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 Radioisotope couple for tumor diagnosis and therapy
14.05.2019 | Kanazawa University

nachricht Therapy Optimisation by Analysing the Genome
13.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Discovering unusual structures from exception using big data and machine learning techniques

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

ALMA discovers aluminum around young star

17.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

A new iron-based superconductor stabilized by inter-block charger transfer

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>