~ Understanding Tumor Suppressive Mechanisms Of SCs May Lead To Cancer Therapies

NewsRx.com, 06-17-05

Understanding the tumor suppressive mechanisms of stem cells may lead to novel cancer therapies.

According to a recently published report from the United States, "Stem cells are defined by their self-renewing capacity and the ability to differentiate into one or more cell types. Stem cells can be divided depending on their origin, into embryonic or adult.

"Embryonic stem cells derive from early stage embryos and can give rise to cells from all three germ layers. Adult stem cells, first identified in hematopoietic tissue, reside in a variety of adult tissues."

"Under normal physiologic conditions," wrote A. Krtolica and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, "adult stem cells are capable of differentiating into the limited cell types that comprise the particular tissue or organ. Adult stem cells are responsible for tissue renewal and exhaustion of their replicative capacity may contribute to tissue aging.

"Loss of unlimited proliferative capacity in some of the adult stem cells and/or their progenitors may have involved the evolutionary trade-off: senescence prevents cancer but may promote aging."

"Embryonic stem cells exhibit unlimited self-renewal capacity due to the expression of telomerase. Although they possess some cancer cell characteristics," investigators said, "embryonic stem cells exhibit a remarkable resistance to genomic instability and malignant transformation."

The authors concluded, "Understanding the tumor suppressive mechanisms employed by embryonic stem cells may contribute to the development of novel cancer treatments and safe cell-based therapies for age-related diseases."

Krtolica and colleagues published the results of their research in International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology (Stem cell: balancing aging and cancer. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 2005;37(5):935-941).

For additional information, contact A. Krtolica, University California Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Rd., MS 84-171, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

The publisher of the International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd., the Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England.


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