Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Origin of multiple myeloma found in rare stem cell

04.12.2003


Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified the cell likely to be responsible for the development of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow that destroys bone tissue. The research, published in Blood online, suggests that therapies designed for long-term cure of the disease should target this stem cell, which, unlike other cells, can copy itself and differentiate into one or more specialized cell types.

In their studies to learn why multiple myeloma so often recurs following drug treatment, the investigators uncovered a rare stem cell , occurring in just one out of every 10,000 cells or less than one percent of all myeloma cells.

Working with immune system B-cells, the Johns Hopkins team found that this stem cell gives rise to the malignant bone marrow plasma cells characterized by multiple myeloma.



Current treatments target the malignant plasma cells but may not be effective on the errant multiple myeloma stem cells, allowing the cancer to recur. "Most therapies today are aimed at the cancer you can see, but to cure cancer you have to go after the cells responsible for the disease, similar to how we kill a weed by getting at its roots, not just the part above the ground," explains Richard Jones, M.D., professor and director of bone marrow transplant at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. "If you cut off the flower and stem of a dandelion, it may look like it has died for a period of time, but the weed eventually will grow back. If you get the root, however, the weed does not grow back."

The scientists found the rare stem cell by looking at markers on the surface of damaged B-cells, which develop into plasma cells that cannot divide and multiply. "We know what the markers are on cancerous plasma cells and the antibodies they make, and we also know the markers on B-cells that are not cancerous. So, we went looking for a B-cell that has the same antibodies, can make copies of itself and mature into cancerous plasma cells," says William Matsui, M.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

They found that this multiple myeloma stem cell looks and acts genetically different from the plasma cell.

"Because these two cells are biologically different, we may need two therapies – one to kill the plasma cells, or the visible part of the weed; and one to kill the root – the stem cells," says Matsui. "Treatments that are directed at myeloma plasma cells are likely to produce visible results, but they will be temporary improvements unless we also target the myeloma stem cell."

Therapies for myeloma undergoing study at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center include antibodies that target the stem cells and drugs to make them age prematurely. Cancer stem cells have been found as the culprit in chronic myeloid leukemia, and the scientists believe the same pattern of cancer development may apply to other cancers, including breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and strikes more than 14,000 Americans each year. Close to 11,000 will die from the disease.


This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Other participants in this research include Carol Ann Huff, Qiuju Wang, Matthew T. Malehorn, James Barber, Yvette Tanhehco, B. Douglas Smith, and Curt I. Civin from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>