Purging Stem Cells To Make Therapy Safer

Featured Article Academic Journal Main Category: Stem Cell Research Also Included In: Biology / Biochemistry Article Date: 28 Sep 2012 - 1:00 PDT

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The study appears in a 27 September issue of the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

iPS cells have properties similar to embryonic stem cells, which are "master cells" with an unlimited capacity to differentiate into any type of tissue in the body, such as brain, lung, skin, heart, and liver. Thus their potential in regenerative medicine, where damaged or diseased tissue can be repaired or replaced by growing new tissue, is huge, as senior author Timothy Nelson explains in a press release:

"Pluripotent stem cells show great promise in the field of regenerative medicine; however, the risk of uncontrolled cell growth will continue to prevent their use as a therapeutic treatment."

Nelson is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and works in the General Internal Medicine department and the Transplant Center at the Mayo.

The idea of using iPS cells is for doctors to be able to take some adult tissue, for example skin cells, from the patient who needs the treatment, and then turn the cells from that tissue into iPS cells.

Then, those iPS cells are coaxed to turn into the target type of cell, for instance lung cells. As a result of the coaxing the iPS cells turn into (differentiate) the target tissue type.

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Purging Stem Cells To Make Therapy Safer

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