Cancer has become one of the leading causes of death in modern society, and the search for a cure continues. New research on stem cells suggests ways that supplement older treatments like surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer stem cell biology looks at the ways that stem cells can be used to replace or replenish cells depleted by cancer treatments like chemotherapy. It also considers the ways in which the stem cells themselves become carcinogenic and how to block the pathways of the disease.
Cancer stem cell therapy supplements chemotherapy
Stem cells have been used for cancer stem cells therapy for over thirty years. They are also found to contribute to tissue regeneration and can serve as delivery vehicles for cancer treatments.
Stem cells are divided into three main types: embryonic, germinal or somatic. Somatic stem cell found in adults are responsible for healing and maintaining normal cells, and are being used to in cancer stem cell research for reconstitution and regeneration after chemotherapy and also to deliver treatments.
Stem cells used for regeneration and delivery of treatment
Cancer stem cell research uses stem cells for reconstitution, relying on the ability of stem cells for self-renewal. Stem cells are used for reconstitution and recovery following cancer treatments like chemotherapy and surgery. Stem cell cancer treatments are also focused on preventing recurrence and metastatiztion.
Cancer stem cell biology is also focusing on using stem cells to deliver cancer treatments. Cell culture and particularly 3D cell culture is expected to contribute to this research. 3D cell culture represents a major advance over older 2d cell culture research in understanding the development and progress of diseases including cancer.
Current research on cancer stem cells
Scientists are also discovering that when stem cells themselves become the source of the cancer, they contribute to its spread. Current research is focused on discovering pathways of the growth of cancer in the stem cells themselves, to prevent the spread of the disease, or its recurrence.
Instead of trying to kill all affected cells, a older treatments do, the new therapies use cancer stem cell biology to kill only the infected stem cells to prevent the disease from spreading.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in our times. In the U.K. it is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. While a cure for cancer lies in the future, cancer stem cell biology along with older treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery offers new methods.