Identify the cells that initiate tumors
A team of researchers from the Institut d'Oncologia Vall d'Hebron (VHIO) de Barcelona has discovered two proteins (CD44 and Id1) indicating the cells responsible for initiating cancer to recurrence and metastasis, ie cancer spread to another organ.
ICREA research professor of VHIO Joan Seoane, who led the study, says it is a very important development for the treatment of the disease and compared with a weed, "but the root is cut, the grass will grow back because does not remove the bulb. "Thus, we have identified precisely the bulb so that the goal now is to find drugs that can attack.
In fact, in parallel, we have developed a treatment study of patients using a drug currently undergoing clinical trial, which could eliminate these cells, an inhibitor of TGF-beta hormone.
This discovery represents an important advance in disease research, largely because each cancer has different characteristics in each patient and, in addition, recent studies reveal that within each tumor cells are different. Still, Joan Seoane says that so far, only a step to "better understand the complexity of cancer, understand who the enemy. "