Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, have shown how plants can protect themselves against genetic damage caused by environmental stresses. The growing tips of plant roots and shoots have an in-built mechanism that, if it detects damage to the DNA, causes the cell to ‘commit suicide’ rather than pass on its defective DNA.
Plants have, at the very tips of their roots and shoots, small populations of stem cells, through which they are able to grow and produce new tissue throughout the plant’s life. These stem cells are the precursors to producing plant tissues and
Making a breakthrough in the battle against breast cancer, scientists have used a combination of drugs to target cancer stem cells that cause the disease to spread.
Current treatments kill only the surface cells in a breast tumour, but scientists now say they can destroy the root, the Mirror reported.
They hope that the findings, revealed ahead of World Cancer Day, can be used to help women with advanced and aggressive cancers. Targeting cancer stem cells takes us a step closer to better clinical options for those with the disease, said Dr Rob Clarke, of Manchester University.
Sarcomas are cancers of connective tissues, such as bone, adipose and cartilage, and are thought to arise from the aberrant development of the mesenchyme. As such, mesenchymal stem cells are thought to be the cell of origin for sarcomas. Genetic or epigenetic lesions at particular points during the differentiation of a mesenchymal stem cell into its terminal mesenchymal cell type are able to give rise to specific subtypes of sarcomas.
Recently, a number of reports have identified elevated expression of the human Piwi homolog–called Hiwi–in a variety of human cancers, including gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, gliomas and, most relevant for
Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori di Milano
Methods to provide safer stem cell transplants to individuals who are not completely compatible with the donor are being developed. Encouraging results have come from a post-transplant cellular therapy, which strengthens the immune system against viral infections and tumors, developed for the first time at the National Tumor Institute (INT) in Milan. The INT conducted the first phase I-II study in the world, published in ‘Blood’, whose main objective was to assess the use of a low dose radiochemotherapy, followed by low dose post-transplant infusions CD8-depleted donor lymphocytes after
Verastem Inc, focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, announced that a paper, entitled “Merlin Deficiency Predicts FAK Inhibitor Sensitivity: A Synthetic Lethal Relationship,” has been published by Verastem scientists in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The paper describes the finding that loss of the tumor suppressor merlin predicts for increased responsiveness to drugs targeting cancer stem cells through inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Since merlin loss is particularly prevalent in mesothelioma (approximately 50% of patients), the efficacy of FAK inhibition was demonstrated in several