March 4, 2007

Cancer Stem Cells And Other Advances In A Hot Scientific Field

Human embryonic stem cells have garnered extensive attention as potential future treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. Stem cells also may be the key to developing new treatments for certain types of cancer, according to an article scheduled for the Jan. 15 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the ACS' weekly news magazine.

Written by C&EN Associate Editor Sarah Everts, the article describes how cancer stem cells are fostering a revolution in cancer research, with the realization that stem cells are key players in breast, blood, colon and bone cancer. Evidence suggests that conventional treatments kill ordinary tumor cells but spare the cancer stem cell, which continues to produce additional malignant cells.

The article is part of a C&EN cover story package on stem cells. Another part by Everts describes critical advances by chemists and other scientists in this high-profile field. Researchers, for instance, are defining the environmental conditions that are best for deriving and growing stem cells, including small molecules that can make a normal cell more like a stem cell. A third segment, by C&EN Associate Editor Susan R. Morrissey, discusses how the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is reexamining several key patents previously granted for embryonic stem cells. Features on C&EN Online chart the business of stem cells and describe how scientists are working to use these cells as replacements for animal models in toxicological testing and disease research.


"Taming Stem Cells: Researchers are defining the chemical preferences of stem cells and figuring out what factors keep them eternal and which destine them to a differentiated fate"

"Getting to the Root of Cancer: The dark side of stem cells is initiating a revolution in cancer research"

"Claims Under Fire: The future of embryonic stem cell research in the U.S. may hinge on current review of key patents"

"Reducing Animal Testing Using Stem Cells: Stem cells may provide a complementary alternative to animals as in vitro models of disease and for toxicological testing"

"Rolling Out Stem Cells: Industry aims to capitalize on the promise of these multipotent cells"


ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- January 10, 2007

The American Chemical Society -- the world's largest scientific society -- is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

No comments: