Pancreatic cancer stem cells could be ‘suffocated’ by an anti-diabetic drug

September 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Cancer cells commonly rely on glycolysis, the type of metabolism that does not use oxygen to generate their energy however, researchers from Queen Mary University of London’s Barts Cancer Institute and the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid have now found that not all cancer cells are alike when it comes to metabolism.

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Variations in cell programs control cancer and normal stem cells

September 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In the breast, cancer stem cells and normal stem cells can arise from different cell types but tap into distinct yet related stem cell programs, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. The differences between these stem cell programs may be significant enough to be exploited by future therapeutics.

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Stem cells provide lasting pain relief in mice

July 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Chronic pain caused by the nerve damage of type 2 diabetes, surgical amputation, chemotherapy and other conditions is especially intractable because it resists painkilling medications.

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Researchers uncover epigenetic switches that turn stem cells into blood vessel cells

June 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular mechanism that directs embryonic stem cells to mature into endothelial cells — the specialized cells that form blood vessels. Understanding the processes initiated by this mechanism could help scientists more efficiently convert stem cells into endothelial cells for use in tissue repair, or for engineering blood vessels to bypass blockages in the heart.

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Diabetic blindness: UVA IDs best source of stem cells to block vision loss

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have taken a significant step forward in their efforts to use stem cells to block vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects millions of people with diabetes. The researchers have evaluated the best potential sources for adult stem cells to be used for that purpose, determining that cells taken from donors who do not suffer diabetes likely will be more effective than cells taken from patients’ own bodies.

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Certain donors with high T cell counts make better match for stem-cell transplant patients

June 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Using a simple blood test to measure the T lymphocyte count in donors for stem cell transplants may help identify the best match for patients in need of an allogeneic stem cell transplant, suggests a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology from researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania. Typically, matched siblings have been preferred over unrelated donors. This study shows that older patients who received stem cells from younger, unrelated donors with higher numbers of so-called killer T cells (CD8 cells) had significantly reduced risk of disease relapse and improved survival compared to those who received stem-cells from donors with low numbers of CD8 cells, including older matched siblings.

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Depletion of naive T cells from stem cell grafts limits chronic graft-versus host disease

June 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cell transplantation is used to treat hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia. Patients that receive donor cells are at risk of developing graft-versus host disease (GVHD). This potentially fatal complication results when naive T cells generated from the graft promote an immune response that attacks the recipient’s tissues. Prophylactic treatment with immunosuppressive drugs is currently used to limit GVHD but does not reliably prevent disease. In mouse models, depletion of naive T cells from the stem cell graft prior to transplant reduces the occurrence and severity of GVHD. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation evaluates GVHD in a small set of patients with leukemia that received stem cell grafts that had been depleted of naïve T cells prior to transplantation. Marie Bleakley and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed that reduction of naïve T cells in the donor graft markedly reduces the occurrence of chronic GVHD disease in patients. There was no reduction in the overall rate of acute GVHD occurrence in these patients. However, acute GVHD in these recipients was generally responsive to corticosteroid therapy. The results of this study support depletion of naïve T cells from stem cell grafts prior to transplantation as a potential treatment option to limit chronic GVHD in patients.

Complex signaling between blood and stem cells controls regeneration in fly gut

May 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Having a healthy gut may well depend on maintaining a complex signaling dance between immune cells and the stem cells that line the intestine. Scientists at the Buck Institute are now reporting significant new insight into how these complex interactions control intestinal regeneration after a bacterial infection. It’s a dance that ensures repair after a challenge, but that also goes awry in aging fruit flies — the work thus offers important new clues into the potential causes of age-related human maladies, such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut and colorectal cancer.

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Gene found that is essential to maintaining breast and cancer stem cells

May 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The gene and hormone soup that enables women to breastfeed their newborns also can be a recipe for breast cancer, particularly when the first pregnancy is after age 30.

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New study sheds light on cancer stem cell regulation

February 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have discovered a precise stem cell signaling process that can lead to intestinal tumors if disrupted. The findings add to our understanding of how stem cells give rise to tumors and identify specific stem cell molecules that may be targeted to prevent the onset, progression, and recurrence of intestinal cancers. The results of the study appear online in Cell Reports today.

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