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Oncologists are now faced with the challenge of understanding how specialized drugs can strike tumor stem cells and impair their ability to replicate and spread. This is one of the most important questions that researchers will have to answer in upcoming years according to Regina Elena Institute hematologist Michele Milella. In San Francisco at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Congress Milella spoke about future hematology issues, including fighting blood borne tumors with stem cell transplants over the past years.
“The ASH in this sense is an excellent indicator for where research is going, and
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Scientists at the FIRC (Italian Foundation for Cancer Research) Institute of Molecular Oncology of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan have revealed how to eliminate cancer stem cells, the true reason for cancer’s incurability. Researchers led by Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Director of the Department of Experimental Oncology of the European Institute of Oncology, and Professor of general pathology at the University of Milan, have discovered how cancer stem cells become immortal.
The same oncogenes that are responsible for triggering the process of tumor formation, also impede stem cells from growing old, and allow them to maintain their
Historic Hurd Hall on Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore campus was filled to capacity on Jan. 13 with students, faculty and staff waiting to hear five scientists—all in the early part of their careers—describe their novel ideas on how to cure metastatic cancer.
The five were finalists, chosen from among 44 entrants, in a competition on creative thinking named for John Rangos Sr., chairman of the Rangos Family Foundation, who funded the awards. Each scientist had 10 minutes to present his or her idea and answer questions from a panel of faculty judges, who would select the winners based on the
Much to the dismay of patients and physicians, cancer stem cells — tiny powerhouses that generate and maintain tumor growth in many types of cancers — are relatively resistant to the ionizing radiation often used as therapy for these conditions. Part of the reason, say researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, is the presence of a protective pathway meant to shield normal stem cells from DNA damage. When the researchers blocked this pathway, the cells became more susceptible to radiation.
“Our ultimate goal is to come up with a therapy that knocks out the cancer stem cells,” said Robert
The first operations have been successfully performed at Seriate Hospital (Bergamo) using autologous stem cell transplants to rebuild a part of the breast after removing a tumor. The technique used in the operation is known as ‘lipofilling’, which calls for some of the patient’s abdominal fat to be removed in a procedure similar to liposuction. The fat is then purified and manipulated in the laboratory to concentrate stem cells as much as possible, then they are transplanted into the portion of the breast that has been removed to eliminate the cancer.