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The Cancer Stem Cell: Unlocking the Key To A Cancer Cure

Posted Oct 14 2010 12:51pm

Posted on | October 13, 2010 |

There are a few words in the English language that instigate fear and dread in all who hear them.  One such word is cancer.  Directly or indirectly, nearly all of us have experience with cancer, but our understanding from individual to individual varies greatly. We all certainly know that cancer cells are bad … very bad. They can grow and spread like wildfire, invading blood or lymph channels that carry them throughout the body. In contrast, over the past decade, we have learned how good stem cells can be. They have the ability to self renew; they can multiply into different types of cells; and they proliferate extensively. When we think of stem cells, with these three distinct properties in mind, we envision them moving in to replace heart cells damaged by a heart attack or brain cells lost in a person with dementia. For most, stem cells conjure up images of healing and hope.But what if the properties associated with stem cells were subverted? What if their unique characteristics became associated with those of harmful cancer cells?

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