Updated on 14 June 2012
This study further validates previous work by Dr Xian and Dr McKeon in collaboration with BWH and NUS, which showed for the first time that some cancers originate from just a small set of cells that are unique from the other cells that reside around them.
Dr Frank Mckeon, senior group leader at GIS, said, "Our previous work on esophageal cancer opened up the possibility of ‘preventive therapy' to stamp out the disease by eliminating this small group of cells. This recent work in the cervix further validates this concept and raises important possibilities for early intervention to prevent malignancies linked to very small populations of these unusual, discrete population of cells."
Prof Birgitte Lane, executive director of IMB, said, "This compelling study lends further weight to the importance of specific target cell populations underlying cancer. It is a powerful example of what can be done by combining skilled pathology with modern molecular genetics to uncover important new information, even in such a well-studied disease as cervical cancer."
Prof Ng Huck Hui, acting executive director of GIS, said, "This study is a fine example of how A*STAR research institutes can integrate our research capabilities to better collaborate with an international partner like the Brigham and Women's Hospital to carry out excellent research with strong clinical and translational applications."