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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T-cell receptor therapy achieves encouraging clinical responses in multiple myeloma

July 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor (TCR) therapy that uses a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells demonstrated a clinical response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients with advanced disease after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT). This time, researchers modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1, an antigen found in nearly 60 percent of multiple myelomas and previously shown to be associated with tumor growth and poor prognosis.

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Factors released following stem cell transplantation therapeutically impact serious burns

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Cell transplantation researchers have successfully used bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Now, using injections of MSCs, a research team in Brazil has successfully treated laboratory rats modeled with severe burns. They found that the MSCs accelerated healing, enhanced local blood supply, affected the immune system in a positive way, secreted beneficial growth factors with anti-inflammatory properties, and ultimately provided higher survival rates than in control animals not treated with MSCs.

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Researchers identify new stem cell population important in the growth of colon cancer

June 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute have identified a new stem cell population in the colon linked to cancer growth. The findings, which were recently published in the prominent journal Cell Stem Cell, will significantly change the way we study and treat colon cancer.

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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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Dying cells can protect their stem cells from destruction

May 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Cells dying as the result of radiation exposure or chemotherapy can send a warning to nearby stem cells. The chemical signal allows the stem cells to escape the same fate, University of Washington researchers report in the May 11 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

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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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Odd histone helps suppress jumping genes in stem cells, study says

May 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A family of proteins known as histones provides support and structure to DNA, but for years, scientists have been puzzling over occasional outliers among these histones, which appear to exist for specific, but often mysterious reasons. Now, researchers have uncovered a new purpose for one such histone variant: preventing genetic mutations by keeping certain so-called “jumping genes” in place.

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Prenatal stem cell treatment improves mobility issues caused by spina bifida

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The lower-limb paralysis associated with spina bifida may be effectively treated before birth by combining a unique stem cell therapy with surgery, new research from UC Davis Health System has found.

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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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