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Coming soon: Cell therapies for diabetes, cancer?
Date:3/19/2008

Tampa, Fla. (March 19 , 2008) Therapies using stem cell transplants are advancing promising treatments for such conditions as Alzheimers Disease, neurological diseases and spinal cord injury, and heart disease. Now, scientists think that stem cell transplants may ultimately benefit those who suffer from diabetes or cancer. However, important questions need answers: Given the shortage of human pancreatic islet tissue, can stem cells be used to provide insulin cells that can be stored and secreted from a bioartifical pancreas? Can islet cells be frozen for long periods of time, retain their integrity and be transplanted? If tumors contain cancer stem cells, how can the stem cells be targeted and destroyed to provide improved therapies?

To raise and help answer some of these questions, the current double issue of CELL TRANSPLANTATION (Vol.17, Nos. 1&2) is devoted to research presented at the Japan Society of Organ Preservation and Medical Biology (JSOPMB) meeting in Tokyo in November, 2006. The research within the pages of this special issue demonstrates how stem cell research in Japan is pushing towards therapies for diabetes and cancer and beyond.

According to Naoya Kobayashi, MD, PhD, of the Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of medicine and Dentistry and Special Editor of the Japanese issue of CELL TRANSPLANTATION, the shortage of donor organs for transplantation is a big challenge, but research on stem cells and artificial cells for transplantation are encouraging and may provide valuable therapeutics for a host of diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

Artificial pancreas for diabetes sufferers

The construction of a safe and functional bioartifical pancreas (BAP), complete with cells that can secrete insulin in response to blood sugar concentrations, can be developed using stem cells as alternatives to normal human pancreatic islets, which are in short supply. The multipotency and active
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Contact: Naoya Kobayashi
immortal@md.okayama-u.ac.jp
81-862-357-485
Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair
Source:Eurekalert

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