Stem cells are a valuable resource for medical and biological research, but are difficult to study due to ethical and societal barriers. However, genetically manipulated cells from adults may provide a path to study stem cells that avoid any ethical concerns. A new video-protocol in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), details steps to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from cells in the peripheral blood. The technique has been developed by Boston University’s Dr. Gustavo Mostoslavsky and his colleagues.
A new video protocol in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) details an assay to identify brain tumor initiating stem cells from primary brain tumors. Through flow cytometry, scientists separate stem cells from the rest of the tumor, allowing quick and efficient analysis of target cells. This approach has been effectively used to identify similar stem cells in leukemia patients.
Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have deciphered the function executed by a protein called β-catenin in generating blood tissue stem cells. These cells, also called haematopoietic, are used as a source for transplants that form part of the therapies to fight different types of leukaemia. The results obtained will open the doors to produce these stem cells in the laboratory and, thus, improve the quality and quantity of these surgical procedures. This will let patients with no compatible donors be able to benefit from this discovery in the future.
A new cornea may be the only way to prevent a patient going blind Â– but there is a shortage of donated corneas and the queue for transplantation is long. Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have for the first time successfully cultivated stem cells on human corneas, which may in the long term remove the need for donators.
Half-matched bone marrow or stem cell transplants for blood cancer patients have typically been associated with disappointing clinical outcomes. However, a clinical trial conducted at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson testing its unique, two-step half-match procedure has produced some promising results: the probability of overall survival was 45 percent in all patients after three years and 75 percent in patients who were in remission at the time of the transplant.