- Stem cell transplantation for children with rare form of leukemia improves outcomes
- Programming adult stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy and more by mimicking nature
- T-cell receptor therapy achieves encouraging clinical responses in multiple myeloma
- Stem cell therapy shows promise in small clinical trial for rare lung disease
- Miniature brains made from patient skin cells reveal insights into autism
- Stem cells move one step closer to cure for genetic diseases
- Fruitfly sperm cells reveal intricate coordination in stem cell replication
- Researchers create model of early human heart development from stem cells
Stem Cell TutorialPotential uses of human stem cells and the obstacles that must be overcome A deeper look at induced pluripotent stem cells Comparing similarities and differences between embryonic and adult stem cells Describing adult stem cells What are embryonic stem cells and how are they grown? What are the unique properties of stem cells that make them so special?
Researchers in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have shown greatly improved outcomes in using stem cell transplantation to treat patients with a serious but very rare form of chronic blood cancer called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML).
Stem cells hold great potential for addressing a variety of conditions from spinal cord injuries to cancer, but they can be difficult to control. Scientists are now reporting in the journal ACS Nano a new way to mimic the body’s natural approach to programming these cells. Using this method, they successfully directed adult stem cells to turn specifically into muscle, which could potentially help treat patients with muscular dystrophy.
Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor (TCR) therapy that uses a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells demonstrated a clinical response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients with advanced disease after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT). This time, researchers modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1, an antigen found in nearly 60 percent of multiple myelomas and previously shown to be associated with tumor growth and poor prognosis.
Canadian researchers have published promising results of the first clinical trial in the world of a genetically-enhanced stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This rare and deadly disease mainly affects young women, and is characterized by very high pressure in the arteries supplying blood to the lungs. In some cases, PAH is caused by a defective gene, but in many cases the cause is unknown. Currently available drugs can modestly improve symptoms and exercise capacity (at best), but cannot repair the blood vessel damage to the lungs or cure the disease.
Understanding diseases like autism and schizophrenia that affect development of the brain has been challenging due to both the complexity of the diseases and the difficulty of studying developmental processes in human tissues. In a study published July 16 in Cell, researchers have made steps toward overcoming these challenges by converting skin cells from autism patients into stem cells and growing them into tiny brains in a dish, revealing unexpected mechanisms of the disease.
Stem cells are key for the continual renewal of tissues in our bodies. As such, manipulating stem cells also holds much promise for biomedicine if their regenerative capacity can be harnessed. However, understanding how stem cells govern normal tissue renewal is a field still in its infancy.