Led researcher Dr.Dan Kaufman, and his team at the University of Minnesota claimed that natural killer cells taken from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are more effective at killing tumors than cells taken from other sources like umbilical cord blood.
The study report is expected to be published in an upcoming issue of Blood. The paper will be entitled as “Human embryonic stem cells differentiate into a homogeneous population of natural killer cells with potent in vivo anti-tumor activity.”
Researchers observed that natural killer cells derived from human embryonic stem cells not only kills leukemia in mice, but also prevent the cancer from spreading or transferred by metastasis in any other organs of the animals.
Not only leukemia but the study has also proved that stem cell-derived tumor-killing cells are highly effective in killing breast cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and brain tumor cells.
Scientists claimed that they have able to identified some of the reasons why human embryonic stem cell derived killer cells are much more effective than other stem cell sources.
Natural killer cells are naturally-occurring cells that work as part of the immune system to protect the body from viruses and tumors.
Natural killer cells developed from human embryonic stem cells mature much earlier than those developed from umbilical cord blood, making them more effective.
Scientists are looking forward to able to grow required quantity of this fighter cells to fight and treat human cancer patients.