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Plerixafor has allowed doctors to collect stem cells from patients where there had been previous difficulties.
The drug, which has only recently been licensed, is being used at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.
Stem cells therapies are used to treat people with cancer of the blood. The cells are collected and reintroduced to a patient after chemotherapy.
Doctors often encounter problems collecting enough stem cells from about one in 10 cancer patients to undergo treatment.
Plerixafor has, so far, had a 100% success rate in allowing doctors at the cancer centre to collect enough cells from patients who fall
Experimenting with cells in culture, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have breathed possible new life into two drugs once considered too toxic for human cancer treatment. The drugs, azacitidine (AZA) and decitabine (DAC), are epigenetic-targeted drugs and work to correct cancer-causing alterations that modify DNA.
The researchers said that the drugs also were found to take aim at a small but dangerous subpopulation of self-renewing cells, sometimes referred to as cancer stem cells, which evade most cancer drugs and cause recurrence and spread.
In a report published in the March 20 issue of Cancer Cell, the Johns Hopkins
A 3-year-old South Dakota boy whose brain tumor treatment had been in question because of an insurance dispute is set to begin chemotherapy in Minnesota this week.
Cooper Urbaniak, who suffers from ependymoma, is to be admitted to the University of Minnesota Medical Center Tuesday to begin high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
The family’s insurance provider initially declared the procedure experimental and refused to pay for it. But under an agreement reached last month between Sanford Health Plan and the university, Sanford will pay for the chemotherapy and pay a discounted rate on the stem cell transplant.
Cooper’s father, Joe
Chemotherapy saves lives, but it also kills healthy tissue like bone marrow. According to a new study involving three patients with glioblastoma, a deadly cancer of the brain, stem cells from cancer patients’ own blood may protect their bone marrow from the toxic effects of treatment.
Glioblastomas often carry an active form of a gene called MGMT, which is a DNA repair enzyme that protects the cancer cells against chemotherapy. To overcome that protective effect, doctors use benzylguanine, a drug that blocks MGMT – but that drug also makes bone marrow and blood cells vulnerable. For this study, scientists at Fred Hutchinson
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