Stem cells — popularly known as a source of biological rejuvenation — may play harmful roles in the body, specifically in the growth and spread of cancer. Amongst the wildly dividing cells of a tumor, scientists have located cancer stem cells.
Physician-scientists from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell are studying these cells with the hope of combating malignant cancers in the brain.
Some patients' brain tumors respond to chemotherapy and some don't, according to Dr. John A. Boockvar, the Alvina and Willis Murphy Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and head of the Brain Tumor Research Group, at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, who believes that cancer stem cells may be the cause.
Dr. Boockvar is capturing and classifying these cancer stem cells in order to determine how they react to certain available drug therapies.
Doing so will lead to more accurate and specific cancer diagnosis, allowing for tailored drug treatments. Results explaining the techniques used to harvest normal neural and brain-tumor-derived stem cells are described in a recent edition of the journal Neurosurgery.
The above story is based on materials provided by New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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