Through her storytelling, Kristen’s book provides readers with an up-close and very personal view of what it’s like to go through the many forms of treatment that cancer makes necessary. Her personal journey included a stem-cell transplant that paved the way to remission from stage-three non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in 2013. The cancer took Kristen on a wild ride—that included some extreme highs and deep lows. Her poignant memoir is a love story of sorts…a story about the search for meaningful work…about the struggle to relinquish control…about finding herself…a series of tales that she has woven together with the desire to empower others to take positive action as they begin journeys of their own.
An innovative theory proposes a new therapeutic strategy to break the stalemate in the war on cancer. It is called cancer stem cell (CSC) theory, and Lucie Laplane offers a comprehensive analysis, based on an original interdisciplinary approach that combines biology, biomedical history, and philosophy.
Rather than treat cancer by aggressively trying to eliminate all cancerous cells―with harmful side effects for patients―CSC theory suggests the possibility of targeting the CSCs, a small fraction of cells that lie at the root of cancers. CSCs are cancer cells that also have the defining properties of stem cells―the abilities to self-renew and to differentiate. According to this theory, only CSCs and no other cancer cells can induce tumor formation.
To date, researchers have not agreed on the defining feature of CSCs―their stemness. Drawing from a philosophical perspective, Laplane shows that there are four possible ways to understand this property: stemness can be categorical (an intrinsic property of stem cells), dispositional (an intrinsic property whose expression depends on external stimuli), relational (an extrinsic property determined by a cell’s relationship with the microenvironment), or systemic (an extrinsic property controlled at the system level). Our ability to cure cancers may well depend upon determining how these definitions apply to different types of cancers.
Volume 12 in this series explores the latest experimental and clinical uses of stem cells in the treatment of disease and of injuries and reviews methods for isolating multipotent endothelial-like cells from human adipose tissue and discusses clinical applications in cell therapy and regenerative medicine.
The book is organized in five parts: Cancer Stem Cells, Pluripotent Stem Cells, Dendritic Stem Cells, Regenerative Medicine and General Applications. The first section includes chapters on histamine in the neural and cancer stem cell niches and emerging concepts of stem cell organization in the normal lung and in lung cancer. The section on Pluripotent Stem Cells includes discussion of the differentiation of dendritic cells from human induced pluripotent stem cell and the molecular mechanisms involved in reprogramming human somatic cells to generate induced pluripotent stem cells. Additional chapters cover the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into functional cardiomyocytes, characteristics of satellite cells and multipotent adult stem cells in the skeletal muscle. The section on Dendritic Stem Cells explores the critical role of notch signaling in the differentiation and function of dendrite. Other chapters cover hypertensive emergencies in children after stem cell transplantation and overcoming the radio resistance of lung cancer stem cells. The section on Regenerative Medicine reports on experiments on improved renal revascularization in pigs using stem cells and phenotypic correction of murine Hemophilia A using cell-based therapy. The concluding section, General Applications, discusses such topics as methods in mathematical modeling for stem cells, as well as molecular and functional characterization of human adipocytes.
Like its eleven predecessors in the series, this volume stands out for its comprehensive approach, its roster of some 51 expert contributors representing a dozen different countries and its up-to-date review of leading-edge technology and methods.