November 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


2 min read

Each year brings more evidence that what causes many cancers is a case of biological betrayal on the part of stem cells via cancer stem cells. I have blogged before about the potential for stem cell-based regenerative medicine therapies to aid cancer patients. I have also written before about my own experiences as a cancer patient. As you can imagine, being a cancer and stem cell scientist but also now a cancer patient/survivor makes me especially eager to find ways to attack cancer.  An …Read More

5 min read

There is a kind of invisible cultural wall between patients such as cancer patients and biomedical scientists like me, but this wall does not have to exist and indeed it is a negative wall as patients, scientists, doctors, agencies, and advocates can achieve far more together than apart. But the wall is surprisingly strong. Last year when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, that wall was broken for me. I was suddenly both scientist and patient at the same time. Now I am both …Read More

2 min read

Yesterday I wrote about how difficult it is to tell different cell lines apart, including normal stem cells and cancer stem cells, especially since some accumulate accumulate oncogenic mutations that may make them seem more similar. A new paper is coming out that makes this case on a genomic level. Tomorrow’s Cell Stem Cell edition includes a paper by a team of researchers led by Jeanne Loring that has identified relatively small genomic abnormalities in ESC and iPS cells. While both ESC and iPS …Read More

3 min read

Cancer is a class of diseases that are intimately linked to stem cells. In fact, I would go so far as to call some types of cancer cells and stem cells, cousins. This concept, of a tight relationship between stem and cancer cells, is under intense investigation but at the same time it is something that many stem cell scientists would rather not think about. It is simply reality. A wide variety of cancers exhibit gene expression profiles that share modules with highly pluripotent …Read More