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Newly identified growth factor promotes stem cell growth, regeneration

have the potential to accelerate recovery of the blood and immune system in patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy," he said.

Given the potency of the effect of pleiotrophin on stem cell expansion, the authors examined whether pleiotrophin provoked blood-forming cells to become malignant. So far, Chute says they have not seen any evidence of cancer in mice up to six months after treatment with pleiotrophin.

The Duke team is already conducting further experiments to determine if pleiotrophin is necessary for normal stem cell growth and development, and Chute says it will be important to conduct additional animal studies before moving into human clinical trials. "At this point, any progress we can make that helps us better understand which biological pathways are activated in stem cells in response to pleiotrophin will help move the discovery forward."


Contact: Michelle Gailiun
Duke University Medical Center

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