Cancer researchers can sequence tumour cells’ genomes, scan them for strange gene activity, profile their contents for telltale proteins and study their growth in laboratory dishes. What they have not been able to do is track errant cells doing what is more relevant to patients: forming tumours. Now three groups studying tumours in mice have done exactly that1–3. Their results support the ideas that a small subset of cells drives tumour growth and that curing cancer may require those cells to be eliminated.
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