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Vitamin C May Help Slay Blood Cancer Stem Cells – Anti Aging News

By LizaAVILA

Vitamin C may prompt faulty stem cells in bone marrow to die off, rather than multiplying to spur blood cancers.

A new study has found that vitamin C may communicate to faulty stem cells within bone marrow that they should mature and perish in a normal manner rather than multiplying to spur blood cancers. This is the insight gleaned from a study spearheaded by NYU Langone Health Perlmutter Cancer Center researchers. Study details were recently published in Cell.

About the Findings

The authors of the study state specific genetic alterations are known to decrease the ability of an enzyme referred to as tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (TET2) to promote stem cell maturation and death in patients who have specific types of leukemia. They determined vitamin C activates TET2 functionality in mice designed to lack the enzyme. It is possible that vitamin C will prove to be a safe and effective treatment for diseases spurred by leukemia stem cells deficient in TET2. It is likely that vitamin C will be used in combination with other targeted therapies.

Study Details

The researchers used genetically altered mice in which TET2 was turned off. These mice endured abnormal stem cell activity. Such changes were reversed when a genetic trick restored TET2 expression. Providing high doses of vitamin C functioned similarly to restoring TET2 functionality on a genetic level. Vitamin C's promotion of DNA demethylation caused stem cells to mature and limited the advancement of leukemia cancer stem cells from humans that were implanted in mice. Vitamin C treatment affected leukemic stem cells similar to damaged DNA. Vitamin C was used in combination with a PARP inhibitor to produce an enhanced effect on such stem cells, sending them from self-renewal to maturity and subsequent death.

TET2 and Cancer

Alterations in the genetic code that decrease TET2 functionality are found in 10% of those who have acute myeloid leukemia (AML). About one-third of patients with a form of preleukemia known as myelodysplastic syndrome and upwards of half of those with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia have such genetic code mutations. These cancers spur anemia, bleeding and infection risk as abnormal stem cells multiply within bone marrow until they block the production of blood cells. Recent tests show about 2.5% of cancer patients living in the United States might develop TET2 alterations. This includes some patients with solid tumors and lymphomas.

About Cell Death Switch

The results of the study center on the relationship between cytosine and TET2. Cytosine is one of the several letters of nucleic acidthat make up genes' DNA code. Each cell type has thesame genes yet each receives unique instructions to turn on only those required in a specific cellular context. Examples of such epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation. This is an attachment of a diminutive molecule to cytosine bases to put a halt to the action of a gene containing them. Gene expression within stem cells is fine-tuned when methyl groups are attached and removed. Stem cellexpressions can then mature and multiplyto form muscle, nerve, bone and other types of cells. The bone marrow holds stem cell pools as adulthood is reached until they can become replacement cells. Inpatients with leukemia, signals that typically tell blood stem cells to mature end up malfunctioning. This allows for endless multiplication and a self-renewing rather than the generation of regular white blood cells required to combat infection.

TET2 empowers an alteration in the molecular structure of methyl groups required for their removal from cytosines. Such demethylation activates genes that direct stem cells to mature and commence a countdown to self-destruction as a component of regular turnover. This functions as a means of combating cancer yet it is disrupted in blood cancer patients who have TET2 mutations.

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Howard University Hosts ‘Be The Match’ Marrow Registry Drive – Howard Newsroom (press release)

By raymumme

Howard University Hospital's Dr. Ermias Aytenfisu seeks to clear up misconceptions about marrow donation in the minority community.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 21, 2017) Elsa Nega is an Ethiopian-Canadian mother of two young children. She loves her children and wants to watch them grow. However, Nega has a rare form of blood cancer, leukemia, and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.

Black patients like Nega are the least likely to find their suitable blood marrow match, according to Be The Match which is hosting a Stem Cell/Bone Marrow registry event at the Howard University College of Medicine on Wednesday, Aug. 30 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The exact location for the registry drive is the lobby outside of room 1008 in the Numa P. Adams building.

Negas story began in February when she walked into her local ER and was rushed to intensive care. By the next morning Nega was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and started on chemo immediately. Unlike 90 percent of patients who go into remission after the first round of chemo, she did not.

Now, after three rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant is her only hope of recovery. Negas siblings were not a match and she is reaching out to the Washington region because of its large population of people of Ethiopian descent.

There are a lot of myths associated with marrow donation, said Amanda Holk, community engagement representative with the Be The Match in Washington, D.C. There is so much fear surrounding the process but most donors are back to work the next day.

ErmiasM. Aytenfisu, M.D., stroke medical director at Howard University Hospital said the most common way to donate bone marrow is through a procedure called peripheral stem cell donation. No surgery is involved. Donors receive medication to increase peripheral stem cells before the donation. On the day of donation, blood is removed through a needle on one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. Uncommonly marrow donation involves surgical techniques that use a special needle to take out blood forming cells. During the procedure, the patient is anesthetized and feels no pain.

Joining the bone marrow registry at the Howard University College of Medicine event involves a simple as a cheek swab and an application. A persons chance of being a match at that point is only 1 in 500. But, for a patient like Elsa, you could be the only one. Elsa does not have a single match on the registry although there are 30 million people signed up.

For more information, contact Amanda Holk via email AHolk@nmdp.org or 202-875-9987

For the Howard University registry drive, please note that you must be between the ages of 18 and 44 to join the registry since research has shown that the younger the cells, the better the patient outcomes. And the following conditions prevent you from joining:

Hepatitis B or C

HIV

Organ, marrow or stem cell transplant recipient

Stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)

Other upcoming local events to support Elsa Nega:

*Empower the community (The Helen Show)

Date: 08/26/2017 (Sat.)

Location: Washington Convention Center

*Ethiopian Day Festival

Date: 09/03/2017 (Sun.)

Location: Downtown Silver Spring

About Howard University Hospital

Over the course of its roughly 155-year history of providing the finest primary, secondary and tertiary health care services, Howard University Hospital (HUH) remains one of the most comprehensive health care facilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and designated a DC Level 1 Trauma Center. The hospital is the nation's only teaching hospital located on the campus of a historically Black university. For more information, visit huhealthcare.com

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VistaGen’s cell production methods receive US patent boost – BioPharma-Reporter.com

By raymumme

VistaGen Therapeutics has received a notice of allowance for a stem cell production patent, which the firm says could be used in autoimmune disorder and cancer treatments.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued VistaStem a subsidiary of VistaGen the notice for patent no. 14/359,517, which covers methods for producing hematopoietic precursor stem cells usually found in red blood marrow.

These are stem cells that give rise to all of the blood cells and most of the bone marrow cells in the body, with potential to impact both direct and supportive therapy for autoimmune disorders and cancer, said VistaGen VP Mark McPartland.

With CAR-T cell applications and foundational technology, McPartland said he believed the technology will provide approaches for producing bone marrow stem cells for bone marrow transfusions.

Business opportunities

In December last year, VistaGen signed an exclusive sublicense agreement with stem cell research firm BlueRock Therapeutics, under which the latter paid VistaGen $1.25m (1.06m) upfront for its cardiac stem cell production technologies.

McPartland said he expects this recent notice of allowance to also create potential opportunities for additional regenerative medicine transactions.

IP portfolio growth

VistaGen told us it plans to secure IP protection in multiple domains and international jurisdictions.

We intend to grow our IP portfolio in a manner that emphasises platform protection and maximises opportunities for commercialisation and out-licensing, McPartland said.

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Winnipeg man to donate stem cells to critically ill stranger in Israel – CBC.ca

By raymumme

When Alex Shorheardthat he was a match for a stranger in Israel who would likely die without a stem cell transplant, he didn't think twice before saying "yes."

"If I today I help somebody, tomorrow I want somebody to help me too if I [am] sick," said Shor. "I don't think too much about it."

The request came from Ezer Mizion, an Israeli health service with the world's largest Jewish bone marrow registry, countingover 850,000 registrants worldwide. Shor said the representative told him the recipient would be a63-year-old man in Israel.

Shor, 41, had registered his DNA with the registry 10 years ago when he lived in Israel.

Shor and his family emigrated to Winnipeg nearly three years ago. In March, he got word that his stem cells were a match.

Stem cells are immature blood cells that can grow into healthy cells. They can make the difference between life and death for people with various forms of cancer, blood-related illnesses and metabolic disorders.

Shorwas agenetic match for the man based on the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system, which codes the human immune system. The pair would have had to have 10 of the same HLA markers to be a viable match.

In May, Shorwent to a lab in Winnipeg to draw blood to send off to Israel to ensure hisblood would be compatible with the recipient's. Now, he plans to travel to Israel to donate his stem cells as soon as he hears from the physicians that the patient's condition has improved enough to tolerate the procedure.

Getting Shor's blood to Israel required a cooler, a courier and some creativity.

Vials of Shor's blood were transported to Israel in an ice-packed Thermos.

Dena Bensalmon, Canadian director of Israeli health service Ezer Mizion, put out a call on Facebook for a chaperone that could transport five vials of Shor's blood.

"Sixteen people came forward within about four minutes," she said.

One woman the perfect candidate was travelling from Winnipeg to Toronto, then on to Isreal. They packed the blood in ice in a Coleman thermos for the 12-hour journey.

"I met Dina in Toronto and then I switched the ice packs. They took the blood directly," she said.

Canada'sOneMatchregistry through Canadian Blood Serviceshas about 400,000 registrants.

But"if a person is Jewish, then the chances of them finding their match on a Jewish registry is far greater than them finding their match on a non-Jewish registry," saidBensalmon.

Canadian Blood Services has access to nearly 29 million volunteer donors and more than 720,000 cord blood units from dozens of countries around the world, as all the registries are connected under the umbrella of the World Marrow Donor Association, comprised of millions of people from across the world.

"I find the whole thing almost like watching a circle of life," said Bensalmon.

A volunteer brought vials of Shor's blood to Israel. She kept the thermos in her lap the whole 12-hour trip.

Shor said he just thought of his own father and how he would want someone to help him if he had a life-threatening illness. He encourages everyone to join a stem-cell registry.

"Tomorrow you may save somebody and tomorrow you don't know if you be sick and somebody save you," said Shor.

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The power of vitamin C: Can it kill cancer stem cells? – Bel Marra Health

By daniellenierenberg

Home Cancer The power of vitamin C: Can it kill cancer stem cells?

Every three minutes, one person in the United States is diagnosed with blood cancer. Thankfully, there may be a new approach to helping these individuals fight it using vitamin C.

Researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health recently published a report in the journal Cell indicating that vitamin C may be able to tell faulty cells in bone marrow to mature and die instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers. They explained that specific genetic changes are able to reduce the ability of the enzyme known as TET2 to push stem cells to mature, which die in many people who suffer from leukemia. Experts discovered that vitamin C seemed to activate TET2 in mice that were engineered to be TET2 deficient. In simple terms, TET2 is a tumor suppressor that can prevent certain cells from growing uncontrollably.

Mutations that reduce TET2 function are present in about 10 percent of people with acute myeloid leukemia, 30 percent of patients with a pre-leukemia known as myelodysplastic syndrome, and close to 50 percent of people with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Tests indicate that about 2.5 percent of U.S. cancer patients develop TET2 mutations, including some with lymphomas.

The study focused on the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, which is one of four nucleic acid letters that make up the DNA codes in our genes. The attachment of a small molecule, referred to as a methyl group, to cytosine bases can shut down the actions of a gene. As the human body forms, the attachment and removal of methyl groups adjust gene expression in stem cells, which can mature and become muscle, bone, nerve, or other cell types. The bone marrow keeps stem cells in pools, ready to become replacement cells when and if needed. In the case of leukemia, the signals that are supposed to tell a blood stem cell to mature end up malfunctioning, leaving it to multiply instead of developing normal white cells, which are needed to help fight infection.

Medical scientists explain that TET2 allows for a change in methyl groups that are required to be removed from cytosine. This essentially turns on genes and directs stem cells to mature and eventually destroy themselves. Researchers say that this signals an anti-cancer mechanism, something that can help blood cancer patients with TET2 mutations.

The team of researchers genetically engineered mice to manipulate the TET2 gene. Techniques to turn off TET2 in mice lead to abnormal stem cell behavior. The changes were reversed when TET2 was restored. Since previous work indicated that vitamin C could stimulate TET2, the researchers theorized that high doses of vitamin C might reverse the effects of TET2 deficiency. It would be a case of turning up the action on the functional gene. As it turns out, high dose vitamin C treatment did induce stem cells to mature and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer cells implanted in mice.

As of now, the NYU team is working on identifying genetic changes that may contribute to the risk of leukemia in specific groups of patients. While this latest study provides some hope for blood cancer patients, the manipulation of TET2 is only a potential new treatment approach until further studies are conducted. Currently approved treatments for blood cancers include stem cell transplantation, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Related: Combining antibiotics and vitamin C helps to combat cancer stem cells

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http://www.cancercenter.com/terms/blood-cancers/https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/TET2

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Vitamin C Can Suppress Leukemia Up To a Point | IFLScience – IFLScience

By JoanneRUSSELL25

There is truth in the old proverb about apple consumption and medical appointments. Insufficient vitamin C can contribute to leukemia. This observed relationship has now been shown to operate through the regulatory role the vitamin plays in the operation of bone marrow stem cells.

These days messages touting a single ingredient as being capable of curing all ills are more likely to peddleturmeric or cannabis, but a few decades ago it was vitamin C that was hailedas preventing everything from theflu to cancer if you took enough. As exaggerated as most of these claims were, it's certainly true that ascorbate, as it is also known, is vital to our health, sometimes in ways that are still unexplained.

We have known for a while that people with lower levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) are at increased cancer risk, but we havent fully understood why, said Dr Sean Morrison of Childrens Medical Center Research Institute UT Southwestern. Stem cells clearly played a part, but are so rare in any individual tissue that it is impossible to collect the millions usually used for metabolic analysis. Moreover, most mammals make their own ascorbate, but humans cannot, impeding the use of animal models.

Morrison and his co-authors of a paper published in Nature had to develop new techniques to measure metabolite usage in populations as small as 10,000 stem cells to address the first problem. On applying these techniques the authors discovered each type of blood-forming cell has a distinctive signature to its metabolite consumption. They tackled the second problem using mice that lack ascorbate-producing enzymes.

When given a low vitamin C diet these mice had more, and more active, bone marrow stem cells, increasing blood cell production at the price of higher rates of leukemia. The vitamin C concentration was related to levels of the enzyme Tet2, which regulates blood production. Without enough Tet2, the stem cells behaved like an overheating engine, turning out blood cells at a great rate until they turned cancerous. Something similar is observed when mutations reduce Tet2 production.

The first clinical application of the discovery is for patients with clonal hematopoiesis, a condition that often involves reduced Tet2 production and leukemia. Our results suggest patients with clonal hematopoiesis and a Tet2 mutation should be particularly careful to get 100 percent of their daily vitamin C requirement, Morrison said. These patients... need to maximize the residual Tet2 tumor-suppressor activity to protect themselves from cancer.

Since stem cells are much sparser in the rest of the body than in bone marrow it will be even more challenging to extend the research to other cancers.

The ideal dose of vitamin C remains to be established, although a paper, coincidentally published last week, may indicate benefits beyond current recommendations.

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First birthday for Windsor’s ‘warrior princess’ after lifesaving transplant – Windsor Star

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Madalayna Ducharme is celebrating her first birthday, on Aug, 22, 2017. She's shown recently in a family pool.Courtesy of the Ducharme family / Windsor Star

Bowling for Bone Marrow fundraiser Saturday

To support the families of those who need astem cell/bone marrow transplant, head to this weekends 12th annual Bowling for Bone Marrow Throw a Strike for the Gift of Life.

The Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association fundraiser is Saturday at Rose Bowl Lanes with a noon check-in time and bowling between 1 and 3 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome and the cost is $20 without a pledge form.Children under age 12 get in free and there will be a clown and childrens activities.

To register, call (519) 564-4119 or go online atwww.givemarrow.net/index.html.

Windsors warrior princess Madalayna Ducharme celebrates her first birthday Tuesday.

Were so happy and grateful that weve had her for a year, her mom, Tamara Ducharme, said Monday. I know back at the six-month mark we had a little celebration for her just in case we didnt have a year birthday.

On March 17, little Madalayna received a bone marrow transplant to save her from a rare genetic disorder.

Madalayna will get to try cake for the first time, even if its just for her tiny fingers to play in, and her mom plans to go live on Facebook in the late afternoon for the approximately 3,000 supportive followers on the Miracle for Madalaynasite.

I cant believe how many people love her and support us. It makes us so happy, Ducharme said. We could be going through this alone. I feel like there are 3,000 fighters in our corner.

Madalayna, dubbed the warrior princess, was just two months old when doctors noticed issues that a few months later would be diagnosed as malignant infantile osteopetrosis which leads toabnormal thickening of the bone. Without treatment, the one-in-200,000 genetic disorder would dramatically reduce the infants life expectancy.

The Windsor community rallied around the family, and there were efforts made to get more people to join the bone marrow registry. Ducharme said shes thankful for the support from the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association. She said getting swabbed for the registry wasnt just for Madalayna but to help all those waiting for a match.

Because of the genetic disorder, at first doctors werent looking to family members for a match but Madalaynas two-year-old brother Henrik proved a perfect match and doctors consulted in the United States and Europe agreed his bone marrow was the familys best option.

The family didnt get Madalayna home from Toronto and London hospitals until July, and the little warrior fought off a virus that is worrisome with transplant patients, her mom said. So far, blood tests are looking good but the family wont know until after more extensive tests later this week in Toronto whether the transplant is working.

Ducharme is asking for prayers for good news in Toronto. The transplant is as close to a cure as possible, she said. Madalayna may have hearing and sight issues from the disease, but if the bones look better and the transplant is working, it gives her a chance at a longer life. Ducharme has heard of a man who had the disease and a transplant as a baby and is now 25 years old.

Madalyna, who loves music and looks like a princess in her tutu and frilly dresses, is a bit delayed with all that shes been through, but a week ago she sat up for the first time and she likes to dance by bouncing and swaying to techno music. She still needs the tube in her nose and doesnt like drinking liquids and isnt eating properly. Shes improving but her mom doesnt know what her baby will think of birthday cake.

Were excited.

shill@postmedia.com

twitter.com/winstarhill

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Mayo, U develop ‘robocop’ stem cells to fight cancer – StarTribune.com – Minneapolis Star Tribune

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota say theyre on the brink of a new era in cancer care one in which doctors extract a patients white blood cells, have them genetically engineered in a lab, and put them back to become personalized cancer-fighting machines.

The so-called CAR T cellular therapies are expected to receive federal approval this fall for certain rare blood cancers B-cell forms of lymphoma and leukemia. But scientists at the Minnesota institutions hope thats just the first step that will lead to better treatment of solid tumor cancers as well.

This is really the first approval of a genetically modified product for cancer therapy, said Dr. Jeffrey Miller, deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. If the proof of concept works, he said, we might be on the right track to get away from all of that toxic chemotherapy that people hate.

Participating in industry-funded clinical trials, the Minnesota researchers hoped to determine if patients with leukemia or lymphoma would be more likely to survive if their own stem cells were extracted to grow cancer-fighting T-cells that were then infused back into their bodies.

One analysis, involving trials by Kite Pharmaceuticals at Mayo and other institutions, found a sevenfold increase in lymphoma patients whose cancers disappeared when they received CAR T instead of traditional chemo-based treatment.

I often tell patients that T-cells are like super robocops, said Dr. Yi Lin, a Mayo hematologist in Rochester. Were now directing those cells to really target cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is widely expected this fall to approve CAR T products made by Kite and Novartis, which genetically engineer T-cells to target so-called CD19 proteins found on the surface of leukemia and lymphoma cells.

The side effects can be harsh, because the T-cell infusions trigger an immune system response that can produce fever, weakness, racing heart and kidney problems. Short-term memory and cognitive problems also have occurred. Brain swelling led to five deaths of cancer patients who took part in a CAR T trial by Juno Pharmaceuticals. The trial was shut down as a result.

Lin said brain swelling appeared mostly in adults with leukemia. For now, she expects Kites CAR T therapy to be approved for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and the Novartis therapy to be approved for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. Federal regulations also might restrict CAR T for patients whose cancers survived traditional treatments.

Current practice to treat these cancers generally involves chemotherapy and radiation. Physicians then transplant stem cells, often from donor bone marrow, to regrow the patients immune systems, which are weakened in the process of treatment.

CAR T differs in that patients will receive infusions of their own T-cells, genetically modified, which their bodies will be less likely to reject.

Its individualized medicine, Lin said.

Im on my way

Before he tried CAR T at Mayo as part of a clinical trial, John Renze of Carroll, Iowa, had received two rounds of chemo, two rounds of radiation, and an experimental drug that did nothing to stop the spread of lymphoma.

After you fail about four times, you start to wonder if anything is going to work, the 58-year-old said.

At first, there was no room for him in the Mayo trial which has been a problem nationwide as desperate cancer patients have searched for treatment alternatives. But then he got the call one morning last summer while ordering coffee at his local cafe.

Can you get up here by one? the Mayo official asked.

Im on my way, Renze replied.

Even before federal approval comes through, researchers such as Miller are looking beyond the first-line CAR T therapies, and wondering if the approach can be used on solid tumors. Roughly 80,000 blood cancers occur each year in the U.S. that could be treated with CAR T, but the total number of cancers diagnosed each year is nearly 1.7 million.

The challenge is that solid tumors dont have the same protein targets as blood cancers. And T-cells would have to be more discriminating if infused to eliminate tumors in solid organs, Miller said. If you destroy normal lung tissue (along with lung cancer), thats not going to work, he said.

Mayo researchers are studying whether CAR T can work against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, while U researchers are exploring ways to better control the CAR T-cells after they are infused in cancer patients.

Researchers also are trying to understand whether CAR T produces memory in the immune system, so it knows to react if cancers resurface.

In addition, Miller is studying whether NK cells, which also play a role in the human immune system, can be genetically modified and infused instead of T-cells to target cancer. The body doesnt reject NK cells from donors as much, he said. So NK cells from donor bone marrow or umbilical cord blood could be collected and mass produced to potentially provide faster and cheaper treatments.

Like many breakthrough therapies, CAR T will be expensive, with a price likely to exceed $200,000 per patient. How insurers plan to cover it remains unclear. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is evaluating evidence regarding CAR Ts effectiveness, and will set a coverage policy after it receives FDA approval, said Dr. Glenn Pomerantz, Blue Cross chief medical officer.

A surge for Mayo?

Mayo expects a surge of hundreds of cancer patients per year if CAR T is approved, because it will initially be provided by large medical centers that have experience with the therapy and its side effects. The Rochester hospital is planning to add staff and space dedicated to CAR T.

Miller said the U is developing advice for referring doctors and hospitals statewide, so they know what to do if CAR T patients show up with complex symptoms.

They can be a bit delayed and you cant just keep people in the hospital to see if they develop these things, he said.

Renzes stem cells were taken last July, and his modified T-cells were put back a month later. He lost weight and felt sick for weeks, and had to drive three hours to Mayo for frequent checkups.

But as of last Aug. 31, the cancer had vanished.

Every three months, he returns to Mayo to make sure the cancer hasnt re-emerged. Then he returns to Carroll, where he owns farmland and car dealerships and dotes on his grandchildren.

For people like me that have already failed a bunch of times, youre happy to try anything, he said. I mean, what else would I have done?

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Vitamin C may help genes to kill blood cancer stem cells – ETHealthworld.com

By NEVAGiles23

Representational image

Washington D.C. : A study has recently revealed that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

According to researchers, certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia.

The new study found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

Corresponding study author Benjamin G. Neel said, "We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies."

The results suggested that changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 percent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

The study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

The findings indicated that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

"Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA," said first study author Luisa Cimmino.

"For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer," Cimmino added.

The findings appear in journal Cell.

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Vitamin C could help genes kill blood cancer stem cells – Economic Times

By raymumme

WASHINGTON D.C: Good news! A study has recently revealed that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

According to researchers, certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia.

The new study found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

Corresponding study author Benjamin G. Neel said, "We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies."

The results suggested that changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 percent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

The study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

The findings indicated that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

"Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA," said first study author Luisa Cimmino.

"For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer," Cimmino added.

The findings appear in journal Cell.

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Will Gene Editing Allow Us to Rid the World of Diseases? – Healthline

By Sykes24Tracey

Scientists recently used a gene-editing tool to fix a mutation in a human embryo. Around the world, researchers are chasing cures for other genetic diseases.

Now that the gene-editing genie is out of the bottle, what would you wish for first?

Babies with perfect eyes, over-the-top intelligence, and a touch of movie star charisma?

Or a world free of disease not just for your family, but for every family in the world?

Based on recent events, many scientists are working toward the latter.

Earlier this month, scientists from the Oregon Health & Science University used a gene editing tool to correct a disease-causing mutation in an embryo.

The technique, known as CRISPR-Cas9, fixed the mutation in the embryos nuclear DNA that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart condition that can lead to heart failure or cardiac death.

This is the first time that this gene-editing tool has been tested on clinical-quality human eggs.

Had one of these embryos been implanted into a womans uterus and allowed to fully develop, the baby would have been free of the disease-causing variation of the gene.

This type of beneficial change would also have been passed down to future generations.

None of the embryos in this study were implanted or allowed to develop. But the success of the experiment offers a glimpse at the potential of CRISPR-Cas9.

Still, will we ever be able to gene-edit our world free of disease?

According to the Genetic Disease Foundation, there are more than 6,000 human genetic disorders.

Scientists could theoretically use CRISPR-Cas9 to correct any of these diseases in an embryo.

To do this, they would need an appropriate piece of RNA to target corresponding stretches of genetic material.

The Cas9 enzyme cuts DNA at that spot, which allows scientists to delete, repair, or replace a specific gene.

Some genetic diseases, though, may be easier to treat with this method than others.

Most people are focusing, at least initially, on diseases where there really is only one gene involved or a limited number of genes and theyre really well understood, Megan Hochstrasser, PhD, science communications manager at the Innovative Genomics Institute in California, told Healthline.

Diseases caused by a mutation in a single gene include sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and Tay-Sachs disease. These affect millions of people worldwide.

These types of diseases, though, are far outnumbered by diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, which kill millions of people across the globe each year.

Genetics along with environmental factors also contribute to obesity, mental illness, and Alzheimers disease, although scientists are still working on understanding exactly how.

Right now, most CRISPR-Cas9 research focuses on simpler diseases.

There are a lot of things that have to be worked out with the technology for it to get to the place where we could ever apply it to one of those polygenic diseases, where multiple genes contribute or one gene has multiple effects, said Hochstrasser.

Although designer babies gain a lot of media attention, much CRISPR-Cas9 research is focused elsewhere.

Most people who are working on this are not working in human embryos, said Hochstrasser. Theyre trying to figure out how we can develop treatments for people that already have diseases.

These types of treatments would benefit children and adults who are already living with a genetic disease, as well as people who develop cancer.

This approach may also help the 25 million to 30 million Americans who have one of the more than 6,800 rare diseases.

Gene editing is a really powerful option for people with rare disease, said Hochstrasser. You could theoretically do a phase I clinical trial with all the people in the world that have a certain [rare] condition and cure them all if it worked.

Rare diseases affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States at any given time, which means there is less incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments.

These less-common diseases include cystic fibrosis, Huntingtons disease, muscular dystrophies, and certain types of cancer.

Last year researchers at the University of California Berkeley made progress in developing an ex vivo therapy where you take cells out of a person, modify them, and put them back into the body.

This treatment was for sickle cell disease. In this condition, a genetic mutation causes hemoglobin molecules to stick together, which deforms red blood cells. This can lead to blockages in the blood vessels, anemia, pain, and organ failure.

Researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to genetically engineer stem cells to fix the sickle cell disease mutation. They then injected these cells into mice.

The stem cells migrated to the bone marrow and developed into healthy red blood cells. Four months later, these cells could still be found in the mices blood.

This is not a cure for the disease, because the body would continue to make red blood cells that have the sickle cell disease mutation.

But researchers think that if enough healthy stem cells take root in the bone marrow, it could reduce the severity of disease symptoms.

More work is needed before researchers can test this treatment in people.

A group of Chinese researchers used a similar technique last year to treat people with an aggressive form of lung cancer the first clinical trial of its kind.

In this trial, researchers modified patients immune cells to disable a gene that is involved in stopping the cells immune response.

Researchers hope that, once injected into the body, the genetically edited immune cells will mount a stronger attack against the cancer cells.

These types of therapies might also work for other blood diseases, cancers, or immune problems.

But certain diseases will be more challenging to treat this way.

If you have a disorder of the brain, for example, you cant remove someones brain, do gene editing and then put it back in, said Hochstrasser. So we have to figure out how to get these reagents to the places they need to be in the body.

Not every human disease is caused by mutations in our genome.

Vector-borne diseases like malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and sleeping sickness kill more than 1 million people worldwide each year.

Many of these diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, but also by ticks, flies, fleas, and freshwater snails.

Scientists are working on ways to use gene editing to reduce the toll of these diseases on the health of people around the world.

We could potentially get rid of malaria by engineering mosquitoes that cant transmit the parasite that causes malaria, said Hochstrasser. We could do this using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique to push this trait through the entire mosquito population very quickly.

Researchers are also using CRISPR-Cas9 to create designer foods.

DuPont recently used gene editing to produce a new variety of waxy corn that contains higher amounts of starch, which has uses in food and industry.

Modified crops may also help reduce deaths due to malnutrition, which is responsible for nearly half of all deaths worldwide in children under 5.

Scientists could potentially use CRISPR-Cas9 to create new varieties of food that are pest-resistant, drought-resistant, or contain more micronutrients.

One benefit of CRISPR-Cas9, compared to traditional plant breeding methods, is that it allows scientists to insert a single gene from a related wild plant into a domesticated variety, without other unwanted traits.

Gene editing in agriculture may also move more quickly than research in people because there is no need for years of lab, animal, and human clinical trials.

Even though plants grow pretty slowly, said Hochstrasser, it really is quicker to get [genetically engineered plants] out into the world than doing a clinical trial in people.

Safety and ethical concerns

CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful tool, but it also raises several concerns.

Theres a lot of discussion right now about how best to detect so-called off-target effects, said Hochstrasser. This is what happens when the [Cas9] protein cuts somewhere similar to where you want it to cut.

Off-target cuts could lead to unexpected genetic problems that cause an embryo to die. An edit in the wrong gene could also create an entirely new genetic disease that would be passed onto future generations.

Even using CRISPR-Cas9 to modify mosquitoes and other insects raises safety concerns like what happens when you make large-scale changes to an ecosystem or a trait in a population that gets out of control.

There are also many ethical issues that come with modifying human embryos.

So will CRISPR-Cas9 help rid the world of disease?

Theres no doubt that it will make a sizeable dent in many diseases, but its unlikely to cure all of them any time soon.

We already have tools for avoiding genetic diseases like early genetic screening of fetuses and embryos but these are not universally used.

We still dont avoid tons of genetic diseases, because a lot of people dont know that they harbor mutations that can be inherited, said Hochstrasser.

Some genetic mutations also happen spontaneously. This is the case with many cancers that result from environmental factors such as UV rays, tobacco smoke, and certain chemicals.

People also make choices that increase their risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.

So unless scientists can use CRISPR-Cas9 to find treatments for these lifestyle diseases or genetically engineer people to stop smoking and start biking to work these diseases will linger in human society.

Things like that are always going to need to be treated, said Hochstrasser. I dont think its realistic to think we would ever prevent every disease from happening in a human.

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Want to live longer? Forever Labs wants to help, using your stem cells – Digital Trends

By Dr. Matthew Watson


Digital Trends
Want to live longer? Forever Labs wants to help, using your stem cells
Digital Trends
Using a patented device, Forever Labs collects stem cells from your blood marrow, which the team calls a wellspring for stem cells that replenish your blood, bone, immune system, and other vital tissues. The whole process is said to take around 15 ...

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Blood cancer: High doses of vitamin C could encourage stem cells … – Express.co.uk

By NEVAGiles23

The study suggests it may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die.

Researchers say Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

They explained that certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukaemia.

The new study, published online by the journal Cell. found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

Study corresponding author Professor Benjamin Neel, of the Perlmutter Cancer Centre in the United States, said: "We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies."

He said changes in the genetic code that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 per cent of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), 30 per cent of those with a form of pre-leukaemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 per cent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.

Such cancers cause anaemia, infection risk, and bleeding as abnormal stem cells multiply in the bone marrow until they interfere with blood cell production, with the number of cases increasing as the population ages.

Prof Neel said the study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the researchers genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

Similar to the naturally occurring effects of TET2 mutations in mice or humans, using molecular biology techniques to turn off TET2 in mice caused abnormal stem cell behaviour.

Prof Neel said, remarkably, the changes were reversed when TET2 expression was restored by a genetic trick.

Previous work had shown that vitamin C could stimulate the activity of TET2 and its relatives TET1 and TET3.

Because only one of the two copies of the TET2 gene in each stem cell is usually affected in TET2-mutant blood diseases, the researchers hypothesised that high doses of vitamin C, which can only be given intravenously, might reverse the effects of TET2 deficiency by turning up the action of the remaining functional gene.

They found that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically.

By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukaemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

Study first author Doctor Luisa Cimmino, of New York University Langone Health, said: "Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukaemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA.

"For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer."

The researchers found that the combination had an enhanced effect on leukaemia stem cells, further shifting them from self-renewal back toward maturity and cell death.

Dr Cimmino said the results also suggest that vitamin C might drive leukaemic stem cells without TET2 mutations toward death, given that it turns up any TET2 activity normally in place.

Corresponding author Professor Iannis Aifantis, also of NYU Langone Health, added: "Our team is working to systematically identify genetic changes that contribute to risk for leukaemia in significant groups of patients.

"This study adds the targeting of abnormal TET2-driven DNA demethylation to our list of potential new treatment approaches."

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Bone Marrow Transplant gives local cancer patient more time with his family – KTBS

By raymumme

ARZ050-051-059>061-070>073-LAZ001>006-010>014-017>022-TXZ097-151>153-165>167-192100-/O.NEW.KSHV.HT.Y.0009.170819T1500Z-170820T0000Z/Sevier-Howard-Little River-Hempstead-Nevada-Miller-Lafayette-Columbia-Union-Caddo-Bossier-Webster-Claiborne-Lincoln-De Soto-Red River-Bienville-Jackson-Ouachita-Sabine-Natchitoches-Winn-Grant-Caldwell-La Salle-Bowie-Panola-Nacogdoches-Shelby-Angelina-San Augustine-Including the cities of De Queen, Nashville, Mineral Springs, Dierks, Ashdown, Hope, Prescott, Texarkana, Stamps, Lewisville, Bradley, Magnolia, El Dorado, Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Springhill, Homer, Haynesville, Ruston, Farmerville, Bernice, Mansfield, Stonewall, Logansport, Coushatta, Martin, Arcadia, Ringgold, Gibsland, Jonesboro, Monroe, Many, Zwolle, Pleasant Hill, Natchitoches, Winnfield, Colfax, Montgomery, Dry Prong, Clarks, Grayson, Columbia, Jena, Midway, Olla, Carthage, Nacogdoches, Center, Lufkin, San Augustine, Hemphill, and Pineland242 AM CDT Sat Aug 19 2017...HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 PM CDTTHIS EVENING...The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a HeatAdvisory, which is in effect from 10 AM this morning to 7 PM CDTthis evening. * EVENT...High pressure across the area will allow for temperatures to climb into the mid 90s this afternoon. Hot temperatures combined with sufficient low-level moisture will allow for heat index values to climb to around 105 to 108 degrees across the advisory area.* TIMING...Heat index values will approach 105 degrees by late morning and persist through the afternoon into the early evening hours.* IMPACT...Precautions should be taken to prevent heat related illnesses, including limiting outdoor work activities to the late morning and early evening hours. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. Whenpossible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning orevening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing whenpossible and drink plenty of water. to reduce risk during outdoor work, the occupational safetyand health administration recommends scheduling frequent restbreaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcomeby heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heatstroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1. a heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures isexpected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humiditywill combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses arepossible. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditionedroom, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives andneighbors.&&$$

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Forever Labs preserves young stem cells to prevent your older self from aging – TechCrunch

By raymumme

Forever Labs, a startup in Y Combinators latest batch, is preserving adult stem cells with the aim to help you live longer and healthier.

Stem cells have the potential to become any type of cell needed in the body. Its very helpful to have younger stem cells from your own body on hand should you ever need some type of medical intervention, like a bone marrow transplant as the risk of rejection is greatly reduced when the cells are yours.

Mark Katakowski spent the last 15 years studying stem cells. What he found is that not only do we have less of them the older we get, but they also lose their function as we age.So, he and his co-founders Edward Cibor and Steve Clausnitzer started looking at how to bank them while they were young.

Clausnitzer banked his cells two years ago at the age of 38. So, while he is biologically now age 40, his cells remain the age in which they were harvested or as he calls it, stem cell time travel.

Steven Clausnitzer with his 38-year-old banked stem cells.

There are places offering stem cell therapy and Botox, he said.

Forever Labs is backed by a team of Ivy League-trained scientists with decades of experience between them. Jason Camm, chief medical officer for Thiel Capital, is also one of the companys medical advisors however, the startup is quick to point out it is not associated with Thiel Capital.

The process involves using a patented device to collect the cells. Forever Labs can then grow and bank your cells for $2,500, plus another $250 for storage per year (or a flat fee of $7,000 for life).

The startup is FDA-approved to bank these cells and is offering the service in seven states. What it does not have FDA approval for is the modification of those cells for rejuvenation therapy.

Katakowski refers to what the company is doing as longevity as a service, with the goal being to eventually take your banked cells and modify them to reverse the biological clock.

But that may take a few years. There are hundreds of clinical trials looking at stem cell uses right now. Forever Labs has also proposed its own clinical trial to take your stem cells and give them to your older cells.

Youll essentially young-blood effect yourself, Katakowski joked of course, in this case, youd be using your own blood made from your own stem cells, not the blood of random teens.

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Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die – Medical Xpress

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Ball-and-stick model of the L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) molecule, C6H8O6, as found in the crystal structure. Credit: public domain

Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, and published online August 17 in the journal Cell.

Certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia, say the authors. The new study found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

"We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies," says corresponding study author Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center.

Changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 percent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Such cancers cause anemia, infection risk, and bleeding as abnormal stem cells multiply in the bone marrow until they interfere with blood cell production, with the number of cases increasing as the population ages.

Along with these diseases, new tests suggest that about 2.5 percent of all U.S. cancer patients - or about 42,500 new patients each year - may develop TET2 mutations, including some with lymphomas and solid tumors, say the authors.

Cell Death Switch

The study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes. Every cell type has the same genes, but each gets different instructions to turn on only those needed in a given cellular context.

These "epigenetic" regulatory mechanisms include DNA methylation, the attachment of a small molecule termed a methyl group to cytosine bases that shuts down the action of a gene containing them.

The video will load shortly.

The back- and-forth attachment and removal of methyl groups also fine-tunes gene expression in stem cells, which can mature, specialize and multiply to become muscle, bone, nerve, or other cell types. This happens as the body first forms, but the bone marrow also keeps pools of stem cells on hand into adulthood, ready to become replacement cells as needed. In leukemia, signals that normally tell a blood stem cell to mature malfunction, leaving it to endlessly multiply and "self-renew" instead of producing normal white blood cells needed to fight infection.

The enzyme studied in this report, Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (TET2), enables a change in the molecular structure (oxidation) of methyl groups that is needed for them to be removed from cytosines. This "demethylation" turns on genes that direct stem cells to mature, and to start a count-down toward self-destruction as part of normal turnover. This serves as an anti-cancer safety mechanism, one that is disrupted in blood cancer patients with TET2 mutations, says Neel.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the research team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

Similar to the naturally occurring effects of TET2 mutations in mice or humans, using molecular biology techniques to turn off TET2 in mice caused abnormal stem cell behavior. Remarkably, these changes were reversed when TET2 expression was restored by a genetic trick. Previous work had shown that vitamin C could stimulate the activity of TET2 and its relatives TET1 and TET3. Because only one of the two copies of the TET2 gene in each stem cell is usually affected in TET2-mutant blood diseases, the authors hypothesized that high doses of vitamin C, which can only be given intravenously, might reverse the effects of TET2 deficiency by turning up the action of the remaining functional gene.

Indeed, they found that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

"Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA," says first study author Luisa Cimmino, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone Health. "For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer."

Researchers found that the combination had an enhanced effect on leukemia stem cells, further shifting them from self-renewal back toward maturity and cell death. The results also suggest that vitamin C might drive leukemic stem cells without TET2 mutations toward death, says Cimmino, given that it turns up any TET2 activity normally in place.

"Our team is working to systematically identify genetic changes that contribute to risk for leukemia in significant groups of patients," says corresponding author Iannis Aifantis, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone Health. "This study adds the targeting of abnormal TET2-driven DNA demethylation to our list of potential new treatment approaches."

Explore further: A tumor-suppressing gene can be harmful in some cancers

Journal reference: Cell

Provided by: NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine

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Bone marrow drive held at ExplorationWorks – KTVH

By NEVAGiles23

HELENA ExplorationWorks is hosting the Be The Match bone marrow donor drive this week at the Great Northern Town Center.

The drive is intended to support those in need of bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants around the world. Its being held in conjunction with ExplorationWorks Kids Kicking Cancer Camp.

The camp is open to children who are directly affected by cancer in their lives. Campers had the opportunity to make a card for Be the Match child who is currently undergoing or awaiting treatment.

Our hope is that the kids attending our camp will be able to connect with the Be The Match kids on a level most other children wouldnt understand. Knowing someone else is fighting the same fight will hopefully be a healing activity for all of the kids involved, said ExplorationWorks Education Director Lauren Rivers.

John Philpott of Be the Match said that sadly, some of the Be The Match kids children are still waiting to be matched with a donor.

There are still thousands of patients every year who have to hear their doctor say theres no match for you, said Phillpott, One Montanan [donation] can mean the difference for one patient.

According to Be the Match, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes and every 10 minutes someone dies from not receiving a transplant.

The Marrow Donor Registry Drive will continue at ExplorationWorks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Registration takes around 10 minutes to complete and only involves some paper work and a few cheek swabs. You must be between the ages of 18 and 44 in order to register.

For more information about bone marrow donation and how to register click here.

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Vitamin C could help to fight cancer, a study claims – Express.co.uk

By raymumme

US researchers found high doses of vitamin C found in fruits such as oranges and green leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli may be a new weapon against the disease.

The study suggests that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in our bone marrow to mature and die.

That means the traditional blood cancer danger cells would naturally disappear instead of multiplying to cause leukaemia.

The findings were uncovered by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York and published in the cancer journal Cell. Perlmutter director Professor Benjamin G. Neel said: Were excited by the prospect that highdose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by leukaemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and several previous studies had hinted that high levels could affect cancer cells. High vitamin C fruit and vegetables include bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, broccoli, berries, oranges, tomatoes, green peas, and papayas.

The current recommended daily value for vitamin C is 60mg taken from either fruit and vegetables or tablet supplements.

The New York study explored the link between vitamin C and a tumour suppressor protein enzyme in the human body called TET2.

The enzyme helps to guard against blood cancers such as leukaemia and is believed also to protect against heart disease.

But mutations in the gene affect about one per cent of the over-65s, making them extremely susceptible to blood cancer.

Although TET2 loss does not create cancer, it helps to create the conditions for blood cancers to thrive.

Scientists in the New York study found that, in mice engineered to have just small amounts of TET2, high doses of vitamin C given intravenously dramatically activated the enzyme.

The study found changes in the genetic code that reduces TET2 function are found in 10 per cent of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

The scientists also claim that, when they implanted leukaemia cancer stem cells from human patients into mice, high doses of vitamin C suppressed the cells growth.

Anna Perman, Cancer Research UKs senior science information manager, said: Some doctors think that antioxidants like vitamin C might interfere with chemotherapy which, we know can be effective treatment.

The important thing for cancer patients to remember is that this study is looking at the action of vitamin C in the laboratory, not the effect of eating foods or supplements that contain vitamin C.

This should not prompt anyone receiving treatment for cancer to change their diet or treatment plan.

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Chennai sprinter Blumen Rajan is in a race against time to beat cancer. Are you the stem cell donor who can help out … – EdexLive (press release)…

By Sykes24Tracey

Blumen has been diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and is awaiting a donor stem cell that matches his DNA

Running a difficult race isn't something that's new to Chennai-based BlumenRajan Sathya. An exceptionally gifted track athlete, a state record holder, a University gold medalist and a national level silver medalist in the 400m sprint, Blumenhad always been one to push his physical limits.

But this time, he's facing the most difficult track of his life. In December 2014, there was a sudden drop in his blood count. He was soon diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, a type of cancer which starts in certain blood-forming cells of the bone marrow.

CML is a treatable condition, where the first level of treatment is oral chemotherapy, followed by the usual induction chemo. However, the most-effective proven treatment is stem cell transplant, which is basically where you transplant a stem cell from a donor whose DNA matches with you."We've been hunting for donors. The only problem is that the probability of finding a match is one in a lakh. We're looking at international registries as well. I had contacted a registry in Germany while I did my homework online. But, they replied saying that the patient couldn't contact them directly," says the 27-year-old.

A graduate in Social Work from Madras Christian College and currently working with a local church, he adds, "In another three or four days, we will go ahead with the closest match available. We will wait for a hundred per cent match, but we can't wait too long."

When asked what kept him going strong throughout his whole battle, he says it was his faith in God and the support of his local church. Friends, family, colleagues and college mates have spread the word on social media, hoping for a miracle. Blumennow wants to ensure that there is awareness created about stem cell donation. "Most people have no clue about it. Most of us have never registered anywhere. There should be more awareness camps in colleges. If more people register, it would be much easier to find the right match. There won't be any trouble of finding volunteers," he says.

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Chennai sprinter Blumen Rajan is in a race against time to beat cancer. Are you the stem cell donor who can help out ... - EdexLive (press release)...

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Stem Cell Transplant Program Celebrates First Year – Newswise (press release)

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Newswise The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center began helping New Mexicans with blood disorders a little more than one year ago. Since then, more than 30 New Mexicans have received treatment. Program Director Matthew Fero, MD, FACP, started the program after moving to New Mexico from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Wash.

The UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center program is the states only bone marrow transplant program. It includes a nurse manager, nurse coordinator, a social worker, a pharmacist, infusion nurses, and an inpatient team. Bone marrow transplantation needs a multidisciplinary team because of the complexity in coordinating care, says Fero. The teams Nurse Manager, Maria Limanovich, says the team follows each person from the beginning of bone marrow transplant treatment through completion. According to Fero, the program is growing and is in the process of hiring two more doctors and an advanced practice provider.

The UNM Bone Marrow Transplant program offers treatment choices for people with lymphoma and myeloma and will expand to help people with other blood disorders. Almost 1,000 New Mexicans receive a blood cancer diagnosis each year, according to American Cancer Society estimates.

Fero and his team currently perform autologous transplants. Autologous bone marrow transplantation is the process of taking bone marrow stem cells out of a patient and then infusing them back in after the patient receives high dose therapy, says Fero. This allows us to use treatments that would otherwise harm the bone marrow.

Bone marrow, the soft reddish material that fills the inside of our bones, produces millions of new blood cells each second. These millions of cells come from a tiny number of bone marrow stem cells. These stem cells are special because they can mature into all of the different types of cells in the blood. These are the cells doctors collect for a transplant.

Because bone marrow is a liquid organ, Fero says, it can pass through an IV [intravenous] line. Doctors rarely need to take stem cells directly out of the bone, Fero explains. They use drugs to coax bone marrow stem cells into the bloodstream. From there, the blood travels through an IV line into an apheresis machine that sorts the stem cells out and returns the rest of the blood. The experience is like donating blood at a blood bank.

Once stem cells are safely stored out of the bloodstream, doctors use high-dose chemotherapy to eradicate the remaining cancer. When chemotherapy is out of their system, the patients stem cells are reinfused. The reinfusion process is similar to a blood transfusion. Once reinfused, stem cells find their way back to bone marrow where they begin to grow and make new blood cells.

Autologous bone marrow transplants are standard treatments for lymphoma and myeloma. This treatment works very well against aggressive lymphomas. In this case the goal is to cure the disease, says Fero. Autologous bone marrow transplants extend the lives of people with myeloma and gives them a better quality of life, too. Fero says, Were offering another option for their treatment.

Matthew Fero, MD, FACP, is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, at the UNM School of Medicine. He serves as Director of the Bone Marrow Stem Cell Program at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Fero received his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He completed a medical fellowship in Medical Oncology at University of Washington and a research fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. His research focuses on the molecular bases of cancer and translating new technologies into improved cancer diagnostics and novel therapies.

The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in a 500-mile radius. Its 125 board-certified oncology specialty physicians include cancer surgeons in every specialty (abdominal, thoracic, bone and soft tissue, neurosurgery, genitourinary, gynecology, and head and neck cancers), adult and pediatric hematologists/medical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists. They, along with more than 500 other cancer healthcare professionals (nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, navigators, psychologists and social workers), provided cancer care for nearly 60 percent of the adults and children in New Mexico affected by cancer. They treated 11,249 patients in 84,875 ambulatory clinic visits in addition to in-patient hospitalizations at UNM Hospital. These patients came from every county in the State. More than 12 percent of these patients participated in cancer clinical trials testing new cancer treatments and 35 percent of patients participated in other clinical research studies, including tests of novel cancer prevention strategies and cancer genome sequencing. The 130 cancer research scientists affiliated with the UNMCCC were awarded almost $60 million in federal and private grants and contracts for cancer research projects and published 301 high quality publications. Promoting economic development, they filed more than 30 new patents in FY16, and since 2010, have launched 11 new biotechnology start-up companies. Scientists associated with the UNMCCC Cancer Control & Disparities have conducted more than 60 statewide community-based cancer education, prevention, screening, and behavioral intervention studies involving more than 10,000 New Mexicans. Finally, the physicians, scientists and staff have provided education and training experiences to more than 230 high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowship students in cancer research and cancer health care delivery. Learn more at http://www.cancer.unm.edu.

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Stem Cell Transplant Program Celebrates First Year - Newswise (press release)

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