Cryo-Cell Announces Partnership with National Institutes of Health
News Nov 19, 2008
Cryo-Cell International Inc. and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center have announced a research partnership to conduct an exploratory study to determine the homing capabilities of Cryo-Cell's proprietary Endometrial Menstrual Stem Cells (MenSCs) in a breast cancer model.
The NIH Clinical Center research team, led by Dr. Joseph Frank, will label the MenSCs with iron oxide nanoparticles, which will make it possible to track the distribution of the MenSCs in the body using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The ability to use MRI to monitor the migration of the MenSCs may provide the basis for determining the future utility of MenSCs in the treatment of disease.
"We know that the MenSCs are capable of differentiating into different cell types, and that they have the ability to divide rapidly," said Julie Allickson, Ph.D., Vice President of Laboratory Operations and Research and Development at Cryo-Cell. "The study may provide the basis for determining future use of these cells to treat diseases."
Clinical non-invasive imaging techniques that allow for long term tracking of stem cells in vivo do not currently exist. The Experimental Neuroimaging Section of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the NIH Clinical Center has developed techniques to label stem cells with the FDA approved agent, ferumoxides (FE), which is commonly used as a contrast agent with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. By using FE, researchers in the Experimental Neuroimaging Section of the LDRR are able to track the temporal and spatial migration by MRI.
Dr. Frank and his colleagues in the Experimental Neuroimaging Section of Radiology and Imaging Sciences will evaluate the labeling efficiency of MenSCs to determine if there is any alteration in differentiation potential, proliferative capacity, metabolic alterations, apoptosis rate and/or an increase in iron content of the tracked cells compared to unlabeled cells.
Following the in vitro evaluation of FEPro (ferumoxides complexed to protamine sulfate) labeled endometrial cell function, if the MenSCs are not altered by FEPro labeling, a series of in vivo MRI studies will be conducted in rodent tumor models to determine if the magnetically labeled cells will migrate to and integrate into the tumor.
Further studies may be added that will explore the therapeutic uses of MenSCs at the molecular level, as gene therapy or delivery vehicles for nanotherapeutic chemotherapeutic agents to treat cancer if the present research supports such studies.
Previous work by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) has identified 233 genetic risk variants. However, these only account for about 20% of overall disease risk, with the remaining genetic culprits proving elusive. A new study has tracked down four of these hard-to-find genes.READ MORE