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Grape-based compounds kill colon cancer stem cells in mice

June 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Compounds from grapes may kill colon cancer stem cells both in a petri dish and in mice, according to a team of researchers.

The compounds — resveratrol –which are found in grape skins and seeds, could also eventually lead to treatments to help prevent colon cancer, said Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences, Penn State. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

“The combination of resveratrol and grape seed extract is very effective at killing colon cancer cells,” said Vanamala, who is also a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. “And what we’re learning is the combination of these compounds is not toxic to healthy cells.”

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A step forward in obtaining blood stem cells in laboratory

October 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An international study led by researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) published in the journal Nature Communications has revealed that the intensity or efficiency of the activation of a protein called Notch, which is involved in the different phases of embryonic development, determines the fate of cells, i.e. if cells will form the aorta artery or blood (hematopoietic) stem cells. For artery cells, many Notch molecules need to be activated, whereas for hematopoietic cells many fewer are needed.

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A snapshot of stem cell expression

October 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers on the Wellcome Genome Campus reveal new genes involved in stem cell pluripotency, new subpopulations of cells and new methods to find meaning in the data. Published in Cell Stem Cell, the findings have implications for the study of early development.

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Discovery offers hope for treating leukemia relapse post-transplant

September 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Targeting exhausted immune cells may change the prognosis for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse after a stem cell transplant, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

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Source of liver stem cells identified

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have identified stem cells in the liver that give rise to functional liver cells. The work solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of new cells in the liver, which must constantly be replenished as cells die off, even in a healthy organ.

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Programming adult stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy and more by mimicking nature

July 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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Nanoparticles target and kill cancer stem cells that drive tumor growth

June 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Many cancer patients survive treatment only to have a recurrence within a few years. Recurrences and tumor spreading are likely due to cancer stem cells that can be tough to kill with conventional cancer drugs. But now researchers have designed nanoparticles that specifically target these hardy cells to deliver a drug. The nanoparticle treatment, reported in the journal ACS Nano, worked far better than the drug alone in mice.

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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.

Stem cell switch on the move

May 31, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The roots of a plant are constantly growing, so that they can provide the plant with water and minerals while also giving it a firm anchor in the ground. Responsible for these functions are pluripotent stem cells. In order to avoid differentiation and to remain pluripotent, these stem cells are dependent on signals from their neighbouring cells. These signals are generated by only a small group of slowly dividing cells in the so-called quiescent centre inside the root. An international consortium under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Thomas Laux, a biologist from the University of Freiburg, has identified the transcription factor WUSCHEL HOMEOBOX (WOX) 5 as the signal molecule, showing that it moves through pores from the cells inside the quiescent centre into the stem cells. The team of researchers has published their findings in the professional journal Developmental Cell. ‘Solving the mechanism by which signals within the root control stem cell activity has implications for the general workings of the stem cell regulation in plants and humans,’ Laux said. He also explained that this will allow scientists to study how plant growth adjusts to different environmental conditions, adding that, ‘this is a fascinating field of research in the era of climate change.’

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