Study: How some cancers become leukemia

Jul 17, 2006

U.S. researchers say they've found how cancer-triggering oncogenes allow blood cells to self-renew and become leukemia stem cells.

Dr. Scott Armstrong and colleagues at the Harvard Medical School introduced an oncogene into mouse blood-cell producing progenitor cells and then isolated cancer stem cells from the resulting leukemias. Comparing the profile of active genes in those cells with the blood cells from which they had developed showed the oncogene ramps up a specific subset of the genes active also in normal blood stem cells.

Those genes confer on cells the ability to self-renew and a subset of the genes is also expressed in human leukemia associated with certain oncogenes, the researchers said.

Thus, although cancer is thought to start often in normal stem cells, at least some oncogenic events can drive cancer from other cells by switching on stem-cell genes, Armstrong said.

The study appears in the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Doubling saturated fat in the diet does not increase saturated fat in blood, study finds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists map mouse genome's 'mission control centers'

20 hours ago

When the mouse and human genomes were catalogued more than 10 years ago, an international team of researchers set out to understand and compare the "mission control centers" found throughout the large stretches ...

How adult fly testes keep from changing into ovaries

Nov 13, 2014

New research in flies shows how cells in adult reproductive organs maintain their sexual identity. The study, publishing online on November 13 in the Cell Press journal Developmental Cell, also identified a mutation that c ...

Recommended for you

Stress reaction may be in your dad's DNA, study finds

4 hours ago

Stress in this generation could mean resilience in the next, a new study suggests. Male mice subjected to unpredictable stressors produced offspring that showed more flexible coping strategies when under ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.