BOSTON – Targeted cancer therapies work by blocking a single oncogenic pathway to halt tumor growth. But because cancerous tumors have the unique ability to activate alternative pathways, they are often able to evade these therapies — and regrow. Moreover, tumors contain a small portion of cancer stem cells that are believed to be responsible for tumor initiation, metastasis and drug resistance. Thus, eradicating cancer stem cells may be critical for achieving long-lasting remission, but there are no drugs available that specifically attack cancer stem cells.
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Source URL: http://www.bidmc.org/News/PRLandingPage/2015/April/ATRA-Drug-Target.aspx