Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biologists find a way to lower tumor risk in stem cell therapies

Date:
July 9, 2010
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Biologists have discovered a way to limit the formation of teratomas. They have identified a new signaling pathway critical for unlimited self propagation of embryonic stem cells. Using small molecule compounds that inhibit this pathway, the scientists were able to dramatically reduce the potential of embryonic stem cells to form teratomas.

Mice with dysfunctional immune systems that receive human embryonic stem cells produce tumors called teratomas.
Credit: Xu Lab, UCSD

One of the characteristics of embryonic stem cells is their ability to form unusual tumors called teratomas. These tumors, which contain a mixture of cells from a variety of tissues and organs of the body, are typically benign. But they present a major obstacle to the development of human embryonic stem cell therapies that seek to treat a variety of human ailments such as Parkinson's, diabetes, genetic blood disorders and spinal cord injuries.

Related Articles


Now a team of biologists at UC San Diego funded by a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem-cell funding agency, has discovered a way to limit the formation of teratomas.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that they have identified a new signaling pathway critical for unlimited self propagation of embryonic stem cells. Using small molecule compounds that inhibit this pathway, the scientists were able to dramatically reduce the potential of embryonic stem cells to form teratomas.

"Human stem cell therapy involves differentiating human embryonic stem cells into the kinds of cells needed for the treatment," said Yang Xu, a professor of biology who headed the team that published the report. "But this differentiation is never complete, meaning that the final product is a mixture of cells inevitably containing undifferentiated embryonic stem cells. So by transplanting these cells into a patient, there's clearly a risk of producing teratomas."

If researchers could halt the propagation of human embryonic stem cells during lineage-specific differentiation before they are transplanted, they could avoid the risk of producing teratomas.

"This is a proof of concept to show how we can avoid teratomas in human embryonic stem cell therapies by studying the basic biology of these cells," said Xu. "At this point, we only see a significant but partial effect because we are targeting only one pathway. Once we identify more pathways required for teratoma formation by embryonic stem cells, we might be able to completely suppress the formation of teratomas by targeting multiple pathways simultaneously."

Other scientists involved in the discovery were Steven Briggs, a professor of biology at UCSD, and UCSD biologists Matteo Moretto-Zita, Hua Jin, Zhouxin Shen and Tongbiao Zhao.

Xu recently received a $1.2 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for another research effort to explore a new strategy to induce immune tolerance to grafted cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. The original article was written by Kim McDonald. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Biologists find a way to lower tumor risk in stem cell therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708094605.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2010, July 9). Biologists find a way to lower tumor risk in stem cell therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708094605.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Biologists find a way to lower tumor risk in stem cell therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708094605.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
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