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02921 845852
Wales Cancer Research Centre,
Room 1TB2 31,
First Floor Main Building,
University Hospital of Wales,
Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Signalling and stem cells

This programme of work will find the "Achilles Heels" of cancerous tumours and attack them with targeted therapies.

Not all of the cells in a tumour can renew themselves. Those that are able to divide look and act much the same as a stem cell and are known as the tumour’s ‘driving population’. We are conducting stem cell research in order to give us an insight into tackling the driving population in cancerous tumours.

The driving population share two key properties with stem cells; both are immortal and both are able to self renew. These properties are the main factors in the growth and movement of tumours around the body.

Molecular pathways in a cell determine whether it will act like a stem cell and it is possible to turn these molecular pathways on or off. This work package is developing new drugs that can do just that in order to provide better-targeted treatments.

Ultimately, this work package aims to develop new drugs, validate new therapies and deliver more accurate prognoses for patients.

Dr Richard Clarkson