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TORONTO CHIROPODIST, D.Ch., B.Sc., PODIATRIC MEDICINE

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  • DR. HARDY, OWNER OF TORONO FOOT CLINIC SHARES SOME NEW CANCER RESEARCH
CANCER RESEARCHERS DISCOVER PRE-LEUKEMIC STEM CELL AT ROOT OF AML (ACUTE MYELOID LEUKEMIA), RELAPSE
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February 12, 2014
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Cancer researchers led by Dr. John Dick, a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, have discovered a pre-leukemic stem cell that may be the first step in initiating disease and also the culprit that evades therapy and triggers relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an aggressive blood cancer that the new research shows starts in stem cells in the bone marrow. The team’s findings were published online today in Nature.

The discovery is a significant leap in understanding the steps that a normal cell has to go through as it turns into AML, and sets the stage to advance Personalized Cancer Medicine by potentially identifying individuals who might benefit from targeting the pre-leukemic stem cell. “Our discovery lays the groundwork to detect and target the pre-leukemic stem cell, thereby potentially stopping the disease at a very early stage when it may be more amenable to treatment,” says Dr. Dick. “Now we have a potential tool for earlier diagnosis that may allow early intervention before the development of full AML. We can also monitor remission and initiate therapy to target the pre-leukemic stem cell to prevent relapse,” he says.  These findings should also provide impetus for researchers to look for pre-cancerous cells in AML patients with other mutations and even in non-blood cancers.

Dr. Dick pioneered the cancer stem cell field by first identifying leukemia stem cells (1994) and colon cancer stem cells (2007), both which follow on the original 1961 discovery of the blood stem cell by Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (formerly Ontario Cancer Institute) scientists Dr. James Till and the late Dr. Ernest McCulloch, which formed the basis of all current stem cell research.

Dr. John Dick talks about the new research here. 

 

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