New drug fights cancer stem cells

1 December 2014

A new drug has been designed that could tackle cancerogenic stem cells, which are responsible for the onset and development of cancer. These cells are also vital for growth and development of cancer, and whether the disease returns after chemotherapy treatment

An Andalusian team of researchers led by the University of Granada created the new treatment, which has been successfully tested in mice. According to initial findings, the drug is able to selectively target cancerogenic stem cells for breast and colon cancer, as well as melanoma.

Cancerogenic stem cells appear in small quantities in tumours, and one of their key roles is to encourage metastasis in different places within the original tumour, allowing the disease to spread further. Although these cells remain dormant under normal conditions, they are therefore not picked up by conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Published in the prestigious journal Oncotarget, the new report states that the drug is able to inhibit the HER2 signalling pathway, and stops new vessels from forming in the tumour, according to the team.

Researchers are currently conducting safety tests and they expect that this new drug, as well as its derivatives, can be run through clinical tests with patients in the near future.

Posted by Philip Briggs​


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.


Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)