SPAIN – Stem Cells to Rebuild Breasts Damaged by Tumors

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Image by *spud* via Flickr

An experimental treatment in Spain has shown promising possibilities to rebuild breasts damaged by tumors with the use of fat taken from the patient’s abdomen, removing stem cells, then injecting them into the chest, in a process that takes from four to five hours and does not leave scars.
Five patients from Madrid were the first in Spain to undergo the pioneering operation performed at Gregorio Maranon in collaboration with three other European hospitals in Great Britain, Italy, and Belgium. Mesenchymal stem cells, adult stem cells with the ability to transform into different tissues, are the key in this process. If the technique functions, something that will be able to be assessed in a year, it will mean that the cells have generated new blood vessels to heal the area.

The candidates were all recovering from a tumor called T1 No Mo. These are very small tumors that have not metastasized to the ganglion or anywhere else. The conditions to participate in the experiment were very strict in order to avoid complications feared by stem cell researchers, since stem cells have a great reproductive capacity and could cause cancer. “In this case, the stem cells are separated, but not stimulated. The women will also undergo ultrasounds in Lyon”, explained plastic surgeon, Jose’ Maria Lasso.

Incoming search terms:

Belgium stem cell, stem cell great britain.

ITALY – Role of Stem Cells in Thyroid Tumors Discovered

carla giordanoStem cells could be responsible for some forms of aggressive thyroid tumors (ATC, anaplastic thyroid carcinoma). The discovery was made by a young group of biotechnologists, biologists, and doctors from the Endocrinology department of the General Hospital of the University of Palermo. In the study, published in Plos One, the researchers described a subset of tumor stem cells that were able to proliferate continuously and may be responsible for uncontrolled tumor growth. These cells are resistant to chemotherapy and explain why ATC is so highly fatal in such a short period of time. The authors of the study also discovered which specific markers thyroid stem cells express. With these observations it will soon be possible to identify tumors and target them in new therapeutic approaches. Carla Giordano, the head of the Molecular Endocrinology lab where the study was conducted said, “This discovery creates possibilities for treating not only anaplastic thyroid tumors, but also neoplastic thyroid tumors considered incurable due to their resistance to conventional therapies.”

Incoming search terms:

thyroid cancer stem cells.

Now, a new tool to examine cancer growth

University of California, Berkeley
Image via Wikipedia

Scientists have developed a new tool that illuminates connections between stem cells and cancer.
Researchers have been successful in breaking apart human prostate tissue, extract the stem cells in the tissue, and alter those cells genetically so that they spur cancer.

Many tissues contain pools of stem cells that replenish the tissue when it’s damaged or when changes take place. For example, stem cells in the skin produce new cells to replace those irreparably damaged by the sun, and stem cells in the breast create milk-producing cells when a woman is pregnant.

A characteristic of these stem cells is that they self-renew. This means that in addition to making cells with a specific function, they also make many new stem cells.

Continue reading

Blood Vessel Cells Are Key to Growing Unlimited Amounts of Adult Stem Cells

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have discovered that endothelial cells, the building blocks of the vascular system, keep blood stem cells dividing healthily in a lab dish much longer and more effectively than previous methods of growing the cells. The new advance dramatically improves scientists’ ability to manufacture large quantities of authentic adult blood stem cells, which may help revolutionize the field of bone marrow transplantation.

Shahin Rafii, an HHMI investigator at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and his colleagues report on the development of an endothelial cell platform that supports self-renewal of the blood stem cells, known as long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs), in the March 2010 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell. Their study also describes a novel mechanism by which endothelial cells support propagation of LT-HSCs in adult mice.

Continue reading

Italy – Airc Project: Cancer stem cells modified to combat the disease

Sapienza University of Rome
Image via Wikipedia

Taming the bad cancer stem cells, genetically modifying them to arm them against disease and cancer-from defusing the bomb. Bet on cell girls ‘GM’, transformed into cancer killer bullets, one of five projects funded by AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research) with 60 million in five years thanks to the funds of 5 per thousand.

Studies of molecular oncology clinic, chosen by a jury of 18 super-foreign experts, who share one big final goal: to train a new generation of physicians, researchers are able to bridge the gap between the lab bench and the bedside. In five years’ covered ‘by AIRC, each team winning scientists will have to’ get to test on humans.

The project will be cancer stem cell ‘led by Alessandro Massimo Gianni Foundation IRCCS National Cancer Institute (INT) in Milan. Will involve ’16 research groups (9 area of preclinical and clinical 7), for a total of 89′ brains’ (68 preclinical and 21 clinical) distributed Int universities’ State, IRCCS-University ‘Vita Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Istituto Superiore di Sanita ‘Rome and Istituto Giannina Gaslini in Genoa.

Continue reading