Study Identifies Potential New Source for Adult Stem Cells

November 13, 2003

Tags: Stem Cells + Therapeutic Cloning

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— Blood stem cells hold great promise for treating inherited blood disorders and certain autoimmune diseases. They also are key in making bone marrow transplantation safer and more successful for patients. But because these cells are so rare, researchers have a difficult time harvesting them from donors. In research reported in the online version of the journal Blood, Whitehead scientists Harvey Lodish and Cheng Cheng Zhang report the discovery of a new blood stem cell growth factor, IGF-2, to add to the short list of known growth factors – that is, proteins that affect cell growth, or in this case, stem cell growth. This discovery provides a new tool that allows researchers to multiply blood stem cells in culture for potential therapeutic use.


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