Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A new study carried out by researchers in the Department of Zoology and Department of Oncology has used flat worms to look at the role of migrating stem cells in cancer.

A shielded X-ray irradiation assay used to study migration in vivo shows planarian stem cells (green) and their progeny (magenta) distributed throughout the anteroposterior axis (left), in a stripe after targeted X-ray exposure (middle) and then migrating to the anterior (right). Cell nuclei (blue) are labelled with Hoechst. Image credit: Prasad Abnave

Researchers from the Aboobaker lab in the Department of Zoology used the worms (planarians) which are known for their ability to regenerate their tissues and organs repeatedly. This process is enabled by their stem cells, which constantly divide to make new cells.

Cell migration – or the movement of cells from one part of the body to another – is a key function of cells in our bodies. New stem cells are constantly required to maintain tissue and organs functions, and they are expected to migrate to where they are needed. However, control of these movements can fail, and cancers can form when these cells migrate to places they aren’t supposed to be.

By understanding how stem cells are programmed to move, what activates them and how they follow a correct path, researchers may be able to design new treatments for cancer.

Read more (University of Oxford website)

Similar stories

New study finds that politicians typically enjoy longer lives than general populations

New data show politicians have a considerable survival advantage over general populations, based on information from 11 countries and over 57,500 politicians. In some countries this survival advantage is at the highest level for 150 years, and life expectancy at age 45 was found to be around seven years higher for politicians compared to general populations in certain countries.

Five ways the pandemic has affected routine medical care

Since the beginning of the pandemic, COVID has infected at least a third of the UK population and is estimated to have factored in the deaths of almost 200,000 people in the UK. But critically, COVID has also had a devastating impact on our healthcare systems. While this was expected, new evidence is beginning to reveal the scope of the issue – in particular the effects for people living with long-term health conditions.

Clinical trials for a malaria vaccine start in Mali and Indonesia

Sanaria Inc. announced that two new Phase 2 trials of its pioneering malaria vaccines have started. The first is in 6- to 10-year-old children living in Bancoumana, Mali, a malarious region of West Africa. The second is in Indonesian soldiers based in Sumatra, Indonesia. The soldiers will be deploying for six to nine months this coming August to an intensely malarious district in eastern Indonesia.

Researchers discover novel form of adaptation in the auditory system

Researchers in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) have found that the auditory system adapts to the changing acoustics of reverberant environments by temporally shifting the inhibitory tuning of cortical neurons to remove reverberation.

20 minutes of daily exercise can keep teens' doctors away

Teenagers should exercise vigorously for at least 20 minutes per day to reap increased cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), according to a cross-sectional study from the UK led by University of Oxford researchers.

Mechanism of expanding bacteria revealed

A new study published in Nature has identified a potential Achilles heel in the protective layers surrounding Gram-negative bacteria that could aid in the development of next-generation antibiotics.