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Cancer Stem Cells Make a Splash

In Cell, Eric Lander and his colleagues report on an approach to screen for compounds that selectively target cancer stem cells. Using that technique, they found that salinomycin, which has "selective toxicity for breast CSCs", leads to a greater than 100-fold reduction in the amount of CSC, as compared to paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer. In the New York Times, Lander adds that this method gives "a potential for a real renaissance in cancer therapeutics."

In discussing the Broad Institute paper, the Cancer Research UK's Kat Arney also blogs about the theory and role of cancer stem cells. "The role of stem cells in cancer is still not crystal clear, and although there's evidence they play a role in many types of cancer, they're not always implicated," Arney writes.

The Scan

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.

Machine Learning Improves Diagnostic Accuracy of Breast Cancer MRI, Study Shows

Combining machine learning with radiologists' interpretations further increased the diagnostic accuracy of MRIs for breast cancer, a Science Translational Medicine paper finds.

Genome Damage in Neurons Triggers Alzheimer's-Linked Inflammation

Neurons harboring increased DNA double-strand breaks activate microglia to lead to neuroinflammation like that seen in Alzheimer's disease, a new Science Advances study finds.

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.