Scientists Find Mini Gastrointestinal Tract Growing inside Tumor
Published:07 Apr.2018    Source:Scientific American
Embedded in a lung cancer tumor, scientists have found a gastrointestinal tract in miniature. Purushothama Rao Tata, lead author of this research and an assistant professor of cell biology at Duke University, has observed rudimentary but functional stomachs, small intestines, and duodenums growing inside cancerous lungs—illustrating how varied and plastic these metastatic cells can be.

A large proportion of human lung cancer cells lack a developmental gene called NKX2-1, which helps stem cells morph into lung cells. So these cancer cells default to another developmental pathway—instead of taking advantage of the coding that turns stem cells into gut.