Adrenal Cancer Stem Cell Research
Does research on adrenal cancer have applications to other types of cancer?The signaling pathways researchers are studing in adrenal cancer are very likely to be involved in other types of cancer, too. Specifically, what we learn about the development of adrenal glands in an embryo will have direct applications to ovarian and testicular cancer. This is because the adrenal glands, ovaries and testes all develop from the same tissue in the embryo. In Dr. Hammer's laboratory, they have shown in mice that inducing mutations in the stem cell regulatory genes they study can turn an adrenal gland into an ovary. It's an example of the plasticity of stem cells.
Because the adrenal gland is most like the testes and ovary and because the same genes affect the development of all these organs, scientists believe that research on adrenal cancer will have broad implications for the more common and deadly diseases of ovarian and testicular cancer.