A Boston team has identified ovarian cancer stem cells that may be responsible for the disease's high relapse rate.1 The group also discovered that a naturally occurring hormone called anti-Mullerian hormone
can wipe out the stem cells, but recombinant production of it could prove challenging.
In recent years, oncologists have identified cancer stem cell markers in a number of solid tumors, but the precise identity of ovarian cancer stem cells has been a point of contention.
Now, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) team led by Patricia
Donahoe has identified a fraction of ovarian cancer cells with the molecular hallmarks of ovarian cancer stem cells.
Donahoe is professor of surgery and director of the pediatric surgical research laboratory at MGH.
The suspected cells are resistant to conventional chemotherapy but are highly