Revealed: The spy who regulates neuroblastoma stem cells
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Neuroblastoma (NB), an embryonal tumour of the sympathetic nervous system, is thought to originate from undifferentiated neural crest cells and is known to exhibit extremely heterogeneous biological and clinical behaviors. Occurring in very young children, the median age at diagnosis is 17 months and it accounts for 10% of all pediatric cancer mortalities. The standard treatment regimen for patients with high-risk NB includes induction and surgery followed by isotretinoin or Accutane (13-cis retinoic acid) treatment, which is shown to induce terminal differentiation of NB cells. However, molecular regulators that maintain an undifferentiated phenotype in NB cells are still poorly understood.
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