Stem cell researchers target leukemia

Kyodo

A research team of Japanese universities says it has succeeded in producing iPS cells carrying rare genetic traits of people with propensity to develop leukemia.

The team hopes that their induced pluripotent stem cells will break new ground for studying the root causes of leukemia, ways to detect the disease early and development of new treatment.

Keio University associate professor Hideaki Nakajima and other members of the team, also including Hiroshima University and Hirosaki University, obtained blood samples from three people belonging to families susceptible to a rare type of platelet disorder. There are 30 or so families in the world highly vulnerable to such a blood disease that, along with other factors, is closely associated with leukemia.