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Cancer cell subpopulations responsible for early relapses, new study shows

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Tumour cell heterogeneity may mean that individual cancers are already inherently resistant to current drug therapies before treatment begins, according to a small study in cervical cancer from researchers at Cancer Research UK institutes in Cambridge and Edinburgh. Lead study author, Dr Susanna Cooke, explained that genotyping of biopsies taken from cervical tumours shows that more than one type of cell may be present when the treating physician first sees the disease. Subsequent treatment can drastically reduce the quantity of susceptible cells, but the residual population of cells then grows through, causing rapid, therapy-resistant remission.

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