You may live in many places throughout your life, but you have only one hometown. No matter what, your core is deeply affected by where you grew up (for me, that core is made of a fondness for fries covered with gravy, impassioned shouts of Bruuuuuce, and traumatic experiences with a teasing comb and hairspray…yes, that’s New Jersey). Just like us, a tumor is affected by its origin…its growth, malignancy, and responsiveness to treatment are all dependent on where the cancer cells came from. A recent paper tracks tumor growth to determine the origin of a certain type of tumor.
The countless types of cancer each come from different cell types. A tumor’s potential for growth, spreading, and treatment are heavily dependent on the tumor’s cell of origin. Malignant glioma is a deadly type of brain tumor, and a recent paper has determined the cell of origin for this cancer. Lui and colleagues used a technique called MADM (mosaic analysis with double markers) that mimics the genetic mutations seen in gliomas. This technique labels mutant cells green and normal cells red, enabling them to track how and when the mutant cells develop into tumors. These biologists started out with neural stem cells, which were suspected as the cells of origin for gliomas, yet found that cells called oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are the cells of origin. The images above show mutant MADM neurons. Left and right images show MADM labeling of mutant (green) and normal (red) cells, while middle image shows the nuclei of cells (blue in merged).
Liu, C., Sage, J., Miller, M., Verhaak, R., Hippenmeyer, S., Vogel, H., Foreman, O., Bronson, R., Nishiyama, A., Luo, L., & Zong, H. (2011). Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers Reveals Tumor Cell of Origin in Glioma Cell, 146 (2), 209-221 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.06.014
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