London: In a breakthrough expected to develop a 'real cure' for cancer, scientists claimed to have identified cells that cause tumours to grow and are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy causing cancer to relapse.
Researchers from Cancer Research UK and University of Texas in separate studies found that the growth and life of a tumour is dependent on one small group of cells, known as cancer stem cells, the Daily Mail reported.
The cells fuel the disease's spread around the body and are believed to be resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy and are responsible for cancers coming back after treatment. Until now, it was not proven that they exist in tumours.
In a breakthrough expected to develop a \'real cure\' for cancer, scientists claimed to have identified cells that cause tumours.
Scientists claimed that combining a drug that attacks these cells with current treatments could lead to a cure. Ben Simons, from the Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute said that knowing just which cells to target "might be a much better strategy to effect a real cure and prevent relapse".
Simons's study tracked the development of skin cancer in mice. By tracking individual cells, it showed a small number of them drive the growth of the tumour. A second study identified a group of cells that allow the most common type of brain tumour to regrow after chemotherapy.
University of Texas researcher Luis Parada found that killing the stem cells, with the help of genetic wizardry, stopped the brain tumours from growing any further in mice. The study was published in journals Nature and Science.