A team of researchers from Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, studying a group of patients suffering from early stage of breast cancer, discovered breast cancer stem cells in the patients’ bone marrow and the number of cancer stem cells in the bone marrow was found to be much higher than in solid tumors. Breast cancer stem cells can reproduce indefinitely and produce more tumors, compared to adult tumor cells. The study found that 70% of breast cancer cells in the bone marrow of the patients studied was stem cells, which can lead to metastasis, a condition where the cancer cells spread from its original site to other regions in the body.

 

One of the researchers said that nearly half of the breast cancer patients can be cured using the current therapies for breast cancer, which indicates that stem cells in those patients are more sensitive to therapies. However, breast cancer stem cells in some patients are resistant to therapies and if the reason behind this resistance is established, then metastatic diseases in all breast cancer patients can be prevented.  

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