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Weill Cornell science briefs May 2008
Date:5/14/2008

Stem Cells Might Contribute to Vascular Disease
Stem Cells Might Cause More Damage After Vascular Surgery

Physician-scientists believe that stem cells might play a harmful role in the bodys reaction to trauma following common vascular surgery, like angioplasty. A team of scientists led by Dr. K. Craig Kent, Greenberg-Starr Professor and professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian are currently studying how stem cells implant themselves in the wall of arteries and grow out of control. Commonly, a blockage re-forms following angioplasty (termed re-stenosis) near the area where the procedure was performed.

The researchers observed that a chemical in the body called transforming growth factor beta (TGF"), which stimulates tissue growth, is released in high levels inside the artery following the trauma of angioplasty. Dr. Kent believes this happens because TGF" beckons stem cells to the irritated area to heal the wound. This leads to the growth of dense, artery-blocking tissue. If the scientists can learn how to shut off this response, Dr. Kent believes great progress might be made in the treatment of recurring heart disease.


Cancer Stem Cells May Be at the Root of Brain Tumors
Stem Cells Resistant to Chemotherapy

Stem cells popularly known as a source of biological rejuvenation may play harmful roles in the body, specifically in the growth and spread of cancer. Amongst the wildly dividing cells of a tumor, scientists have located cancer stem cells. Physician-scientists from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell are studying these cells with the hope of combating malignant cancers in the brain. Some patients brain tumors respond to chemotherapy and some dont, according to Dr. John A. Boockvar, the Alvina and Willis Murphy Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and head of the Brain Tumor Research Group, at New York-Pr
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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