Institute of Cell Therapy is studying placental stem cells in the treatment of cancer

Ukraine is one of a few countries in the world that can be proud of the most long-lasting traditions of studying of the placenta and production of high-effective products from it. A huge contribution to the system of scientific knowledge about the biological properties of the placenta was made by the scientists from the Institute of Cell Therapy, who have gained a unique even in terms of the international scientific community experience of work with placental tissue and placental stem cells.

In 2013, the Institute of Cell Therapy was accepted as a full member of the International Placenta Stem Cell Society — IPLASS. And in 2014, at a conference of the International Placenta Stem Cell Society (IPLASS) in the city of Granada (Spain), deputy director of the cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy Shabliy VA, Ph.D was awarded for the best oral report on the stem cells of the placenta.

Institute of Cell Therapy is the only institution in Ukraine that offers the service of conservation of the placenta after delivery with a view to the subsequent manufacturing of a line of placental products for the whole family with the possibility of their application in medicine and cosmetology. Also, the Institute of Cell Therapy possesses techniques of isolation, cryo-storage and cultivation of stem cells of the placenta.

Recently, researchers of the Institute of Cell Therapy, together with the leading scientists of the Institute of Genetic and Regenerative Medicine of AMSU and the National University n.a. TG Shevchenko started research aimed at finding new treatments for cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, which is rarely detected in the early stages. With the development of modern science researchers and clinicians are considering new, more effective approaches to the treatment of this disease, including cell therapy. Stem cells of the placenta are considered to be especially promising for the treatment of malignant diseases the as placenta is not a favorable niche for cancer cells.

Ukrainian scientists studied the effect of intravenous infusion of placental multipotent cells in dimethylhydrazine-induced colorectal cancer in rats. Placental stem cells were administered to rats at a time when each animal developed at least one adenocarcinoma. The results of research in this field were presented at the 13th meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) in Stockholm (Sweden) by the Director of the Institute of Cell Therapy Cryobank Lobintseva GS, Ph.D. and deputy director of Cryobank Shabliy VA, Ph.D. in the report «Transplantation of placental adherent multipotent cells does not affect mid/late tumor progression in dimethylhydrazine-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats».

It has been shown that cell cultures derived from placenta, have the properties both of mesenchymal stem cells and trophoblast stem cells, expressing markers CD90, CD29, CD44, but did not express CD45. Also investigated placental stem cells had the capacity to differentiate into adipogenic and osteogenic lines. In the course of treatment decrease in the number of lesions and size of tumor were observed. It was also shown that placental stem cells do not promote early or late tumorigenesis.

The paper aroused considerable interest and a lively discussion among the conference participants, what allowed to determine the vectors for further research of the Institute of Cell Therapy in this field.