MAR 18, 2015 9:50 AM PDT

Chance observation: human leukemia cells turning into harmless immune cells

WRITTEN BY: Robert Woodard
High magnification micrograph of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small cell lymphoma
After a chance observation in the lab, researchers found a method that can force dangerous leukemia cells in the lab to mature into harmless immune cells called macrophages.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that when a certain aggressive leukemia is causing havoc in the body, the solution may be to force the cancer cells to grow up and behave.

After a chance observation in the lab, the researchers found a method that can cause dangerous leukemia cells to mature into harmless immune cells known as macrophages.

The findings are described in a paper that published online March 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a mutation called the Philadelphia chromosome is a particularly aggressive cancer with poor outcomes, said Ravi Majeti, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine and senior author of the paper. So finding potential treatments is particularly exciting.

Majeti and his colleagues made the key observation after collecting leukemia cells from a patient and trying to keep the cells alive in a culture plate. "We were throwing everything at them to help them survive," said Majeti, who is also a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

Source: med.stanford.edu
About the Author
You May Also Like
FEB 13, 2020
Immunology
FEB 13, 2020
Protein that suppresses immune system linked to lupus
  A study published in Human Immunology has described, for the first time, a link between an immunosuppressive prot ...
FEB 26, 2020
Neuroscience
FEB 26, 2020
Immunotherapy Could Be Used to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
Video:  Further explaination of microglia and their various functions.  Traumatic Brain Injuries are physical ...
MAR 11, 2020
Neuroscience
MAR 11, 2020
Categories of Memory Work Together to Form Abstract Thought
Indiana University New research from the University of Trento shows how areas of the brain work to recall complex semant ...
MAR 16, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 16, 2020
Critical Interleukin Leads to Drug Discovery
The immune molecule interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a growth factor that stimulates the immune system to produce T-cells. Their ...
MAR 28, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 28, 2020
The Antibody Test to See if You've Already Had the Coronavirus
Knowing whether you’ve had the virus or not may not just reduce your need to panic- but also better help epidemiol ...
APR 15, 2020
Immunology
APR 15, 2020
Why More Men than Women Die from COVID-19
As of April 9th, over 60% of deaths from COVID-19 in New York state were men. Meanwhile, as of April 6, 82% of patients ...
Loading Comments...