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Investigators create complex kidney structures from human stem cells derived from adults

October 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have established a highly efficient method for making kidney structures from stem cells that are derived from skin taken from patients. The kidney structures formed could be used to study abnormalities of kidney development, chronic kidney disease, the effects of toxic drugs, and be incorporated into bioengineered devices to treat patients with acute and chronic kidney injury. In the longer term, these methods could hasten progress toward replacing a damaged or diseased kidney with tissue derived from a patient’s own cells. These results were published in Nature Biotechnology this week.

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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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Researchers mimic viral infection in colon cancer stem cells

August 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers targeting colorectal cancer stem cells – the root cause of disease, resistance to treatment and relapse – have discovered a mechanism to mimic a virus and potentially trigger an immune response to fight the cancer like an infection.

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Can stem cells cause and cure cancer?

August 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Simply put, cancer is caused by mutations to genes within a cell that lead to abnormal cell growth. Finding out what causes that genetic mutation has been the holy grail of medical science for decades. Researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology believe they may have found one of the reasons why these genes mutate and it all has to do with how stem cells talk to each other.

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Scientists create functional liver cells from stem cells

July 31, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The liver plays a critical role in human metabolism. As the gatekeeper of the digestive track, this massive organ is responsible for drug breakdown and is therefore the first to be injured due to overdose or misuse. Evaluating this drug-induced liver injury is a critical part of pharmaceutical drug discovery and must be carried out on human liver cells. Regretfully, human liver cells, called hepatocytes, are in scarce supply as they can only be isolated from donated organs.

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Safety switch preserves beneficial effects of cell therapy

May 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist and Texas Children’s Hospital have found that a single dose of an otherwise harmless drug can safely control the severe and often lethal side effects associated with haploidentical stem cell transplantation. Due to the immune-compromising nature of haploidentical stem cell transplantation, where the stem cells are only half matched, patients are at an increased risk of viral infection and of a lethal complication called graft versus host disease, when the graft cells, which have immune potential, attack the tissues of the person whose original immune system has been eliminated as part of treatment. Investigators have now shown how a molecular “switch” (inducible caspase 9 or iC9) that is activated by a single dose of a bio-inert chemical is able to clear all symptoms of graft versus host disease without jeopardizing the ability of the infused graft to fight infection.

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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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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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Patient stem cells used to make dementia-in-a-dish; help identify new treatment strategy

December 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Belgian researchers have identified a new strategy for treating an inherited form of dementia after attempting to turn stem cells derived from patients into the neurons most affected by the disease. In patient-derived stem cells carrying a mutation predisposing them to frontotemporal dementia, which accounts for about half of dementia cases before the age of 60, the scientists found a targetable defect that prevents normal neurodevelopment. These stem cells partially return to normal when the defect is corrected.

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Biological fat with a sugar attached essential to maintaining the brain’s supply of stem cells

November 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Fat and sugar aren’t usually considered healthy staples, but scientists have found that a biological fat with a sugar attached is essential for maintaining the brain’s store of stem cells.

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