New research the Louisiana State University School of Medicine suggests a new trigger could be responsible for colon-rectal cancer. It's the first time that such a reaction has been found to be associated with the disease and scientists believe it's the beginning of finding personalized treatments for some tumors. Researchers at the LSU lab have shown that a protein that exists in the lining of the colon, called SATB2, can cause normal cells to morph into dangerous cancer cells, even becoming like "cancer stem cells." Cancer stem cells are a kind of cell present in tumors that are not only fast growing and replicate easily but also allow other cells that feed tumors to flourish.
In addition to being aggressive, these cells are more resistant than the average cancer cell to different treatments. Turning off the production of the SATB2 protein is the key to keeping it from becoming active not only in colon cancers but in other cancers where it's been shown to be active. The team at LSU hopes to find a way to block this protein and shut off the trigger it creates.