Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have a potential development to improve tumor treatments using oncolytic, cancer-killing, viruses. Khalid Shah and his team turned to mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to house the oncolytic viruses because they trigger a minimal immune response against the virus. The addition of a gel encompassing the MSCs keeps them alive longer to expedite the debulking, or removal, of the tumor. The investigators report that applying the gel-encapsulated MSCs to glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumor in human adults, significantly improved survival in mice.
Researchers at the Sri Ramachandra University (SRU) in Chennai have differentiated stem cells from human gum [gingival] tissue into neurons. Following their success, Dr. R. Suresh and research scholars S. Rajasekharan and M. G. Dinesh hope to develop methodologies to utilize the differentiated nerve cells to treat spinal cord injuries.
Researchers at the University of Texas have discovered a potential stem cell treatment for burn victims. After researchers analyzed tissue samples from severe burns, they observed ‘satellite cells’ that activated apoptosis [cell death] but, also activated stem cells that stimulated muscle regeneration. Such advances in the understanding of how stem cells interact with their environment will accelerate stem cell treatments for burn patients.