Monday, October 01, 2012

UCD's Knoepfler's 'Somewhat Provocative Paper' on iPS

UC Davis researcher Paul Knoepfler is the rare stem cell scientist who blogs about his work as well as writing about issues in the field.

Over the weekend, he posted an item on what he described as a “somewhat provocative paper” published by his lab in “Stem Cells and Development.”  He said the paper argued that iPS cells “are very similar in some ways to cancer cells.”

Most of his item deals with the technical details and background of the research. But at the end of this item, Knoepfler wrote,
“So what does this mean in the big picture? 
“I believe that iPS cells and cancer cells are, while not the same, close enough to be called siblings. As such, the clinical use of iPS cells should wait for a lot more study. Even if scientists do not use iPS cells themselves for transplants, but instead use differentiated derivatives of iPS cells, the risk of patients getting malignant cancers cannot be ignored. 
“At the same time, the studies suggest possible ways to make iPS cells safer and support the notion of reprogramming cancer cells as an innovative new cancer therapy. 
“Stay tuned in the next few days for part 2 where I will discuss what this paper went through in terms of review, etc. to get published. It wasn’t a popular story for some folks.”
The UC Davis press release on the research, which was financed by the California stem cell agency and the NIH,  was picked up by several online sites, including Redorbit, Medicalexpress and geekosystem.

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