The UK’s Cancer Stem Cell Consortium will search for stem cell proteins that could provide potential targets for new cancer drugs.
- Scientists will target rogue stem cells that cause tumors to spread and become untreatable;
- Scientists are still not clear how cancer stem cells can be identified and destroyed. Some are believed to fuel cancer, producing daughter cells that spread around the body and resist common therapies;
- The scientists will focus on the role of stem cells in the development, growth and spread of breast, prostate and head and neck cancers;
- The team of experts will help in the development of potential new therapies to treat difficult-to-beat cancers.
Professor Fiona Watt, deputy director of Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Research Institute, who is leading the team, said: “Conventional treatments – which do not target cancer stem cells – may shrink a tumor initially but they don’t prevent re-grows or spread of the tumor.