A team of scientists have been able to track cancer cell growth by using an innovative modelling system in mice. Colon cancer mutations were tagged so the stem cells could glow. This helps the team watch the mutations arise and spread. The study's findings were originally published in the journal of Nature Communications.
"This study provides new insight into the previously invisible process in which mutant precancerous stem cells spread throughout the colon and seed cancer," Joshua Snyder, an assistant professor in the Departments of Surgery and Cell Biology at Duke University, told a news portal. Adding, "Our technique sets a firm foundation for testing new therapies that interrupt this early, pre-malignant process. We hope to one day target and eliminate these stealth precancerous cells to prevent cancer."
Through their investigation, researchers were able to spot differences between how babies and adults develop pre-cancerous fields of mutant cells. Researchers say newborns tend to be vulnerable to the mutations' effects in the intestinal stem cells.
"Field cancerisation has been suggested to be the defining event that initiates the process of cancer growth, including cancers of the breast, skin, and lung," Snyder told a news portal. Adding, "Our technique allows us to model how premalignant cells compete and expand within a field by simple fluorescent imaging, potentially leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment."
Meanwhile, researchers of another study have developed a blood test that can screen for different types of cancer. The team used next-generation sequencing technology to examine DNA for tiny chemical tags (methylation) that have an impact on whether genes are active or inactive. "Our previous work indicated that methylation-based assays outperform traditional DNA-sequencing approaches to detecting multiple forms of cancer in blood samples," study lead author, Geoffrey Oxnard of Dana-Farber told a news portal.
Cancer has become a huge public health issue in recent years. Understanding more about the disease can help researchers develop better and more effective treatment options.
A study presented at the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting revealed diabetes could increase the risk of cancer. "It's been known for a long time that people with diabetes have as much as 2.5-fold increased risk for certain cancers,"John Termini, who presented the findings of the study, told a news portal. Adding, "In people with Type 2 diabetes, their insulin is not effectively carrying glucose into cells."
Termini further explained: "Exposure to high glucose levels leads to both DNA adducts and the suppression of their repair, which in combination could cause genome instability and cancer," Termini added.
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