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UA students lead dormant cancer cell study

Posted at 6:12 AM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 09:12:08-04

Scientists at the University of Arizona may hold the key to targeting sleeping cancer cells which are resistant to chemotherapy. 

Students and staff members led by assistant professor Guang Yao, Ph.D could help prevent 90% of cancer deaths caused by sleeping cancer cells. 

Experts believe the research is really promising because scientists across the country have been discussing this research for several years.

The problem with sleeping cancer is that cancer therapies target cells that are awake, meaning sleeping cancer cells often evade treatment. After chemotherapy has ended, these cells eventually may wake up and cause cancer relapse."If we can solve and find and cure those sleeping cells, sleeping tumor cells, we hopefully can clean during treatment," Dr. Yao said. 

Dr. Yao cannot predict when the results will be ready but he believes they are a step closer to the final goal. The results and the knowledge from this study will be applied to other cancer studies in the future.

Learn more about the study here.