This is crazy. New findings on brain cancer has been a huge deal for leading researchers in the field over the last couple of years, and AARP and Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa give us a peek into why exactly this is so important.
Dr. Quiñones heads the Brain Tumor Center at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, where he works on research behind the theory that stem cells adult stem cells act as triggers for brain cancer, yet also act have an "uncanny ability to repair damage to their DNA and are therefore able to withstand standard radiation and chemotherapy treatments." This, in turn, allows the treatment to do its work. Quiñones says:
"We were once taught that brain cells die and can't be replaced . . . We now know that the mammalian brain has the ability to regenerate through adult neural stem cells. What we are exploring--and this is the great leap--is whether normal neural stem cells can lose their ability to self-regulate and become dangerous stem cells that create tumors. We are just beginning to understand this link between stem cells and cancer . . . We have to prove that brain cancer stem cells exist. But I think the potential here is real."
But stem cells might not only cause cancer in the brain; new studies are finding that breast, prostate, colon, pancreas, lung and other types of cancer may grow from adult stem cells. Check out the whole article here.