An association between the regulation of adult stem cell growth and the formation of pre-cancerous lesions has been described for the first time by researchers from the [b]University of California-Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre[/b]. [s]Medical News Today[/s] reports that in lung airways, adult stem cells have the function of repairing the airways when they become damaged, for example, by smoking, pollution or a virus. This process of repair is controlled by reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules. The new study demonstrates that it is the fluctuation from low to moderate levels of ROS in the airway stem cells that triggers the repair process. Once repair is initiated, the increase in the ROS levels of the repairing cell is reduced sharply to prevent excessive cell proliferation. However, if this natural reduction of ROS levels is disrupted, then the stem cells will continue to divide without maturing, forming instead into pre-cancerous lesions. Progressive genetic changes to the cells comprising lesions are thought to eventually allow cancerous tumours to form.
[link url=http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278502.php]Full Medical News Today report[/link]
[link url=http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/abstract/S1934-5909(14)00196-9]Cell Stem Cell abstract[/link]