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Melanoma-initiating cell identified by Stanford scientists
Date:6/30/2010

research indicates that it may be more appropriate to also target cells expressing CD271." Such a combination therapy might work to kill both types of cells in the tumor and, hopefully, prevent disease recurrence.

So why do some melanoma tumors seem to have such a large proportion of cancer-initiating cells? Boiko and his colleagues speculate that the answer might lie in the rapidly evolving, aggressive nature of the disease. It's possible that a kind of natural selection among the dividing cancer cells occurs which, in extreme cases selects for one clone, or cell lineage, that for the most part fails to differentiate into non-tumor-initiating cells.

"Extreme care should be taken to identify the origin and the past laboratory history of the cells under study," said Boiko. "Our work was done on primary and minimally passaged patient samples. The variations that we saw in terms of CD271 prevalence in these samples could depend on the stage of the disease the patient was in, and the aggressiveness of that individual cancer."

In addition to Boiko, Weissman, Longaker and Yang, other Stanford researchers involved in the work include post-doctoral fellows Olga Razorenova, PhD, and Daphne Ly, MD; professor of pathology Matt van de Rijn, MD; professor of dermatology Susan Swetter, PhD; associate professor of surgery Denise Johnson, MD; Paris Butler, MD; otolaryngologist Benzion Joshua, MD; and professor of otolaryngology and neurosurgery Michael Kaplan, MD.


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Contact: Krista Conger
kristac@stanford.edu
650-725-5371
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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