Charity brings together 'C-team' of scientists to target cancer stem cells

A CHARITY has assembled a "C-Team" of leading experts to launch a new blitz on cancer.

The Cancer Research UK scientists will target rogue stem cells that cause tumours to spread and become untreatable.

Four "world class" research groups have been hand-picked to work together on an initial two-year project, said the charity.

The scientists will focus on the role of stem cells in the development, growth and spread of breast, prostate and head and neck cancers.

Stem cells are immature cells whose destiny is not "set in stone" and which may develop in a number of ways.

Some are believed to fuel cancer, producing daughter cells that spread around the body and resisting common therapies.

But scientists are still not clear how cancer stem cells can be identified and destroyed.

The Cancer Stem Cell Consortium will search for stem cell proteins that could provide potential targets for new cancer drugs.

Professor Fiona Watt, deputy director of Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute, who is leading the team, said: "At the moment there is limited information on the ways scientists could target cancer stem cells. But I hope that knowledge generated by our team of experts will help in the development of potential new therapies to treat difficult-to-beat cancers."