Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Powerful stem cells harnessed to search for cancer metastasis

30.03.2004


Stem cells that act as seek-and-destroy missiles appear to be able to find cancer wherever it hides out - at least, so far, in animals.



This novel approach at gene therapy, reported by researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, may have use in a wide variety of both solid and blood cancers.

"This addresses our great need for cancer gene therapies aimed at curbing the metastatic spread of cancer cells," says Michael Andreeff, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Leukemia. "It is exciting because it is an entirely new way of thinking about gene therapy and not just a twist of an old idea."


Andreeff will present both the concept, and a series of supporting animal studies, at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The novel strategy takes advantage of the fact that tumors attract a certain kind of stem cell, mesenchymal progenitor cells (MSC), which act as the body’s natural tissue repair system. These unspecialized cells migrate to an injury by responding to signals from the area, and there they develop the kind of connective tissue that is needed to repair the wound.

But they also respond to tumors -- often characterized as "never healing wounds" -- which "call" the stem cells to help build up normal tissue that is needed to support the cancer, says Andreeff.

Andreeff and a team of researchers removed a small number of MSC from the bone marrow, expanded them in the laboratory, and genetically altered the stem cells with a variety of therapeutic genes. When intravenously injected into tumor-bearing mice, the millions of engineered stem cells engraft in the cancer, and activate their genetic payload, which then attacks the cancer.

Andreeff will present animal data suggesting that gene modified MSC can inhibit the growth of leukemias, lung metastases of melanomas and breast cancer, ovarian and brain tumors. For example, MSC gene therapy cured 70 percent of mice implanted with one kind of human ovarian cancer. So far, researchers delivered interferon alpha and beta, and an oncolytic (tumor-destroying) virus into the tumors.

"This drug delivery system is attracted to cancers, both primary and metastatic, and anti-tumor effects are observed when the cells integrate into the tumor microenvironment" says Andreeff. "The most important discovery here is that these cells are capable of migrating from the bone marrow or blood circulation selectively into tumors and produce anti-tumor agents only at the sites of these tumors and their metatasis."

Julie Penne | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>