Harvard Stem Cell Scientists have discovered that the same chemicals that stimulate muscle development in zebrafish can also be used to differentiate human stem cells into muscle cells in the laboratory, an historically challenging task that, now overcome, makes muscle cell therapy a more realistic clinical possibility.
Starting with a discovery in zebrafish in 2007, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have published initial results of a Phase Ib human clinical trial of a therapeutic that has the potential to improve the success of blood stem cell transplantation. This milestone, just nine short years after Harvard’s major commitment to stem cell biology, once again demonstrates the ability of HSCI investigators to carry a discovery from the lab bench to the clinic—fulfilling the promise on which the Institute was founded. Read more about HSCI publishes clinical trial results for therapeutic that amplifies blood stem cells
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare childhood cancer that arises in muscle stem cells. Between 250-350 cases are treated each year. The disease most commonly begins as a noticeable swelling in the arms, legs, head, neck, or groin, and is treated by surgical removal of the tumor, as well as chemotherapy or irradiation. Currently, about 80% of patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma survive, as the disease is often caught early enough for intervention.
"The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world’s largest professional society of blood specialists, will honor six scientists who have made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of hematologic diseases. These awards will be presented at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting taking place December 4-7 in Orlando."
Two HSCI Principal Faculty members are among those receiving awards.