow do not lead to or support cancer. These are two completely different things
Cancer is caused when the cells mutate, leading to abnormal cell growth. Researchers have been trying to find a cure for cancer for several years. Several methods of treatment have been developed like chemotherapy and radiation, and they are quite painful to the patients. But, in people with certain types of cancer, especially like prostate or breast cancer, the disease has been known to come back even if the cancerous part has been removed. Recent studies, which reveal the role of stem cells in cancer, could pave the way for finding an effective cure for the disease.
Scientists researching at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology have been trying to find the reasons behind the gene mutation. They have concluded that the talking of the stem cells causes the gene mutation.
The stem cell and cancer connection:
Researches conducted studies by Fen Wang and Wallace McKeehan of Texas A & M on Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF), a group of proteins that communicated between cells. It revealed that wrong communication by FGF could awaken dormant stem cells in an organ and cause cancer. In some breast and prostate cancer cases, there has been a relapse of cancer in other organs long after the patient’s cancer-infested organs were removed, and they had been declared cancer-free. This gave rise to the probability that cancer had spread even before it was first detected. This discovery seems to validate the theory of the duo National Institute of Health and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas that cancer is a stem cell disease. There is also another research confirmation that cancer cells are all not the same, and these cancerous cells come with a lesion. These are the cells that help in preventing the development and coming back of cancer.
Stem plays a varied role in human development. The embryonic cell stem can develop into any cell or body organ. However, there are many non-embryonic stem cell which is specific to organs and play a significant role in growth, reproduction of the cell along with replenishing and regeneration of the cells.
It is now believed that cancerous stem cells lead to cell reproduction and growth of the cancerous cell. However, these stem cells that target cell proliferation may cause a relapse of cancer and underlie cancer treatment. This finding is based on prostate and breast cancer, where cancer usually relapses after removing the organ. This is a clear indication that cancerous cells had metastasized before they were first detected. It also confirms the contribution of stem cells towards the same.
FGF and their role in cancer:
The body contains about 22 FGF protein, which makes it difficult for the researchers to understand the role of FGF in cell communication. It has always baffled scientists. It seems to be a critical factor in breast and prostate cancer. In a recent study, the research team monitored normal pathways of FGF, and the effect of miscommunication was observed, which was otherwise a mystery to date. Specific pathways used by FGF to keep stem cells dormant or active were found in the research.
One of the researchers named Wang confirmed that it is essential to find out what is normal first and then find out what is abnormal. The research confirmation on a miscommunication of FGF protein is a milestone in understanding the process of communication between them.
Even though these findings are still in an early stage, it could significantly impact the development of future cancer treatments. The current methods of treatment like radiation and chemotherapy focus on those proliferating cancer cells that are active and spreading. If control can be established for keeping the cancerous stem cells dormant and on their activation, then cancer can be prevented from coming back. The key is in finding a way to keep the cancerous cells dormant and prevent them from being reactivated. This theory is the future of cancer therapy.