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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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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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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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Blood stem cells in a rush — velocity determines quality

July 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

For the first time, the research group of Prof. Claudia Waskow at the Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at Dresden Technical University is now describing a new mechanism in which the length of the G1 phase of the cell cycle has a dramatic impact on the fitness of human blood stem cells. In the study, the shortened G1 phase resulted in much improved continuous production of mature blood cells from stem cells over a prolonged period of time. It is imaginable that the stem cell function can also be increased in the human body in the future by an acceleration of cell cycle transition kinetic. The work has now been published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine(DOI:10.1084/jem.20150308).

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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.

Infusions of donor bone marrow cells help children with inherited skin blistering

May 27, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Promising results from a trial of a new stem-cell based therapy for a rare and debilitating skin condition have been published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The therapy, involving infusions of stem cells, was found to provide pain relief and to reduce the severity of this skin condition for which no cure currently exists.

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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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Stem-cell-based therapy promising for treatment of breast cancer metastases in the brain

April 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed an imageable mouse model of brain-metastatic breast cancer and shown the potential of a stem-cell-based therapy to eliminate metastatic cells from the brain and prolong survival. The study published online in the journal Brain also describes a strategy of preventing the potential negative consequences of stem cell therapy.

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Stem cells that prevent birth defect also repair facial injury

April 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers have pinpointed a primary cause of a rare skull disorder in infants, and the discovery could help wounded soldiers, car-wreck victims and other patients recover from disfiguring facial injuries.

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