Certain genes allow cancer stem cells to become normal cancer cells

Glioblastoma is one of the most common types of brain cancer. It often causes patients to die within a short period of time. Previous research has found that cancer stem cells are one of the causes of cancer recurrence and metastasis. Unlike normal cancer cells, cancer stem cells are able to constantly self-replicate and differentiate into a variety of cancer cells.

The team, from yamagata national university and the national cancer research center in Japan, reported that they compared the genes of normal cancer cells in glioblastoma with those of cancer stem cells and found that a gene called FoxO3a acted in normal cancer cells, but was dormant in cancer stem cells.

Animal studies have shown that when the FoxO3a gene is activated in cancer stem cells, the cancer stem cells become normal cancer cells that have no ability to proliferate and can no longer divide indefinitely.

The research is published online in the new issue of the American journal stem cell. The team has found a substance that allows the gene to work and is preparing to develop drugs based on it.
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