Researchers at the University of California Irvine have created a method of engineering mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to specifically target and help destroy cancer metastasis, which is an indicator of cancer spreading and the cause of approximately 90% of cancer deaths. The researchers are utilizing MSCs that have been engineered to detect stiffened tissues, a typical indicator of breast cancer metastases. These stem cells then release an enzyme upon detection of the cancer cells that triggers the activation of a localized chemotherapy. This is a revolutionary method of treating cancer given that one of the biggest concerns with chemotherapy is its ability to not only harm cancer cells, but also harm healthy cells as well.
A team at Texas A&M University’s College of Medicine has been working on a treatment to address the side effects of epileptic seizures utilizing vesicles from stem cells. The most significant side effect of seizures is inflammation in the brain, which anti-seizure drugs do not typically treat. The vesicles, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, are separated and recovered from mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] and delivered via a nasal spray to promote rapid delivery to the brain. Separating the vesicles from their stem cells allows them to penetrate barriers not permeable by the whole stem cell, thereby increasing their efficacy in limiting damage caused by inflammation.