Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Scientists Create 'Human' Leukemia Process To Map How Disease Begins, Progresses

Date:
April 27, 2007
Source:
Princess Margaret Hospital
Summary:
Cancer researchers have developed a method to convert normal human blood cells into "human" leukemia stem cells. The converted cells, when transplanted into special mice that permit the growth of human cells, can replicate the entire disease process from the very moment it begins, published in Science.

Cancer researchers led by Dr. John Dick at Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) have developed a method to convert normal human blood cells into "human" leukemia stem cells. The converted cells, when transplanted into special mice that permit the growth of human cells, can replicate the entire disease process from the very moment it begins.

Dr. Dick, Senior Scientist at OCI, the research arm of Princess Margaret Hospital, and a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, said: "Most human leukemia research involves studying a patient's diseased cells or a cell line grown from those cells. However, since cancer takes many months or years to develop, just studying the cells at the end of the process does not let you know what the series of changes were that caused the cells to become leukemic, and when they happened.

"With the method we developed, we have duplicated the natural process every step of the way. The method we developed opens the pathway generally to understanding the process of how cancer begins."

The scientific team of Frederic Barabe, James Kennedy and Kristin Hope introduced a specific leukemia gene into normal human stem cells and injected the genetically altered cells into mice that lacked immune systems. The result? 100% of the mice developed fatal leukemia that displayed the same characteristics and patterns of human disease.

For the past 20 years, said Dr. Dick, leukemia research has focused mainly on human cells where the disease already exists or by studying leukemia created in mouse cells. This study flipped it around to focus on asking which are the normal cells within which the disease arises and then how it evolves and progresses, all within the context of human cells.

"So what we are building is a new approach and way of studying how leukemia arises in the first place. We found that with the leukemia gene we were using, the disease only arose from immature stem and progenitor cells. The leukemic stem cells that were created seemed to change as the human leukemia was grown for longer times in a series of transplanted mice. Our findings of how these leukemic stem cells functioned could explain several features of the leukemia in children and adults that also contain the same leukemia gene, MLL-ENL."

In 1994, Dr. Dick identified the first cancer stem cell in leukemia, following on the original discovery in 1962 of the blood stem cell by two other renowned OCI scientists, Drs. Ernest McCulloch and James Till -- a discovery that formed the basis of all current stem cell research. Dr. Dick, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology and is also Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute and at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network, recently published other findings showing that colon cancer arises from stem cells specific to the tumour.

The findings are published in the journal Science. This research was financially supported by grants and fellowships from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Terry Fox Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Princess Margaret Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Princess Margaret Hospital. "Cancer Scientists Create 'Human' Leukemia Process To Map How Disease Begins, Progresses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426144951.htm>.
Princess Margaret Hospital. (2007, April 27). Cancer Scientists Create 'Human' Leukemia Process To Map How Disease Begins, Progresses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426144951.htm
Princess Margaret Hospital. "Cancer Scientists Create 'Human' Leukemia Process To Map How Disease Begins, Progresses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426144951.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins