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article imageBreakthrough on live cancer cells raises hope for cancer victims

By Nancy Houser     Dec 19, 2011 in Science
Washington - A potential breakthrough by U.S. researchers in the fight against cancer, through biomedical research, will soon be offering a cure for cancer patients by keeping the person's cancer cells alive in a lab.
France24 has reported that the study was done by the Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. It was funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense fellowship funding, and an internal grant from Georgetown Lombardi's Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute. Fierce Biotech Research reports that Georgetown has filed two patent applications covering the new technology.
"The [breakthrough] method, described in the online edition of the American Journal of Pathology, borrows from a simple method used in stem cell research, experts said. Lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers were kept alive for up to two years using the technique, which combines fibroblast feeder cells to keep cells alive and a Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor that allows them to reproduce," stated the France24 article.
When the lab treated the cancer cells with both products of the technique, the cancer cells and normal cells reverted to a "stem-like state." According to lead author Richard Schlegel, chairman of the department of pathology, this allowed the researchers to compare both types of living cells directly, something which has never been done before.
Medical Daily, "'Fantastic Potential': Researchers Keep Cells Alive Away From Body," says that,
"Because every tumor is unique, this advance will make it possible for an oncologist to find the right therapies that both kills a patient's cancer and spares normal cells from toxicity," said Dr. Schlegel. "We can test resistance as well chemosensitivity to single or combination therapies directly on the cancer cell itself."
This discovery has wonderful potentials for all cancer patients. Now that the cancer cells and healthy cells can be kept alive in the lab, a multitude of drugs or combination therapies can be conducted before offering it to the cancer patient. This will allow the patient a precise diagnosis and treatment, sparing the healthy cells in the treatments.
More about live cancer cells, Breakthrough, Raises, Hope, Cancer
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