Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Induced Stem Cells May Unmask Cancer at Earliest Stage

Published: Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Bookmark and Share
A team of Wisconsin scientists observes the onset of the blood cancer leukemia by coaxing healthy and diseased human bone marrow to become embryonic-like stem cells.

By coaxing healthy and diseased human bone marrow to become embryonic-like stem cells, a team of Wisconsin scientists has laid the groundwork for observing the onset of the blood cancer leukemia in the laboratory dish.

"This is the first successful reprogramming of blood cells obtained from a patient with leukemia," says University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell researcher Igor Slukvin, who directed a study aimed at generating all-purpose stem cells from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood. "We were able to turn the diseased cells back into pluripotent stem cells. This is important because it provides a new model for the study of cancer cells."

The research was reported today (DATE) in the journal Blood by Slukvin and colleagues from the WiCell Research Institute and the Morgridge Institute for Research, private research centers in Madison.

Slukvin's group, using banked healthy and diseased bone marrow and cord blood, employed a technique developed in 2009 by Wisconsin stem cell pioneer James Thomson that sidesteps the problems posed by the genes and viral vectors used to induce mature cells to regress to a stem cell state.

According to the new study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and The Charlotte Geyer Foundation, reprogramming blood cells to become induced stem cells is many times more efficient than the reprogramming of skin cells, which were the first mature cells to be guided back to an embryonic stem cell-like state.

The new work could open to science vast repositories of banked tissue, both healthy and diseased, such as bone marrow, the soft tissue in bones that helps make blood, and umbilical cord blood. The work could underpin insightful models capable of unmasking the cellular events that go awry and cause cancers such as leukemia, and could aid the development of new stem cell-based therapies, according to Slukvin.

Of particular note in the new study, says Slukvin, is the reprogramming of marrow cells from a patient with chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood that kills about 1500 people a year in the United States. The disease, like all leukemias, starts in the cells that produce white blood cells in bone marrow.

According to Slukvin, the induced stem cells generated from the diseased tissue retain the exact same complex of genetic abnormalities found in the mature cancer cells. That means that when the induced cells are turned back into blood, scientists could, in theory, watch cancer develop from scratch as cells bearing cancer mutations become cancer stem cells.

"When we differentiate induced stem cells back to blood, we can identify the stages when the abnormality that leads to cancer manifests itself," Slukvin explains.

The ability to pinpoint the very earliest stages of cancer is a major focus of biomedical science.

"This is very important for developing new leukemia drugs," says Slukvin. "A major focus of leukemia research is to find ways to try and eliminate the most immature leukemia cells - cancer stem cells."

The work by Slukvin and his team may represent the first step in a new understanding of the cascade of events that results in blood diseases such as leukemia.

Employing the reprogramming technique developed by Thomson and his colleagues, Slukvin emphasizes, is important because it eliminates the exotic reprogramming genes, some of which are cancer-related genes, from the induced stem cell equation. In the case of chronic myeloid leukemia and other blood diseases, obtaining stem cells that do not have the genetic reprogramming factors is very important.

"When you use viruses (to ferry genes into a cell) you have chromosomal integration," the Wisconsin researcher notes. "Some of the reprogramming factors are oncogenes and would interfere with a study of chronic myeloid leukemia" whose abnormalities are also encoded on the chromosome.


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 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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.

Related Content

Gene Regulating Human Brain Development Identified
New findings by Wisconsin-Madison scientists reveal the main genetic factor responsible for instructing cells at the earliest stages of embryonic development.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Liver Cells Grown From Patients’ Skin Cells Could Lead to Treatment of Liver Diseases
Wisconsin scientists have successfully produced liver cells from patients’ skin cells opening the possibility of treating liver diseases.
Monday, October 12, 2009
California Company Licenses Human Embryonic Stem Cell Technology from WARF
BioTime signs licensing agreement with WARF for 173 patents and patent applications relating to human embryonic stem cell technology created at the UW-Madison.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Stem Cells Show Power to Predict Disease, Drug Toxicity
Scientists have used human embryonic stem cells to predict the toxic effects of drugs and provide chemical clues to diagnosing disease.
Monday, December 10, 2007
UW-Madison Scientists Guide Human Skin Cells to Embryonic State
Researchers reports the genetic reprogramming of human skin cells to create cells indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells in a paper to be published online.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Stem Cell Therapy Rescues Motor Neurons in ALS Model
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists show that it is possible to rescue the dying neurons characteristics of ALS by using cell-based therapies.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
UW Launches Study Testing Adult Stem Cells for Repair of Heart Damage
The University of Wisconsin will take part in a clinical trial that involves investigation of patient’s own stem cells to treat severe coronary artery disease.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Scientific News
Access Denied: Leukemia Thwarted by Cutting Off Link to Environmental Support
A new study reveals a protein’s critical – and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.
New Weapon in the Fight Against Blood Cancer
This strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
Scientists Create CRISPR/Cas9 Knock-In Mutations in Human T Cells
In a project spearheaded by investigators at UC San Francisco, scientists have devised a new strategy to precisely modify human T cells using the genome-editing system known as CRISPR/Cas9.
Zebrafish Reveal Drugs that may Improve Bone Marrow Transplant
Compounds boost stem cell engraftment; could allow more matches for patients with cancer and blood diseases.
New Material Forges the Way for 'Stem Cell Factories'
Researchers have discovered the first fully synthetic substrate with potential to grow billions of stem cells. The researchcould forge the way for the creation of 'stem cell factories' - the mass production of human embryonic (pluripotent) stem cells.
Liver Regrown from Stem Cells
Scientists have repaired a damaged liver in a mouse by transplanting stem cells grown in the laboratory.
Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Myeloma
A strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
'Google Maps' for the Body
Scientists have revealed research that uses previously top-secret technology to zoom through the human body down to the level of a single cell that could be a game-changer for medicine.
Adaptimmune's Novel Cancer Therapeutics Show Positive Clinical Trial Results
The company has announced that positive data from its Phase I/II study of its affinity enhanced T-cell receptor (TCR) therapeutic targeting the NY-ESO-1 cancer antigen in patients with multiple myeloma has been published.
Stem Cells Rescue Patients from Mitochondrial Disease
A study led by OHSU researchers has revealed a critical first step in developing a new gene and stem cell regenerative technique for treating patients with mitochondrial disease.
Skyscraper Banner

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
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!