Blood stem cells study could pave the way for new cancer therapy

March 10, 2016, University of Edinburgh
The formation of blood stem cells inside the embryonic vessel called dorsal aorta.In green is shown secreted molecule called NOGGIN,which plays an important role in this process. Credit: The University of Edinburgh

People with leukaemia could be helped by new research that sheds light on how the body produces its blood supply.

Scientists are a step closer to creating blood that could reduce the need for transplants in patients with cancer or blood disorders.

Enabling scientists to grow the stem cells artificially from could also lead to the development of personalised blood therapies, researchers say.

Blood stem cells are found in bone marrow and produce all blood cells in the body. These cells - known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) - help to restore blood supply in patients who have been treated for leukaemia.

Researchers used a mouse model to pinpoint exactly how HSCs develop in the womb. They showed for the first time how three key molecules interact together to generate the cells, which are later found in adult bone marrow.

The discovery could help scientists to recreate this process in the lab, in the hope that HSCs could one day be developed for clinical use.

Scientists say this fundamental understanding of early development may also have an impact on other diseases that affect blood formation and supply.

Explore further: Study uncovers key player contributing to healthy maintenance of bone marrow niche

Related Stories

Study uncovers key player contributing to healthy maintenance of bone marrow niche

February 17, 2016
A study led by scientists from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has uncovered a key player contributing to the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells ...

Researchers poke around for blood genes

July 10, 2015
Even though the transplantation of blood stem cells, also known as bone marrow, has saved many lives over many decades, the genes that control the number or function of blood stem cells are not fully understood. In a study ...

Stem cells regulate their own proliferation and their microenvironment

January 8, 2016
A study by researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) has identified a new mechanism through which hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) control both their own proliferation and the ...

Study unlocks origins of blood stem cells

December 9, 2011
A research team led by Nancy Speck, PhD, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has discovered a molecular marker for the immediate precursors of ...

Researchers find marker identifying most basic form of blood stem cell

February 11, 2016
After a long series of experiments, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a unique cell marker that they say allows them to pick out the most fundamental form of the stem cell that gives ...

Immune cells regulate blood stem cells

February 21, 2014
Researchers in Bern, Germany, have discovered that, during a viral infection, immune cells control the blood stem cells in the bone marrow and therefore also the body's own defences. The findings could allow for new forms ...

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Fertility breakthrough: New research could extend egg health with age

February 22, 2018
Women have been told for years that if they don't have children before their mid-30s, they may not be able to. But a new study from Princeton University's Coleen Murphy has identified a drug that extends egg viability in ...

Breakthrough could lead to better drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity

February 22, 2018
Breakthrough research at Monash University has shown how different areas of major diabetes and obesity drug targets can be 'activated', guiding future drug development and better treatment of diseases.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.