Pancreatic cancer that took away Apple's CEO Mr. Steve Jobs (Mr. Steven Paul Jobs) is a particularly difficult cancer to beat. It’s been shown to harbor Stem Cells that utilize the embryonic pathway (Nodal/Activin Pathway) that is absent in the adult cells.
This pathway's embryonic ties and their absence in other tissues have presented a real opportunity to kill pancreatic cancer cells. It suggests that one could target the molecular pathway without harming other adult cells. Heeschen's team has already shown that this approach to therapy does work in mice.
"I don't think the cancer stem cells have any direct link to embryonic development, rather they are using this developmental pathway for their uncontrolled self-renewal capacity”, said Christopher Heeschen of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid.
This approach to treat Pancreatic cancer is being developed for human use and there are hints that this pathway might have important role in other forms of cancer such as Breast, Lung and Colorectal cancers.
"The concept that you can hit cancer stem cells and tumors will melt away must be abandoned”, Heeschen said. "You have to treat the entire cancer - the stroma, cancer stem cells and differentiated cells - as a complex".
Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.
Dr. Harish Malik
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