Friday, August 14, 2009

Identification of selective inhibitors of breast CSCs in mice

New method takes aim at aggressive cancer cells, News Release, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, August 13, 2009. First paragraph:
A multi-institutional team of Boston-area researchers has discovered a chemical that works in mice to kill the rare but aggressive cells within breast cancers that have the ability to seed new tumors.
See also: First compound that specifically kills cancer stem cells found, ScienceBlog, August 13, 2009. Other news releases: [Medical News Today][ScienceDaily][EurekAlert].

A commentary: A screen for cancer killers by Elie Dolgin, Nature News, August 13, 2009. [FriendFeed entry]. First paragraph:
A new approach for identifying drugs that specifically attack cancer stem cells, the cellular culprits that are thought to start and maintain tumour growth, could change the way that drug companies and scientists search for therapies in the war against cancer.
Another commentary, Drug screening on cancer stem cells by Monya Baker (The Niche, August 14, 2009) includes links to the commentary by Elie Dolgin (see above) and to an article by Nicholas Wade (The New York Times, August 13, 2009).

The research publication that's attracting this attention is: Identification of Selective Inhibitors of Cancer Stem Cells by High-Throughput Screening by Piyush B Gupta and 6 co-authors, including Robert A Weinberg and Eric S Lander, Cell 2009(Aug 13) [Epub ahead of print].[Twitter entry][FriendFeed entry].[Abstract].


  1. Included among the many news items is this one: Caution urged over cancer cure finding, Eithne Donellan, Irish Times, August 14, 2009. See also: A case of human poisoning by salinomycin, an agricultural antibiotic by Phillipa Story and Alan Doube, N Z Med J 2004(Mar 12); 117(1190): U799 [PubMed Citation]. This case report is cited [ref. 30] in: P-Glycoprotein Limits Oral Availability, Brain Penetration, and Toxicity of an Anionic Drug, the Antibiotic Salinomycin by Jurjen S Lagas and 5 co-authors, including Alfred H Schinkel, Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2008(Mar); 52(3): 1034-9 [Epub 2008 Jan 14][PubMed Citation][Version of full text in PMC].

  2. For a well-balanced commentary, see: Cancer stem cell breakthrough by Kat Arney, Science Update blog, Cancer Research UK, August 14, 2009.

    Found via Victor K McElheny's response to Split decision on cancer stem-cell story, Knight Science Journalism Tracker, August 15, 2009. [See the the final sentence of his response].