Researchers discover special stem cells in breast tissue

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by KING 5 HealthLink

kvue.com

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Researchers in San Francisco may have made a game-changing discovery that could potentially lead to a treatment or cure for people with diabetes, even diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Researchers at University of California, San Francisco were working to understand more about breast cancer when they made an unexpected discovery: Special cells from breast tissue that have the ability to change, much like embryonic stem cells.

“They can turn into breast tissue, nerve tissue beating heart cells fat and blood vessels or pancreas or tissues like that,” said Thea Tlsty, PhD, researcher.

Up until now, researchers believed only embryonic cells had the ability to change on their own. They didn’t think adult cells had that potential.

“These cells came from cells isolated from the human breast,” said Somdutta Roy, PhD, researcher.

Those breast tissue cells morphed into these beating heart cells.

“So conceptually this could be used for neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson, MS, Alzheimer’s, and for repairing damaged cardiac tissues,” said Tlsty.

The hope is this finding will one day enable doctors to harness the power of the body’s own patch kit to repair damaged organs, tissue and bones.

Researchers are now studying the possibility that these same cells may also be found in men.
 

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