January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

cancer

3 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic is tearing through the country right as we are starting into the holiday season, but the wheels of science including cell biology keep going and we keep reading all the great work. What news or papers caught your eye? Here are some of the things I have on my list of reading. Also, check out our most-read topic here on The Niche of the last month or so in two posts here and here digging into what I see as Duke’s cord …Read More

3 min read

There have been many other interesting scientific and specifically regenerative medicine developments and papers this past week including with CIRM and exciting CIRM funding to UC Davis so read on, but first a somewhat random question: are you more of a cat person or dog person? I’d say I’m both. But our big dog is not a fan of cats so I have to get my random cat time in on walks if I happen to run into a cat. I crossed paths with …Read More

2 min read

It’s usually a tossup as to whether my weekly reads skew more towards stem cells/regenerative medicine or cancer. Other times they are more enriched for genomics and epigenetics articles. Seeds of cancer in normal skin, Nature News & Views Engineering synthetic morphogen systems that can program multicellular patterning, Science. Pig fat can be used to grow jawbones for humans, Science Mag news piece. Pig fat stem cells can aid in jawbone growth. Here’s the original Science Translational Medicine research pub. Inherited myeloproliferative neoplasm risk …Read More

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It’s notable how the FDA now considers gene-editing a kind of regenerative medicine. This means that various gene therapy products in development technically qualify as regenerative therapies. Ever since the agency began its rapidly growing regenerative medicine advanced therapy (RMAT) designation program, we’ve seen an increasing number of gene therapy biotechs and products qualify as RMATs. As a result, the RMAT-qualified gene therapies get to go into a speedier lane of FDA oversight. Today’s post is a mix of recommended reads in the regenerative …Read More

2 min read

Here are some articles that look especially interesting on stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR. I was just at the SNO meeting in SFO on childhood brain tumors so those are on my mind more. Childhood cerebellar tumours mirror conserved fetal transcriptional programs (Nature) Childhood brain tumors “think” they are building organds in fetuses. H3.3 K27M depletion increases differentiation and extends latency of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma growth in vivo. (Acta Neuropathologica) from Suzy Baker-led team. H3K27M induces defective chromatin spread of PRC2-mediated repressive H3K27me2/me3 and …Read More

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There’s nothing like stem cell good news and interesting publications to perk one up on a Monday. Enjoy. What recent papers have struck you as exciting? Novel stem cell-based cancer approaches (Part 1) It was exciting when Fate Therapeutics got the first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) IND in the U.S. for their IPSC-derived natural killer cell (NK) product. Now in another milestone the first patient has received the investigational NK therapy at UC San Diego. From UCSD, “After 10 years in remission, Derek Ruff’s cancer …Read More

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Could potential associated cancer risks claw into CRISPR’s potential? The short answer from both previous and new data is that while CRISPR gene editing impacts the P53 pathway, which is involved in cancer along with having many other functions, this news is neither too surprising nor a fatal flaw, but some caution is warranted. CRISPR is many things including an exciting technology that my own lab uses a lot, but it isn’t and never will be perfect or somehow magical. When this week’s story …Read More

6 min read

What if it seemed based on the public statements of its leader that a business was using an unapproved and unproven, genetically-modified, stem cell-based ‘cancer vaccine’ on patients? Is that possible? Sometimes I think I’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to companies marketing non-FDA approved, scientifically unproven stem cell ‘therapies’ to patients after 8+ years blogging here, but then I run across something new each year that still surprises me. For example, in a mind-blowing video that the company posted on Facebook the leader of …Read More

1 min read

The Knoepfler lab has formed a team to raise research funds to try to find new treatments and hopefully cures for kids facing a type of mostly fatal brain tumors. Here’s the team page. If you can give us a hand by joining the team or making a donation that’d be wonderful. Any help would be appreciated. The way it works is that this great pediatric cancer foundation called Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, from whom I recently got a 2-year grant, will match all the money …Read More

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The FDA issued a historic statement today promising to more clearly define its regulatory policies on stem cell therapies and to take strong action on some stem cell clinics that it views as “bad actors”. I’ve never the FDA use such clear-cut language before. I give big kudos to new FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. It already took some action too on clinics in Florida and in California. So today we heard about both a bold statement of vision on how the FDA will deal with …Read More