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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>