Till now, scientists have presumed that the development of solid tumors comes from cancer stem cells distinguished by particular surface indicators, which grow in a hierarchical, fixed order. For that reason, such cancer stem cells are accountable for tumor progression and create particular kinds of more varied cancer cells whose fates are predestined.
In a joint interdisciplinary program spearheaded by the LIH (Luxembourg Institute of Health), scientists now demonstrate that cancer cells of glioblastomas—noticeably aggressive strong brain tumors—manifest growth plasticity and their phenotypic properties are less forced than thought. Cancer stem cells, comprising their progeny, are capable of undergoing reversible transformations into different types of cell and adapting to environmental conditions, thereby modifying their surface structures. The outcomes mean that novel therapeutic methods, which aim particular cancer stem cells’ surface structures, will be of restricted utility. The research group has posted its results in Nature Communications.
On a related note, Glioblastoma is the most lethal and also the most prevalent kind of brain tumor in people, with no curative cure presently obtainable. Glioblastomas can’t be surgically entirely removed, as the tumor cells are skillful at spreading around the brain and invading tissues. Apart from this, glioblastoma cells are very resistant to current drug treatments.
For a long time, scientists have been seeking for vulnerabilities in glioblastoma cells that could be aimed with efficacious treatments.
A research team spearheaded by the University of Helsinki’s Professor Pirjo Laakkonen has already previously discovered that the expression of a tiny fatty acid-connecting protein (FABP3 or MDGI) in glioblastoma cells elevates their capability of invading tissues and is connected with a poorer diagnosis for the patient.
“Our new study disclosed that glioblastoma cells rely on a gene’s expression that makes the MDGI protein. Inhibiting the feature of this gene leads to the death of the tumor cells,” Laakkonen claimed.