Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Cell Culture
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Capturing Leukemic Stem Cells: A Major Breakthrough in Developing New Cancer Drugs

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Important advance opens the way to the identification of new cancer drugs to fight acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most aggressive forms of blood cancer.

The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal (UdeM), in collaboration with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital's Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank, recently achieved a significant breakthrough thanks to the laboratory growth of leukemic stem cells, which will speed up the development of new cancer drugs.

In a recent study published in Nature Methods, the scientists involved describe how they succeeded in identifying two new chemical compounds that allow to maintain leukemic stem cells in culture when these are grown outside the body.

The ability to grow leukemic stem cells in culture is a major breakthrough. The next step is to study the molecular mechanisms that regulate the survival and proliferation of leukemic cells as well as the resistance to cancer drugs.

This study is the work of the “Leucégène” research group. This group is co-directed by Dr. Guy Sauvageau, chief executive officer and principal investigator at IRIC as well as professor in the Department of Medicine at the UdeM; by Dr. Josée Hébert, director of the Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank, hematologist at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and professor in the Department of Medicine at the UdeM; and by Sébastien Lemieux, principal investigator at IRIC. The first author of the study is Caroline Pabst, a postdoctoral fellow at IRIC and associate of the “Leucégène” research group.

“This research breakthrough demonstrates the advantage of working in a multidisciplinary team like the ‘Leucégène' research group,” stated Drs. Sauvageau and Hébert. “Access to cells of leukemia patients and to IRIC's state-of-the-art facilities are also key factors in pursuing ground-breaking research.”

Background to the study
Stem cells located in the bone marrow are responsible for the production of blood cells. Unfortunately, deregulation of those cells often produces disastrous consequences when one of them develops mutations that transform it into a malignant cell called “leukemic”. The result is an abnormal proliferation of blood cells and the development of leukemia. Leukemic stem cells are also one of the likely causes of patient relapse because they are especially resistant to cancer treatments.

The major obstacle before this discovery was growing stem cells and keeping them intact in vitro, because they quickly lost their cancer stem cell character. As a result, it was very difficult to effectively study the multiplication of cells that cause leukemia.

To get around that difficulty, the team of researchers studied leukemic stem cells from patients with acute myeloid leukemia, obtained from the Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank. After thousands of tests using various chemicals, they identified two new chemical compounds that, when added to the culture medium, can keep functional human leukemic stem cells alive for at least seven days in vitro.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
The Mending Tissue - Cellular Instructions for Tissue Repair
NUS-led collaborative study identifies universal mechanism that explains how tissue shape regulates physiological processes such as wound healing and embryo development.
Most Complete Human Brain Model to Date is a ‘Brain Changer’
Once licensed, model likely to accelerate study of Alzheimer’s, autism, more.
Capturing Cell Growth in 3-D
Spinout’s microfluidics device better models how cancer and other cells interact in the body.
Protein That Turns Moles Into Melanoma Cancer Identified
Moles can turn into cancer, if the genetic factors recently identified by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were not present in humans.
Scientists Grow Human Serotonin Neurons in Petri Dish
The advance could facilitate the discovery of new antidepressants and drugs for illnesses involving serotonin.
Study Details Powerful Molecular Promoter of Colon Cancers
Findings show how suppression of microRNA family of molecules leads to intestinal tumors.
From Pluripotency to Totipotency
Studies results provide new elements for the understanding of pluripotency and could increase the efficiency of reprogramming somatic cells to be used for applications in regenerative medicine.
Cancer Treatment Models get Real
Researchers at Rice Univ. and Univ. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a way to mimic the conditions under which cancer tumors grow in bones.
Potential Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy
A new method for producing muscle cells could offer a better model for studying muscle diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, and for testing potential treatment options.
Protein Related to Long Term Traumatic Brain Injury Complications Discovered
NIH-study shows protein found at higher levels in military members who have suffered multiple TBIs.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!