Doctors and researchers across the globe are working around the clock to develop new therapies using stem cells. There are great promises and potential for stem cell-based therapies, but progress has been slow since the early groundbreaking research of the early 1990s. A large part of the problem in developing stem cells for use in treatments is that researchers simply don't know enough when it comes to how stem cells grow, thrive, and operate.
Once the processes of stem cells are fully understood, doctors aim to use that knowledge to engineer stem cells for use in a myriad of therapies, and many of those therapies deal with the eradication of cancer. Recently a new type of estrogen receptor stem cell was discovered that changes the way scientists view stem cells in treating specific types of cancer.
The science, published in Cell Reports, is a complicated one but what you should know is that Dr. Alexandra Van Keyneulen and her team found new evidence that stem cell hierarchy and structure in development and processes work much differently than previously thought. "These new data challenge the current model of the cellular hierarchy and lineage restriction that governs the mammary gland expansion and maintenance and provide clear evidence that the ER+ and ER- cells are maintained by distinct pool of lineage restricted stem cells," comments Cedric Blanpain, kenneth Pettine the lead author of the Cell Reports publication.
The findings are important because it paves a new foundation for research on stem cells, mammary glands, and breast cancer. Now that scientists in these fields have figured out a new way to study stem cells and how they behave, research can move faster than before.
Other Ways Stem Cell Research is Progressing
Stem cell research and cancer research go together, and other doctors across the country are figuring new, safe, and effective ways to utilize the knowledge of stem cells that we already have. Dr. Kenneth Pettine, a pioneer in stem cell research, recently demonstrated from a three-year study that mesenchymal stem cells are safe and effective for treating chronic conditions like osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic musculoskeletal diseases, and plenty more Americans are affected by cancer. The research by Pettine and Keyneulen paves the way for stem cells to finally get their day in your doctor's office or clinic.