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A new drug combination tested in mice may target the cells responsible for driving some pancreatic tumors. The combination of gemcitabine and the experimental drug tigatuzumab eliminated populations of cancer stem cells and reduced tumor growth in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center reported at the AACR annual meeting.
The results provide a rationale for testing the promising combination in patients with this deadly disease, Dr. Rajesh Kumar NV and his colleagues concluded.
Cancer stem cells are thought to self renew while giving rise to tumors, and they may
CD133 (Prominin) is widely used as a marker for the identification and isolation of neural precursor cells from normal brain or tumor tissue. However, the assumption that CD133 is expressed constitutively in neural precursor cells has not been examined.
In this study, we demonstrate that CD133 and a second marker CD15 are expressed heterogeneously in uniformly undifferentiated human neural stem (NS) cell cultures. After fractionation by flow cytometry, clonogenic tripotent cells are found in populations negative or positive for either marker. We further show that CD133 is down-regulated at the mRNA level in cells lacking CD133 immunoreactivity. Cell cycle
An experimental drug is on the way, which might be effective to fight brain cancer (glioblastoma) and prostate cancer.
The researchers are experimenting on this drug at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre (UTSMC).
According to Jerry Shay, professor of cell biology, the drugs are promisisng because they attack not only the tumour cells but also the rare cancer stem cells in the body. So, it would be effective to root out cancer from the body.
“Because it attacks a mechanism that’s active in most cancers, it might prove to be widely useful, especially when combined with other therapies,” said Shay.
A 3-year-old South Dakota boy whose brain tumor treatment had been in question because of an insurance dispute is set to begin chemotherapy in Minnesota this week.
Cooper Urbaniak, who suffers from ependymoma, is to be admitted to the University of Minnesota Medical Center Tuesday to begin high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
The family’s insurance provider initially declared the procedure experimental and refused to pay for it. But under an agreement reached last month between Sanford Health Plan and the university, Sanford will pay for the chemotherapy and pay a discounted rate on the stem cell transplant.
Cooper’s father, Joe
Chemotherapy saves lives, but it also kills healthy tissue like bone marrow. According to a new study involving three patients with glioblastoma, a deadly cancer of the brain, stem cells from cancer patients’ own blood may protect their bone marrow from the toxic effects of treatment.
Glioblastomas often carry an active form of a gene called MGMT, which is a DNA repair enzyme that protects the cancer cells against chemotherapy. To overcome that protective effect, doctors use benzylguanine, a drug that blocks MGMT – but that drug also makes bone marrow and blood cells vulnerable. For this study, scientists at Fred Hutchinson