Regulation of normal and leukemic human stem cells

Prof. Tsvee Lapidot, Department of Immunology

Stem cell transplantion is a treatment for some cancers, including leukemias, as well as for  immune deficiencies linked to inherited genetic mutations.  In order to harvest stem cells for transplantation, they must first be “mobilized” to exit the bone marrow. This is commonly accomplished through repeated administration of a growth factor called G-CSF together with chemotherapy.  However, some patients respond poorly to G-CSF, resulting in a low yield. An expert in the molecular dynamics associated with both normal and leukemic blood-forming stem cells, Prof. Tsvee Lapidot recently published findings demonstrating that the modulation of the blood bone marrow endothelium barrier can increase mobilization and stem cell yields. In another recent finding, Prof. Lapidot and his colleagues discovered two stem cell regulation pathways that are intrinsic to the process by which blood-producing  stem cells are retained in—or mobilized from—the bone marrow.