Taking out teratoma potential

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed an approach for separating human pluripotent stem cells from teratoma-forming cells in culture.1 The group thinks the procedure could help allay tumorigenicity concerns associated with stem cell-derived therapies and plans to use the approach to test existing therapeutic-grade stem cell-derived pancreatic cells and neural progenitors for their teratoma-forming potential.

When researchers differentiate pluripotent of stem cells, a trace number may remain in an undifferentiated state. These undifferentiated cells can form teratomas in animals.2 Teratomas are tumors that contain cells derived from all three germ tissue layers.

Indeed, the potential for tumorigenicity has prompted the FDA to require developers of stem cell-derived therapies to run assays and animal studies showing no residual

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