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D. A Whole New Way To Look At Cancer Research

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have made an important discovery about the development of cancer in the prostate that can actually apply to a broad range of cancers. Dr. Gary Grossfeld, a urologic oncologist, says they found certain cells called carcinoma-associated fibroblasts are able push abnormal epithelial cells into becoming cancerous.

Grossfeld: Most malignancies are epithelial malignancies or carcinoma - certainly breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer. While we did out work in the prostate, one of the things that we find very exciting is that I think this is a very generalizable concept.

Narrator: And it's a concept, Grossfeld says, that's against the norm.

Grossfeld: It sort of represents a new way to look at cancer research. I think that instead of focusing on the malignant cells themselves, we're focusing on the environment that the malignant cells exist in. And the factors that promote these cells to divide and to spread and to do all the things that are bad. If we can interrupt those processes, I think that we're going to make a whole lot of headway.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.