Cancer stem cells are a cell type that was previously little known. They are resistant to irradiation and prevent the effective treatment of many types of cancer. A research group from Innsbruck has now identified two genetic mechanisms that produce this radioresistance.
Patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer have only a small chance of recovery. Therapy options are limited, and various drug-based hormone therapies lead to resistance within two to three years. One aspect is particularly harrowing: some cancer cells are also resistant to radiotherapy. In a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, molecular biologist Frédéric Santer from the Innsbruck University Clinic for Urology has investigated the causes of this radioresistance in greater detail.