Scientists at the MDC have discovered stem cells responsible for the most common form of kidney cancer. The team of Walter Birchmeier has found a way to block the growth of these tumors in three models of the disease.
Not all cancer cells are equal. Tumors contain potent cancer stem cells which produce metastases and can regenerate the disease if they escape a treatment. This makes them vital targets for therapies – if scientists can isolate them and probe their weaknesses. But the cells are often so rare that for many types of cancer, they have yet to be found.