THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) regenerate blood cells throughout the lifespan of an individual. The HSC pool has to accommodate to the cellular stresses associated with its life-long activity. HSCs are protected in specific bone marrow areas called "niches". New technologies allow the analysis of different bone marrow compartments and the functional implications on HSCs. HSCs persist for a lifetime; there is a balance between their proliferation and their quiescent (sleeping) state. Therefore, the HSCs cell cycle is controlled by factors within and outside the cell.
During ageing, this fine-tuned regulatory network may become altered, leading to abnormal HSC regulation. The functional quality of HSCs decreases with age partly due to an accumulation of damaged DNA, leading to an increased incidence of hematological malignancies. The factors that damage HSCs' DNA and the protective mechanisms inside these cells are beginning to be better understood.
Evidence suggests that leukemias develop from a malignant stem cell, called a leukemic stem cell (LSC) or a cancer stem cell (CSC). Recent research indicates that human leukemias develop through a step-wise process, resulting from multiple acquired mutations in cellular clones leading to clinical disease. New insights into LSC biology will help us to develop more effective treatments.
Human iPSCs, induced pluripotent stem cells which have been derived from somatic cells, promise to provide opportunities for cell therapies in regenerative medicine, stem cell modeling of human diseases and new tools for drug screening. However there are serious safety-related concerns for iPSC-based cell therapy. Recent achievements in iPSC-based cell therapy will be presented and discussed.
Press Briefing: Friday, June 14, 2013 from 08:30 - 10:00 CET at the Stockholmsmässan.
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SOURCE European Hematology Association