Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Stem Cells Enable Personalized Treatment for Bleeding Disorder

Published: Monday, April 08, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, April 08, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists use endothelial cells to treat von Willebrand disease.

Scientists have shed light on a common bleeding disorder by growing and analyzing stem cells from patients' blood to discover the cause of the disease in individual patients.

The technique may enable doctors to prescribe more effective treatments according to the defects identified in patients' cells.

In future, this approach could go much further: these same cells could be grown, manipulated, and applied as treatments for diseases of the heart, blood and circulation, including heart attacks and haemophilia.

The study focused on von Willebrand disease (vWD), which is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people and can cause excessive, sometimes life-threatening bleeding.

vWD is caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a blood component involved in making blood clot.

vWF is produced by endothelial cells, which line the inside of every blood vessel in our body. Unfortunately, they are difficult to study because taking biopsies from patients is invasive and unpleasant.

A group led by Dr Anna Randi at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London used a new approach to investigate the disease.

Dr Richard Starke, a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellow and lead author of the study, took routine blood samples from eight patients with vWD, extracted stem cells called endothelial progenitor cells, and grew them in the lab to yield large numbers of endothelial cells.

By testing these cells, they were able to analyze each patient's disease in unprecedented detail. In some patients, the scientists found new types of defect, which may enable them to recommend improved treatments.

Professor Mike Laffan, a collaborator in the study and in charge of patients with VWD at Hammersmith Hospital in West London, is looking to apply these findings to reduce severe bleeding in these patients.

Dr Randi believes that endothelial progenitor cells could become an invaluable resource for testing new drugs for vWD and other diseases. "We will be able to test the effects of a range of compounds in the patients' own cells, before giving the drugs to the patients themselves," she said.

This approach could have impact far beyond vWD. Endothelial cells derived from blood could also be isolated and reinjected into someone recovering from a heart attack, to help them grow new blood vessels and repair the injured heart tissue.

Dr Starke says this approach avoids the main problem with transplant therapies, in which the immune system tries to destroy the foreign material. "The patients would receive their own cells, so they wouldn't face the problems of rejection," he said.

Work is well underway towards achieving this goal, but blood-derived endothelial cells are only now being explored. "There are already many studies where patients have been injected with stem cells to see whether damage to the heart could be repaired, and there are some promising results," says Dr Randi. "The door is open to such treatments, and our studies are a step towards identifying the right cells to use."

The group's previous research has already thrown up pointers for potential new treatments. Aside from producing vWF to form clots, endothelial cells are responsible for forming new blood vessels.

In their last paper, the group showed that vWF is actually needed to build healthy blood vessels. Some patients with vWD suffer severe bleeding from the gut because defects in vWF cause their blood vessels to develop abnormally.

"There are drugs already being used in other diseases which target abnormal blood vessel, that could be useful to stop bleeding in some vWD patients," says Randi. "Nobody would have thought of using them to treat vWD, but by testing them on the patient's own endothelial cells , in the laboratory, we can find out if these drugs work before giving them to the patient."

Scientists are now interested in the possibility of using endothelial cells as a treatment in themselves. For instance, haemophilia, the hereditary bleeding disorder which affected Queen Victoria's family, might one day be treated by taking these cells from a patient and replacing the gene that causes the disease, then putting them back into the patient.

Funding for the study came from the British Heart Foundation, the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.


Further Information

Join For Free

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 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,700+ 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

Dengue Virus Exposure May Amplify Zika Infection
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of Zika infection.
Friday, June 24, 2016
£14m EU Project To Aid Meningitis Diagnosis and Cut Antibiotic Use
An international team of doctors are aiming to develop a rapid test to allow medics to quickly identify bacterial infection in children.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
New Bio-Glass Could Make it Possible to Re-Grow or Replace Cartilage
Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a material that can mimic cartilage and potentially encourage it to re-grow.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Gene Expression Controls Revealed
Researchers have modelled every atom in a key part of the process for switching on genes, revealing a whole new area for potential drug targets.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Crucial Reaction for Vision Revealed
Scientists have tracked the reaction of a protein responding to light, paving the way for a new understanding of life's essential reactions.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Scans Reveal Babies of Mothers with Gestational Diabetes Have More Body Fat
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes have more body fat at two months of age compared to babies born to healthy mothers.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
The Brain on LSD: New Scans Show How the Drug Affects the Brain
Researchers at Imperial College London have visualised the effects of LSD on the brain.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Cost of Diabetes Hits 825 Billion Dollars a Year
The global cost of diabetes is now 825 billion dollars per year, according to the largest ever study of diabetes levels across the world.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
World's Obese Population Hits 640 Million
More than one in ten men and one in seven women across the globe are now obese, according to the world's biggest obesity study.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Interactive Maps Reveal Global Obesity
World’s obese population hits 640 million, according to largest ever study.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Switching Off Cancers' Ability to Spread
A key molecule in breast and lung cancer cells can help switch off the cancers' ability to spread around the body.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Bacterial Motors Unveiled
Nanoscopic 3D imaging has revealed how different bacteria have geared their tiny propeller motors for a wide range of swimming abilities.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
New App Advises and Reminds Pregnant Women About Vaccinations
Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a new app to guide and remind pregnant women about vaccines recommended during pregnancy.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Infant Milk Formula Does Not Reduce Risk of Eczema and Allergies, Says New Study
Researchers at Imperial College London have found a type of baby formula does not reduce allergy risk - despite previous claims to the contrary.
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Too Many Avoidable Errors in Patient Care, Says Report
Researchers at Imperial College London have launched the reports in which provide evidence on the current state of patient safety and how it could be improved the future.
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Scientific News
Open Source Seed Initiative – A Welcome Boost to Global Crop Breeding
A team of plant breeders, farmers, non-profit agencies, seed advocates, and policymakers have created the Open Source Seed Initiative.
ASMS 2016: Targeting Mass Spectrometry Tools for the Masses
The expanding application range of MS in life sciences, food, energy, and health sciences research was highlighted at this year's ASMS meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Anthrax Proteins Might Help Treat Cancerous Tumors
Studies in mice reveal novel treatment regimen.
New Cancer Drug Target Found in Dual-Function Protein
Findings from a study from TSRI have shown that targeting a protein called GlyRS might help to halt cancer growth.
Key to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is in Your Gut, Not Head
Researchers report they have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.
HIV Structure Stabilized
Findings represent ‘big accomplishment’ in biomedical engineering and design.
Four Newly-Identified Genes Could Improve Rice
A Japanese research team have applied a method used in human genetic analysis to rice and rapidly discovered four new genes that are potentially significant for agriculture. These findings could influence crop breeding and help combat food shortages caused by a growing population.
New Cancer Drug Target in Dual-Function Protein
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a protein that launches cancer growth and appears to contribute to higher mortality in breast cancer patients.
Antibodies To Dengue May Alter Course Of Zika Virus Infection
Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center, in collaboration with investigators from Thailand, have found that people infected with dengue virus develop antibodies that cross-react with Zika virus.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
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
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!