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Scientists Discover Lung Cell Linked to Cancer

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http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/ ... 26348.html


Scientists Discover Lung Cell Linked to Cancer

-- Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- A newly identified kind of lung stem cell may be the source of the most common kinds of lung cancers, a new study suggests.

Working with mice, researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Center in Cambridge, Mass., isolated a type of lung stem cell that, at the earliest stage of tumor development, appears to be the first kind of lung cell to respond to a cancer-causing mutation.

Identification of these bronchioveolar stem cells (BASCs) could lead to earlier diagnosis of lung cancer.

"There are many similarities between stem cells and cancer," study first author and postdoctoral fellow Carla Bender Kim said in a prepared statement.

"Cancer cells can continue to divide many times. Likewise, stem cells can divide over the lifespan of the organism. Also, tumors are very heterogeneous, composed of many different cells, and stem cells can give rise to different types of cells," Bender Kim said.

She and her colleagues don't know if these stem cells play a role in more established tumors.

The findings appear in the June 17 issue of Cell.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about lung cancer.

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