In the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system, a study shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage — a major side effect of chemotherapy — but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.
In both mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles then “flipped a regenerative switch,” changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for
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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