June 6, 2010
Hong Kong scientists say they have identified the cancer stem cells responsible for the spread of colorectal cancer to other organs and believe the find will revolutionize treatment.
Current treatments regard all cancer cells as alike, but the Hong Kong University researchers discovered that cancers contain a small number of stem cells responsible for starting and maintaining tumors.
“It will revolutionise the approach to cancer treatment in future,” one researcher, Ronnie Poon, told the South China Morning Post.
“If you just target mature cancer cells, you are not targeting the roots of the disease. What the industry needs to work on now is drugs that will target cancer stem cells,” the professor of surgery said.