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 Pisa University Hospital has become part of the international network of hematopoietic stem cell transplant facilities (meaning they produce various blood components). The hospital was recently accredited by the Italian registry of bone marrow donors, which is part of the international network.
Pisa has become an important center for bone marrow collection for all potential donors in northwestern Italy.
On 20 April 2009, the first donation was carried out for a patient at the Udine University Hospital, and a second donation is being organized for a patient being treated at the Montpellier Hospital (France).
The hospital in Pisa received the
December 4, 2009- Working with mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins publishing in the December issue of Neoplasia have shown that a protein made by a gene called “Twist” may be the proverbial red flag that can accurately distinguish stem cells that drive aggressive, metastatic breast cancer from other breast cancer cells.
Building on recent work suggesting that it is a relatively rare subgroup of stem cells in breast tumors that drives breast cancer, scientists have surmised that this subgroup of cells must have some very distinctive qualities and characteristics.
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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