Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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

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 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ 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

Petroleum-eating mushrooms
Scientists break new ground in environmental genomics by creating mushrooms that eat up oil!
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Scientific News
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
The Rise of 3D Cell Culture and in vitro Model Systems for Drug Discovery and Toxicology
An overview of the current technology and the challenges and benefits over 2D cell culture models plus some of the latest advances relating to human health research.
Study Identifies How Brain Connects Memories Across Time
UCLA Neuroscientists have boost ability of aging brain to recapture links between related memories.
3-D Atomic Structure of Cholesterol Transporter
Researchers at UTSW have determined the 3-D atomic structure of a human sterol transporter that helps maintain cholesterol balance.
First Large-Scale Proteogenomic Study of Breast Cancer
The study offers understanding of potential therapeutic targets.
Can We Break the Link Between Obesity and Diabetes?
Columbia University researchers identify a key molecule involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Fungi – A Promising Source Of Chemical Diversity
Moulds and plants share similar ways in alkaloid biosynthesis .
How Prions Kill Neurons: New Culture System Shows Early Toxicity to Dendritic Spines
Boston University researchers have developed a cell culture system to study prions.
Great Migration and African-American Genomic Diversity
Study examines genetic data to analyze regional differences in ancestry.
Faster, More Efficient CRISPR Editing
UC Berkeley scientists have developed a quicker and more efficient method to alter the genes of mice with CRISPR-Cas9, simplifying a procedure growing in popularity because of the ease of using the new gene-editing tool.
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
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!