OXFORD University researchers have found a way to identify rogue cancer cells which survive treatment after the rest of a tumour is destroyed.
An international research team, led by Professor Adam Mead, from the university, and Sten Eirik Jacobsen, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, have found a way to identify rogue cancer cells which survive treatment after the rest of the tumour is destroyed.
This is done by using a new technique that allows them to identify and characterise individual cancer cells.
Prof Mead, of Oxford University’s Radcliffe Department of Medicine, said: “It is increasingly recognised that tumours contain a variety of different cell types, including so-called cancer stem cells, that drive the growth and relapse of a patient’s cancer.
“These cells can be very rare and extremely difficult to find after treatment as they become hidden within the normal tissue.
“We used a new genetic technique to identify and analyse single cancer stem cells in leukaemia patients before and after treatment.”
Researchers from the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine used the technique called single-cell analysis to study thousands of individual cancer cells in a type of blood cancer called chronic myeloid leukaemia.