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Compound Targets, Destroys Cancer Stem Cells in Mice
Date:8/13/2009

t a chemical called salinomycin destroyed both lab-generated cancer stem cells, as well as naturally occurring ones. When compared to paclitaxel, a common breast cancer chemotherapy drug, salinomycin reduced the number of cancer stem cells by more than 100-fold and inhibited breast tumor regrowth in mice.

Researchers also looked at the effect of salinomycin on genes that previous research has implicated in very aggressive tumors. The study showed salinomycin decreased the activity of these genes, while paclitaxel didn't.

Additional research is needed to determine exactly how salinomycin works to kill cancer stem cells and if it will be as effective in humans as it was in mice, researchers said.

More information

There's more on cancer stem cells at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



-- Jennifer Thomas



Source: Aug. 13, 2009, news release, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research


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