Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ability To Track Stem Cells In Tumors Could Advance Cancer Treatments

Date:
June 18, 2008
Source:
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Summary:
Using noninvasive molecular imaging technology, a method has been developed to track the location and activity of mesenchymal stem cells in the tumors of living organisms. This ability could lead to major advances in the use of stem cell therapies to treat cancer.

Using noninvasive molecular imaging technology, a method has been developed to track the location and activity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the tumors of living organisms, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting. This ability could lead to major advances in the use of stem cell therapies to treat cancer.

Related Articles


"Stem cell cancer therapies are still in the early stages of development, but they offer great promise in delivering personalized medicine that will fight disease at the cellular level," said Hui Wang, a postdoctoral fellow from Prof. Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen's group of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Department of Radiology at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., and lead researcher of the study, Trafficking the Fate of Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vivo.

"Our results indicate that molecular imaging can play a critical role in understanding and improving the process of how stem cells migrate to cancer cells. Eventually, this technique could also be used to determine if gene-modified stem cells are effective in fighting cancer."

MSCs are adult stem cells that have the ability to transform into many different types of cells, such as bone, fat or cartilage. Many scientists believe that stem cells show great promise in treating different types of diseases--and a few stem cell therapies are already used to fight some types of cancer. Leukemia patients who haven't responded to chemotherapy, for example, may receive bone marrow transplants, through which stem cells of a healthy bone marrow donor are injected into the patient's blood stream.

If the transplant is successful, the stem cells will migrate to the patient's bone marrow and begin producing healthy cells that will replace the cancer cells. For other types of cancer, researchers are experimenting with modifying stem cells that could be engineered to deliver chemotherapy more precisely to specific tumor sites.

For these types of treatments to be successful, the ability to track what happens to stem cells after they are injected into a living organism is essential. Currently, three different tracking techniques are used: radiolabeling, which consists of using a radioactive substance to tag the cells; magnetic labeling, or using magnetic nanoparticles to tag cells for magnetic resonance imaging; and reporter-gene tracking, which involves engineering genes that can adhere to cells and be tracked with molecular imaging technologies. Of these, reporter gene techniques are highly sensitive and able to monitor cell migration, survival and proliferation over time in living organisms.

In their research, Wang and her team isolated stem cells from adult mice and engineered a reporter gene that would be both luminescent and green under a special microscope. Two tumor models were also tagged with reporter genes that were luminescent and red. The tumor cells were injected into live mice either intravenously or under the skin, followed days later by injection of the engineered stem cells.

The study produced solid evidence that the injected stem cells migrate to the tumors and don't begin to differentiate into other types of cells until they are at the tumor sites. In some of the mice, the breast cancer cells had begun to spread to the lungs. Researchers found that the injected stem cells also migrated to the lung cancer tumors. In addition, the stem cells that migrated to lung tumors differentiated into bone cells, while the stem cells that migrated to breast cancer tumors differentiated into fat cells. The results indicate that stem cells can migrate both to breast cancer cells and their lung metastasis. In addition, the MSCs differentiate into distinctly different cells. "The next logical step of this study is to incorporate therapeutic genes into MSCs and use multimodality molecular imaging techniques to follow the distribution, homing, survival, proliferation and cell/gene therapy efficacy of the MSC platform," said Wang.

Wang and her team will be presented with the SNM Molecular Imaging Center of Excellence (MICoE) Abstract Award for their work. The award will be presented during SNM's 55th Annual Meeting by MICoE President Martin Pomper, M.D., Ph.D.

Scientific Paper 106: H. Wang, F. Cao, A. De, S. Gambhir, J. Wu, and X. Chen, Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., "Trafficking the Fate of Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vivo," SNM's 55th Annual Meeting, June 14-18, 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Nuclear Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Ability To Track Stem Cells In Tumors Could Advance Cancer Treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616115751.htm>.
Society of Nuclear Medicine. (2008, June 18). Ability To Track Stem Cells In Tumors Could Advance Cancer Treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616115751.htm
Society of Nuclear Medicine. "Ability To Track Stem Cells In Tumors Could Advance Cancer Treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616115751.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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