New Horizons Lecture
Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells Hold Promise for Cancer Treatment
Research that bears on the earliest stages of cancer development as well as the sequelae of cancer treatment is important not only to radiation oncologists but to diagnostic radiologists as well, says Irving L. Weissman, M.D., who will deliver today's RSNA 2013 Eugene P. Pendergrass New Horizons Lecture,"Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells: Implications for the Radiological Sciences."
An investigation led by Dr. Weissman into blood-forming stem cells and their non-self-renewing progeny found that these hold promise for regenerating the hematopoietic system after chemotherapy and radiation for cancer. These pluripotent cells can replace genetically defective or otherwise damaged blood-forming systems and help us understand the stages of hematopoiesis that harbor the earliest stages of pre-leukemia. They may even provide the first constant target found on all cancers.
Dr. Weissman, a professor in the Department of Pathology and director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in the Stanford University School of Medicine, has devoted his career to stem cell research. His particular interests include hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, central nervous system stem and progenitor cells, and lymphocyte differentiation.
Dr. Weissman has founded three companies focused on bringing stem cell therapies into the clinic and served on the founding scientific advisory boards of three others. He has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chicago and the Karel Beekhuis Professor of Cancer Biology and chair of the immunology program at Stanford. Dr. Weissman is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.