New York City hospital researchers discover new stem cell

Researchers at New York City's Weill Cornell Medicine and Hospital for Special Surgery uncovered why cancer cells spread to the spine three to five times more than other bones, The Washington Post reported Nov. 28. 

Oncologists have known for decades that breast, lung and prostate cancer cells often travel to the spine, but the reason has been unknown for decades. A new finding after five years of research suggests that a type of stem cell in the spine makes a protein that attracts tumor cells. 

In a study published in Nature, the researchers named their discovery vertebral skeletal stem cells. A stem cell discovery is rare, and the study's authors told the Post they're excited for the therapeutic potential.

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