Researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a system that uses differentiated human stem cells to expedite the testing of existing drugs that might work against rare cancers. By transforming human stem cells into an aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer, medulloblastoma, they can be compared to cancer cells already tested against existing drugs.
A collaborative investigation by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Johns Hopkins University created a cancer treatment that utilizes mesenchymal stem cells and microparticles. Both components of the treatment are engineered to specifically target and kill cancer cells.
Innumerable studies [using animals] have been conducted pertaining to the regenerative capabilities of stem cells to restore cell function in cells/tissue exposed to chemotherapy. In one such study, scientists from Egypt's Mansoura Medical School injected bone marrow stem cells in chemotherapy treated animals and documented the regeneration of ovarian tissue and an increase in follicular count.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy has demonstrated yet another application in repairing tissue damage. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) greatly improved urinary continence and erectile function after radical prostatectomy (RP) in animal studies. These conditions are common side effects of surgical treatment for human prostate cancer.
Purified silk strands provided the scaffolding for a matrix of rat salivary cell glands developed from stem cells, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Salivary stem cells have historically been difficult to grow in culture while retaining their function. Silk was selected as the cell scaffolding because it is organic (biodegradable), flexible, porous – providing amply access to oxygen – and does not cause inflammation.
Recently published research from the Yale University Cancer Center has evaluated the effect of a stem cell’s surrounding area on whether or not the cell will grow or die. The scientists, led by Kailin R. Mesa, observed stem cells on a hair follicle using live microscopic imaging to determine that the environment in which the stem cell is located plays a critical role in the fate of that cell. Mesa’s team also observed that stem cells contain a feeding mechanism to rid the skin area of dead cells.
In a recently published article, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center [DKFZ] have detailed the risks of stress-induced stem cell activation to cause DNA damage. Stressful events within the body drive adult stem cells into high energy states of rapid cell division and DNA synthesis to produce blood or repair damaged tissue. But since the transition from dormancy to executing these complicated functions is so abrupt, DNA is more likely to be damaged, resulting in cell death or harmful mutations.
In a recent study conducted by the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, scientists have discovered a rare line of stem cells involved in regulating spermatogenesis [the production of sperm cells]. Furthermore, these stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are toxic to the male germline and common causes for male infertility.
Researchers from the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have grown esophageal tissue in vivo (in the body) from stem cells without the use of exogenous growth factors. In an animal model, the scientists transplanted stem cells, as well as a simple biodegradable scaffold, and relied on the stem cells’ ability to migrate towards the tissue in need of repair. The cells then differentiated into the epithelial, muscle, and nerve cells to develop a healthy esophagus.
A research team, led by Dr. Eric Darling of Brown University, has found a potential source of stem cells to protect children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia against the adverse effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX). Adipose-derived stem cells, which appear to be impervious to the bone-degenerative side effects of MTX, may allow children to undergo the chemotherapy treatment and then regain the lost bone tissue afterwards.