Navigation Links
A scientific breakthrough could be the first step in a better treatment for leukemia patients
Date:9/16/2010

A discovery made by Dr. Tarik Mry, President and Scientific Director and Director of the Hematopoiesis and Cancer research unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montral (IRCM), and his team was recently published in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology. The researchers found that a protein can regulate certain characteristics of blood stem cells, which could lead to a better treatment for leukemia patients. Dr. Cyrus Khandanpour, medical doctor and postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mry's laboratory, is the study's first author.

The transplantation of blood stem cells in used worldwide as a therapy for patients suffering from leukemia and other blood diseases. "The blood stem cells given to leukemia patients are capable of renewing the entire blood producing system and all its blood cells, including white cells, red cells and platelets," explains Dr. Mry.

Patients with leukemia or a blood disease are initially treated with chemotherapy, which destroys their entire blood forming system along with the disease. Blood stem cells can then be used in two different ways. The first is to harvest them from the patient before chemotherapy, and give the patient his/her own stem cells back after the treatment so they can rebuild blood cells. "One of the problems with this therapy is that blood stem cells normally reside in a niche between the bone and surrounding cells, and are in a dormant state," explains Dr. Khandanpour. "To obtain a sufficient number of stem cells, they have to be mobilized from their bone marrow niche so they can enter the bloodstream where they can be readily collected."

The second possibility is to harvest blood stem cells from a healthy donor and give them to a patient following the chemotherapy treatment. These foreign cells will then rebuild the patient's blood system and regenerate its blood cells. "However, this therapy still fails in about 10% to 20% of cases," adds Dr. Khandanpour. "Among other reasons, these patients die because the transplanted stem cells do not generate new blood cells quickly enough, which leads to infection and death."

"We have found a protein (called Gfi1b) that seems to regulate the stem cells' activity level and where they reside in the bone," says Dr. Khandanpour. "In our mouse model, we were able to turn off the gene coding for Gfi1b. When we did this, the stem cells became activated, started expanding drastically, left their bone marrow niche and entered the bloodstream without losing their function. The ability to manipulate blood stem cells in this manner would significantly increase the efficiency of stem cell therapy."

According to the researchers, the inactivation of Gfi1b in the transplanted stem cells could accelerate the production of new blood cells, thus making stem cell therapy more efficient and less dangerous for the patient. However, the mechanisms regulating stem cell dormancy and mobilization are not well understood.

"Our next goal is to investigate the precise molecular mechanisms achieved by the ablation of Gfi1b, and to study in more detail how Gfi1b regulates the location and activation of blood stem cells," adds Dr. Mry. "Our project will contribute to a better understanding of the biology of stem cell mobilization and dormancy, which could lead to the design of better treatment regimens for transplant donors and patients."

According to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer every four minutes and someone dies from a blood cancer every 10 minutes. This statistic represents over 54,000 people per year. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20.


'/>"/>

Contact: Julie Langelier
julie.langelier@ircm.qc.ca
514-987-5555
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Carnegie Mellon hosting first conference to explore scientific use of gigapixel imagery
2. A plan to promote sustainable US scientific discovery and innovation in the 21st century is proposed in OMICS
3. Honorary Fellowship awarded to government Chief Scientific Advisor
4. At opening of XVIII International AIDS Conference, scientific, community and political leaders applaud recent progress toward universal access and urge continued momentum to finish what weve started
5. Scientific coral reef survey to be conducted in Bonaire
6. Wellcome-Wolfson partnership makes £30 million investment in UK scientific infrastructure
7. Scientific expertise lacking among doubters of climate change, says Stanford-led analysis
8. Canadian research examines effects of scientific claims on oil
9. Gregory Downey, M.D., of National Jewish Health, honored for scientific accomplishments
10. IOF Medal of Achievement for outstanding scientific contributions awarded to John A. Kanis
11. UC Riverside plant cell biologist receives top scientific honor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange is ... users of its soon to be launched online site ... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential shareholders ... of DNA technology to an industry that is notorious ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... PUNE, India , April 28, 2016 ... PT, JT, Stirling, and Brayton Cryocoolers), Service (Technical Support, ... Application, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... to USD 2.94 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... Browse 70 market data Tables and 94 Figures spread ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Next week ... talk on its first-in-class technologies for tissue stem cell counting and expansion to ... Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts. , The attention ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... Cambridge ... by semantic web technology, today announced that it has been named to The Silicon ... sciences, financial services and other markets, Cambridge Semantics serves the needs of end users ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most ... devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and ... consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey ...
Breaking Biology Technology: