‘MIT scientists and colleagues have found a way to create in the lab large amounts of cancer stem cells, or cells that can initiate tumors. The work, reported in the August 13 issue of Cancer Cell, could be a boon to researchers who study these elusive cells. Labs could easily grow them for use in experiments.
The findings also contradict an assumption about the trajectory of cancer cells. According to current cancer models, any normal cell can evolve toward a malignant state through a series of alterations, including mutations. Given the right alterations, any cell could eventually acquire the ability to invade other tissues.
But the new study suggests that some normal cells are more prone to become tumor-initiating and have a higher potential to metastasize, or spread to other tissues.’