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Cancer Cells Share Genetic Features with Adult Stem Cells, Study Finds



UCLA CTSI News Archive


Drs. Owen Witte (at left) and Thomas Graeber.

In a UCLA study led by senior authors Drs. Owen Witte and Thomas Graeber, researchers found genetic similarities between the adult stem cells responsible for maintaining and repairing epithelial tissues — which line all of the organs and cavities inside the body — and the cells that drive aggressive epithelial cancers. 

Published in Cell Reports, the discovery could shed light on how aggressive, treatment-resistant cancers develop and progress, and could eventually lead to new drugs for a range of advanced epithelial cancers such as lung, prostate and bladder cancers. Revealing genetic commonalities in these aggressive cancers may also aid in the development of “pan-cancer” therapies which can treat a range of cancers originating in different tissues. 

Read more details in the UCLA press release.

The research was supported in part by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881.