Cancer stem cells, allies of the tumor and enemies of the patient
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IMAGE: Scientists of the UEx Molecular Biology of Cancer Research Group want to identify which proteins within the cells are involved in retaining the undifferentiated characteristics of the tumour, which would… view more 

Credit: UEx

The scientists of the UEx Molecular Biology of Cancer Research Group have a very clear objective. They want to uncover the physiological mechanisms of the cancer stem cell, the arch-enemy of the patient because it is responsible for the progression of the tumour. With that in mind, they are working on identifying new cell proteins which control cellular differentiation. Cancer stem cells possess the capacity to adopt highly undifferentiated states, characteristic of pluripotent cells, which very possibly contribute to the progression and maintenance of the different cells that form the tumour, in the same way that a healthy stem cell can give rise to different cell phenotypes. “These cancer stem cells are more resistant to the attack of chemotherapeutic agents, they are capable of regenerating the tumour and helping the tumour cells to spread to other organs”, explains Pedro Fernández Salguero, lead researcher on the project.

The deregulation of cellular differentiation plays a very important role from an oncological point of view because it

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