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Nestin-Expressing Granule Neuron Precursor Cells May Be More Likely to Generate Tumors

Cerebellar granule neurons, the most abundant neurons in the central nervous system, are usually generated from granule neuron precursors (GNPs) in the external germinal layer (EGL) of a developing cerebellum. However, a team co-led by Fox Chase researcher Zeng-jie Yang, MD, PhD, and Robert Wechsler-Reya, PhD, of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, recently identified a rare population of cerebellar precursor cells that express Nestin — a protein commonly expressed in multipotent neural stem cells. Although distinct from conventional GNPs — they do not express a signature GNP protein and are usually inactive while GNPs proliferate extensively — these Nestin-expressing progenitors (NEPs) are also dedicated to producing cerebellar granule neurons. Continue Reading »

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Early Stem Cell Transplants Studied for High-Risk Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) have had an important role in the treatment of aggressive lymphoma for several decades. Most non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients who relapse receive ABMT or ASCT after their second round of chemotherapy, which has proven effective at prolonging survival and delaying further relapse. Could bone-marrow or stem-cell transplantation immediately after initial chemotherapy — rather than after the first relapse — further improve the survival of patients with advanced-stage, aggressive lymphomas? Continue Reading »

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Protein Expression May Predict Response to Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Patients

Platinum chemotherapy using agents such as cisplatin is an important treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), while chemoradiation is often used for SCCHN patients with high-risk clinical features. Considering the significant morbidity of these treatments, it is important that they are administered only to those patients who are likely to benefit. The excision repair cross-complementing group 1 (ERCC1) enzyme has an essential role in the pathways used by cancer cells to control damage from cisplatin-based chemotherapy and chemoradiation, and therefore ERCC1+ tumors are more resistant to cisplatin and radiation than ERCC1− cell lines. These roles … Continue Reading »

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