Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On recent articles from Stanford about CSC

1) Leukemia Stem Cells Have More In Common With Embryonic Stem Cells Than Adult Stem Cells, ScienceDaily, February 5, 2009. First sentence:
Research using a mouse model of human leukemia has provided critical insight into the genetic factors related to the generation and maintenance of myeloid leukemia stem cells.
Cell find 'lifts leukaemia fight', BBC News, February 6, 2009. Leading sentence:
Research which sheds light on how blood cancer cells work may improve the power of leukaemia treatments.
Research which sheds light on how blood cancer cells work may improve the power of leukaemia treatments, Euro News 24, February 6, 2009.

These news items are about this article: Hierarchical maintenance of MLL myeloid leukemia stem cells employs a transcriptional program shared with embryonic rather than adult stem cells by Tim C P Somervaille and 9 co-authors, including Michael L Cleary, Cell Stem Cell 2009(Feb 6); 4(2): 129-40 [PubMed Citation][Full text].

Preview: The MLLgnant Consequences of Reverting to an Embryonic Transcriptional Program by Catriona Jamieson, Cell Stem Cell 2009(Feb 6); 4(2): 97-8 [Full text]. Leading sentence:
In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Somervaille etal., 2009 have demonstrated convincingly that reversion to an embryonic transcriptional program through defective MLL gene expression contributes to the generation of myeloid leukemia stem cells.
2) Source of cancer stem cells' resistance to radiation discovered at Stanford by Krista Conger, News Release, Stanford School of Medicine, February 4, 2009. [Includes a 4-minute video]. First paragraph:
Much to the dismay of patients and physicians, cancer stem cells — tiny powerhouses that generate and maintain tumor growth in many types of cancers — are relatively resistant to the ionizing radiation often used as therapy for these conditions. Part of the reason, say researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, is the presence of a protective pathway meant to shield normal stem cells from DNA damage. When the researchers blocked this pathway, the cells became more susceptible to radiation.
Breakthrough Made On Cancer Stem Cell Source, CBS Broadcasting, February 5, 2009. (Also includes a video).

How breast cancer resists treatment, Monya Baker, Nature Reports Stem Cells, 5 February 2009.

These news items are are about this article: Association of reactive oxygen species levels and radioresistance in cancer stem cells by Maximilian Diehn, Robert W Cho and 21 co-authors, including J Martin Brown, Irving L Weissman and Michael F Clarke, Nature 2009(Feb 4) [Epub ahead of print][PubMed Citation].

Added February 24, 2009: Cancer stem cells: Survival skills by Sarah Seton-Rogers, Nature Reviews Cancer 2009(Mar); 9: 147.

Added May 19, 2009: See also: Source of cancer stem cells’ resistance to radiation discovered at Stanford, posted by Stem Man to "Latest Stem Cell News" on 19 May 2009. The post also provides access to another video that was posted to YouTube on February 12, 2009.

3) Cancer stem cell-directed therapies: recent data from the laboratory and clinic by Christopher Y Park, Diane Tseng, Irving L Weissman, Mol Ther 2009(Feb); 17(2): 219-30 [Epub 2008(Dec 9)][PubMed Citation][Full text]. First paragraph from the Final Words section of the full text:
Although CSCs have been identified in numerous human cancers, whether or not CSC-directed therapies will ultimately lead to cures remains an open question. Although this issue will, no doubt, be the focus of investigations for years to come, the studies described herein indicate that CSCs are likely to fulfill several of the predictions of the CSC hypothesis: (i) that CSCs are relative resistant to conventional therapies and (ii) that clinical outcomes will correlate with measurable CSC parameters including frequency, localization, and gene signatures. Based on these observations, we think CSC-directed therapies show great promise for improving clinical outcomes, but it will be important for researchers to verify these properties for CSCs in each tumor type since they likely will not be uniform with respect to their biologic properties, consistent with their heterogeneous molecular origins.


  1. Re article #1: see also the final section of: Aberrant as well as embryonic pathways in leukaemic stem cells, Monya Baker, Nature Reports Stem Cells 2009(Mar 19).

  2. I am rager to see the developments in Neosis as another equally or more resistant outcome of the cellular pathway after treatment by Radiation and/or Chemotherapy.