August 20, 2014

New innovations in treating some forms of cancer could be on the horizon, thanks to a newly discovered method of expanding hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are immature blood cells in which all other types of blood cells are derived, including red and white blood cells and platelets.

Researchers at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine have reported these blood expanding findings, noting that they have discovered the ways, on a molecular level, in which stem cells regenerate and still maintain a stem cell-like quality1.

The research team used stem cells from cord blood and adult bone marrow to conduct the study. (The cord blood samples used for this study were obtained from the University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank, with the donating mothers’ consent). They stimulated the hematopoietic stem cells to multiply, or expand, by introducing a protein product they developed, Tat-MYC and Tat-Bcl-2, without genetically modifying the cells.

The types of cancer this treatment could be used to combat are leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and several other types of cancerous tumors. This type of therapy could also be used in the treatment of many immunodeficiency and metabolic disorders, including sickle cell anemia and Gaucher syndrome, as well as autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Cord blood stem cells are currently being used in treatment therapies for more than 80 diseases, including cancers, but with this new discovery, more is understood on a molecular level concerning stem cells’ self-renewal, multiplying, endurance, lineage commitment and variation. The inability to maintain the cell’s power of multi-potency and prevent variation, have hindered efforts to expand hematopoietic stem cells in the past.

The research team is planning to conduct human trials soon and are optimistic about the outcome, in regards to the power this stem cell expanding method holds.

More and more, new discoveries like this one are being made that prove cord blood banking to be one of the smartest investments you can make for your child’s future health. Cord blood banking is a once-in-a-lifetime gift you can give your child and CariCord is the best choice for preserving your child’s priceless stem cells.

1. Gregory A. Bird, Brian C. Turner, Yosef Refaeli (August 29, 2014). Expansion of Human and Murine Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells Ex Vivo without Genetic Modification Using MYC and Bcl-2 Fusion Proteins. PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105525 or http://goo.gl/nb7pPt

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