February 05, 2010 11:28
Korean researchers have for the first time extracted hematopoietic stem cells that could help treat leukemia from fatty tissue. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Thursday said the discovery was made by a research team led by Koh Gou-young, a biologist at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
Leukemia affects hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow. Until now, it has been treated by bone marrow transplant from donors. The Korean success will open up possibility of extracting hematopoietic stem cells from a patient's own fatty tissue.
Inspired by the similarity of the structures of fatty tissue and bone marrow, the researchers thought hematopoietic stem cells might exist in fat tissue, and they were right. The study was published as the cover article in the journal Blood on Thursday.
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