November 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

stem cell tumorigenicity

3 min read

Can cells produced from autologous induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC or IPS cell) cultures sometimes be immunogenic in patients? This key question has remained somewhat unsettled due to varied findings over the years (e.g. see here), but many of us had generally felt in the last couple years that IPS cell derivative immunogenicity in an autologous context wouldn’t be a major problem. This is a big deal because if human IPS cell cultures and in particular their derivatives are immunogenic (sparking a major immune …Read More

2 min read

Just how tumorigenic are iPS cells?  The field really doesn’t know at this point. However, a steady stream of papers have raised red flag after red flag about genomic and epigenomic alterations/mutations that are linked to cancer. Of course, then there is the fact that all the genetic changes actually used to make reprogrammed cells in the first palce are linked to cancer: not just Myc, but also Nanog, KLF4, Sox2, loss of p53 function, etc. We all first thought that making iPSCs without …Read More

3 min read

The trouble with the risk of teratoma presents a stem cell paradox. Stem cells possess two traits lacking in other cells: self-renewal and pluripotency. This duo of defining functions is key to the ability of stem cells to be used to treat patients via regenerative medicine. A paradox exists because while self-renewal and pluripotency are both needed for stem cells to be clinically useful, these cellular traits also are crucial factors in determining how likely stem cells are to cause tumors as a side effect. …Read More

2 min read

A paper just came out in PNAS entitled “Promotion of direct reprogramming by transformation-deficient Myc“. The main thrust of this paper is that the tumorigenic and pluripotency-related functions of Myc could be separated. It focused primarily on the lesser studied LMyc. The topic of the intertwined good (pluripotency) and bad (tumorigenicity) functions of Myc, addressed in this paper by Yamanaka’s group, is extremely important and interesting. However there are several key open questions that remain. An important issue with this paper is the implication …Read More