Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology
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Pancreas cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death but its cell of origin is controversial. We compared the localization
of stem cells in normal and cancerous pancreas using antibodies to the stem cell markers Nanog and LGR5. Here we show, for
the first time, that LGR5 is expressed in normal pancreas, exclusively in the islets of Langerhans and it is co-localized, surprisingly,
with Nanog and insulin in clusters of beta cells. In cancerous pancreas Nanog and LGR5 are expressed in the remaining islets
and in all ductal cancer cells. We observed insulin staining among the ductal cancer cells, but not in metastases. This indicates
that the islet?s beta cells, expressing LGR5 and Nanog markers are the initiating cells of pancreas cancer, which migrated from the
islets to form the ductal cancerous tissue, probably after mutation and dedifferentiation. This discovery may facilitate treatment
of this devastating cancer.
Abraham Amsterdam had graduated from the "Reali" Secondary School, Haifa during 1957. He served in the Military Service from 1957 to 1960 as
a Paratrooper for Israel Defense Forces. He completed his Ph.D. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Biological Chemistry
In 1971. Thesis: "Structure and function of smooth membranes involved in secretion in rat parotid gland". He also worked as an Editorial Board for
Biology of Reproduction (1990-1995), International Journal of Oncology (Editorial Academy; 1992- ), and Journal of Reproduction and Development
(2000). Abraham Amsterdam is an Advisory International Scientific Committee for Electron Microscopy in Biology and Medicine. He is currently
working on the topic Ultrastructural Research (Martinus Nijhoff Publ., The Hague).
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