We already know about a host of diseases we can hope to battle more effectively using stem cells. Now I’ve just read about another inspired use of the seemingly limitless power of stem cells to help human beings battle disease.
Scientists have discovered a gene that’s present in many forms of cancer, according to a report on Google news via AFP (an international online news source). In this recent study they’ve been able to use human stem cells as the testing ground to see how this new gene relates to cancer.
The gene FOXM1, injected at higher-than-normal levels into stem cells from an adult human mouth, encouraged abnormal growth that mimicked the abnormal cell growth common with early cancer.
There is evidence that environmental and behavioral factors like UV ray exposure and smoking—the same stuff we’ve come to understand can result in cancer—can lead to increased levels of FOXM1.
I know this study doesn’t say this, but I’m very excited about the possibilities. How much faster may we be able to get to clinical trials for various treatments and drugs by using easily and readily available human stem cells as proving grounds instead of having to first experiment on animals and, later, pray that we’re getting it right with human beings.
Talk about a promising study…