Tag Archives: therapy

Filtering the blood to keep cancer in check

A new diagnostic system used to detect cancer cells in small blood samples could next be turned towards filtering a patient’s entire system to remove those dangerous cells – like a dialysis machine for cancer – says an Australian researcher who helped develop the system.

The technique was developed for cancer diagnosis, and is capable of detecting (and removing) a tiny handful of cancer-spreading cells from amongst the billions of healthy cells in a small blood sample.

The revolutionary system, which works to diagnose cancer at a tenth of the cost of competing technologies, is now in clinical trials in the US, UK, Singapore and Australia, and is in the process of being commercialised by Clearbridge BioMedics PteLtd in Singapore.

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Stem cell memory to help tailor regenerative medicine

A Melbourne scientist is harvesting the memory found in reprogrammed adult cells to develop cell therapy techniques that have the potential to cure a number of diseases.

iPS cells expressing a green fluorescent protein indicating the reactivation of the Oct4 pluripotent gene. Credit: Jose Polo

Jose Polo, of Monash University, has found that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells don’t lose all their memory after reprogramming, flagging the possibility that a better understanding of these stem cells will aid regenerative medicine.

“Basically an iPS cell derived from muscle is more likely to reprogram back into muscle cells, while iPS cells derived from skin will generate skin cells,” says Jose. “And this could influence what type of iPS cell you might choose to generate a specific cell type.”

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Putting off joint replacement

Advanced medical imaging has allowed Tasmanian scientists to trial new therapies for osteoarthritis and to potentially delay the need for joint-replacement surgery.

Photo: Hip replacement surgery may not be needed with Graeme Jones’s new therapy for osteoarthritis. Credit: NIADDK, 9AO4 (Connie Raab-contact); NIH

Graeme Jones and his team from the Menzies Research Institute used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to see what was happening to a joint’s internal structure as osteoarthritis developed, allowing them to spot changes long before a conventional X-ray could.

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