Monday, October 30, 2006

stem cell research takes new turn

Briefs: Pitt researcher gets cancer grantStaff and wire reports
Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dr. J. Peter Rubin of the University of Pittsburgh has received a three-year, $885,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to demonstrate in an animal model that stem cells isolated from fat could be used to regenerate breast tissue in women who undergo mastectomy.
"The use of adipose or fat-derived stem cells may represent a better solution for soft tissue reconstruction in breast cancer patients," said Rubin, assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Pitt.

Preliminary results showed that these cells formed a mound of tissue when they were seeded onto microscopic scaffolding injected under the skin of rats. If this approach is tried in breast reconstruction, Rubin said, surgeons could harvest the cells from a patients' abdominal fat. One pound of fat removed by a tummy tuck can yield as much as 200 million stem cells, which can be transformed into specialized cell types such as blood, muscle and cartilage, he said.

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