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Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem cells make cancer fighters

14 years ago

1955  0
Posted on Nov 30, 2005, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Embryonic stem cells have been coaxed into producing cancer-killing cells in the lab, a step towards new treatments for various types of tumors. Reporting in the Journal of Immunology , researchers from the University of Minnesota say that the cells they produced

Embryonic stem cells have been coaxed into producing cancer-killing cells in the lab, a step towards new treatments for various types of tumors.

Reporting in the Journal of Immunology , researchers from the University of Minnesota say that the cells they produced— natural killer cells —can destroy certain human cancer cells in vitro.

"This is the first published research to show the ability to make cells from human embryonic stem cells that are able to treat and fight cancer, especially leukemias and lymphomas," says Dan Kaufman, the study's lead author.

"We hear a lot about the potential of stem cells to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease," says Kaufman. "This research suggests it is possible that we could use human embryonic stem cells as a source for immune cells that could better target and destroy cancer cells and potentially treat infections."

The researchers plan to next test whether human embryonic stem cell-derived natural killer cells can target cancer cells in animals.

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