Male Infertility Research Identifies Sperm-Producing Stem Cells.

A new method of identifying sperm-producing stem cells could lead to stem cell treatments for male sterility.

In a recent study conducted by the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, scientists have discovered a rare line of stem cells involved in regulating spermatogenesis [the production of sperm cells].  Furthermore, these stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are toxic to the male germline and common causes for male infertility. Continue reading

Brain Tumor Chemotherapy Delivered via Stem Cells.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to minimize collateral damage from brain tumor chemotherapy treatments.

Neuroscientist Dr. Karen Aboody, M.D. and Oncologist Dr. Jana Portnow, M.D. from City of Hope Hospital are set to begin a phase 1 clinical trial for a method of delivering chemotherapy treatments to glioblastoma [aggressive brain tumors] with modified neural stem cells.  The scientists plan to capitalize on the stem cells’ innate ability to seek out invasive tumors by loading the cells with a chemotherapeutic protein and then injecting them into the brain. Continue reading

Stem Cells Immune to Damage from Leukemia Chemotherapy

Certain stem cells have been found to be immune to the bone-degenerative side effects of chemotherapy used against leukemia.

A research team, led by Dr. Eric Darling of Brown University, has found a potential source of stem cells to protect children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia against the adverse effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX).  Adipose-derived stem cells, which appear to be impervious to the bone-degenerative side effects of MTX, may allow children to undergo the chemotherapy treatment and then regain the lost bone tissue afterwards. Continue reading

Stem Cells Studied to Prevent Heart Dysfunction in Children With Cancer

A patient’s own stem cells will allow doctors to evaluate the risks involved in chemotherapy.

A team from the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne has begun studying stem cell-derived heart cells from children with cancer to observe which samples are most damaged from chemotherapy drugs.  In a first of-its-kind study, researchers are taking stem cells from the patient, growing heart cells in the lab and subjecting them to a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs. The reaction of the cells to the treatments helps determine which patients are more likely to develop heart disease [later on in life] from different chemotherapy options. Continue reading