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50Sp10StudyGuideWeeks 4_5

50Sp10StudyGuideWeeks 4_5 - MCDB 50 Spring 2010 Study Guide...

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MCDB 50 Spring 2010 Study Guide: Weeks 4-5 Lecture 7 – Judith Gasson: Stem Cells and Cancer Adult Stem Cells and their Niches Diabetes: Potential Clinical Applications & Utility of Various SCs for Cell Therapy Lecture 10 – will be covered by the final exam (NOT by the midterm!) You should use both the lecture slides and your notes to find the answers to the questions/prompts below. You need your notes especially when I created definitions, explanations, tables etc. on the blackboard. Also remember that you can refer to the audio recordings on www.bruincast.ucla.edu to review the lectures. For the midterm exam: keep in mind that you need to have read the relevant book chapters (as listed on the syllabus) and that I may ask questions about the discussion section material on the exam. Study Questions Lecture 7 – Judith Gasson: Stem Cells and Cancer 1. How might stem cells cause cancer? a. Stem cells are likely the culprit of cancer because unlike other cells they can self-renew b. Cancer involves a bunch of changes in the DNA which accumulate over time, stem cells being immortal accumulate these effects and turn into cancer cells. At this point the cell is no longer dependent on its niche and thus can escape, produce cancerous progenitor cells and before long you have a tumor c. Normally, at least in the hematopoietic, intestinal, and hair follicle systems, the niche maintains stem cells primarily in a quiescent state by providing signals that inhibit cell proliferation and growth. Only upon receipt of a stimulating signal does the stem cell become activated to divide and proliferate. Therefore, stem cell proliferation depends on dynamic niche signaling. Maintaining a balance between the proliferation signal and antiproliferation signal is the key to homeostatic regulation of stem cells, allowing stem cells to undergo self-renewal while supporting ongoing tissue regeneration. Any genetic mutation that leads stem cells to become independent of growth signals, or to resist antigrowth signals, will cause the stem cells to undergo uncontrolled proliferation and possible tumorigenesis 2. If cancer stem cells indeed underlie many cancers, what are the consequences for developing treatment? Contrast the effects of regular chemotherapy that targets cancer cells in general with treatment drugs designed specifically to target the cancer stem cells. Explain what is expected to happen for both in the short- and long-term. a. Consequences: b. Regular chemotherapy targets just the tumour cells so the tumour shrinks but since the cancer stem cells are still alive the turmour grows back again c. Drugs that kill tumour stem cells causes the tumour to lose its ability to generate new cells so the tumour eventually degenerates d. If we had a drug that killed the cancer stem cell, the tumor would appear to still be there but would eventually degenerate 3. If stem cells underlie cancerous growth, then how can you explain that a. cancers metastasize to specific locations in the body such as the bone marrow or liver?
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