Angabin Matin, Ph.D., the paper's other senior co-author and an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said, "Germ cell tumors arise from primordial germ cells, which become transformed into embryonal carcinoma cells (EC cells) before giving rise to the tumors. EC cells were observed to be pluripotent and have stem cell like properties in that they can be made to differentiate into many cell and tissue types and they have been used for this purpose before the derivation of embryonic stem cells (ES cells) directly from mouse embryos. The knowledge that loss of dead end allows EC cells to develop will provide clues as to how and why pluripotent cells arise."
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer among males between 15 to 30 years of age, and its incidence is increasing in western countries.
The researchers named the mutation Ter for teratoma, a form of testicular cancer.