Jump to content

Stem Cells help block cancer in mice


Recommended Posts

Stem cells help block cancer in mice

Tumors killed, healthy cells untouched, scientists say

Updated: 12:32 p.m. ET March 30, 2004WASHINGTON -

Stem cells, immature cells already showing promise as tools to regenerate and replace damaged tissue, may also help target and destroy cancer, U.S. scientists said on Monday.

Tests in mice showed the cells could deliver powerful cancer-killing proteins, destroying tumors while leaving healthy cells untouched.

Dr. Michael Andreeff and colleagues at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston used cells taken from bone marrow. These immature cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells, usually give rise to muscle and other tissues.

The researchers genetically engineered these cells to carry interferon alpha, an immune system protein that can help kill cancer cells, or a cancer-destroying virus.

Cells attracted to cancers

In mice these cells slowed several kinds of leukemia, attacked melanoma -- skin cancer and breast cancer cells --that had spread to the lung, and tackled brain tumors.

The approach cured 70 percent of mice implanted with one kind of human ovarian cancer, the researchers told a meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in Orlando, Florida.

“This drug delivery system is attracted to cancers, both primary and metastatic, and anti-tumor effects are observed when the cells integrate into the tumor micro-environment,” Andreeff said in a statement.

“The most important discovery here is that these cells are capable of migrating from the bone marrow or blood circulation selectively into tumors and produce anti-tumor agents only at the sites of these tumors and their metastasis.”

Andreeff said tumors attract mesenchymal stem cells by sending out signals similar to those sent by damaged tissue.

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.