New developments in blood cell therapy
Three recent studies from the US and the UK focus on the ex vivo production of different types blood cells. Two of studies (for the original articles click here and here) use different approaches to create haemotopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from fully differentiated, non-stem cells. Since these approaches could yield more HSCs than a conventional bone marrow donor, HSC transplantation for diseases such as leukaemia and genetic blood diseases could become available to more patients after further studies. The cells could also be used to study these diseases in the laboratory. In the third study (click here for the original article), researchers established a stable source of erythroblasts, the cells that produce red blood cells or erythrocytes. Although whole blood contains other types of cells as well, the lab-made red blood cells could treat patients with red blood cell disorders or in situations where there blood transfusions are limited or unsafe.
Articles about this research for a general audience include: