Cancer stem cells are one of the most interesting areas of research, intersecting the stem cell and cancer fields. Today’s weekly reads post highlights some new cancer stem cell articles along with some other interesting papers.

I also note a recent weak stem cell clinical trial paper that is not a recommended read but is puzzling. I discuss the issues involved.

Weekly reads: cancer stem cells & other pubs plus a
puzzlerWeekly reads: cancer stem cells & other pubs plus a
puzzler
Cancer stem cells niche paper. Fig. 1c “Red2Onco system: an oncogene-associated multicolour reporter. c, Representative images from sections of small intestine from
Villin-CreERT2;Red2-KrasG12D mice 2 days after tamoxifen
administration (representative of three independent experiments). White
dashed line, mucosal lining. Bottom right shows crypt fission (arrow) and
fusion events (arrowhead). Kyu Yum, et al. Nature.

Cancer stem cells

More pubs

Puzzling stem cells for diabetes article in SCTM

The journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine got some attention in recent weeks for some back and forth related to controversial papers it has published on cord blood and other unproven approaches to autism.

Now UPI picked up (Stem cell therapy could reverse Type 2 diabetes for some) a stem cell-related article in Stem Cell Translational Medicine that again seems puzzling.

It reports on an open-label, uncontrolled study from Hanoi, Vietnam.

The work claims that bone marrow stem cells can help type-II diabetes in some patients.

There is no clear rationale for this approach.

Also, the article reports that it only showed signs of efficacy in patients who met both of these criteria: having diabetes for less than 10 years and BMI of 22 or less.  People in Southeast Asia tend to have lower BMI’s than Americans, but still 22 or less is a low BMI for people with type-II diabetes.

What is the point of a journal publishing this kind of study? I don’t get the benefit to the scientific community and there are potential downsides.

Part of what concerns me is that many stem cell clinics are selling the idea of stem cells for diabetes.

That includes in some cases bone marrow stem cells. We’ve seen cases many times where published weak trials are used for promotion by clinics including with cellular approaches to autism.

This kind of work also may give false hope to patients and their families.

Read original article here.