• By Dana Sparks

Science Saturday: Mayo Clinic graduate student advancing regenerative medicine training with stem cells in space

February 29, 2020

A Mayo Clinic graduate student is looking to the stars as a new way to advance regenerative therapies for cancer. Rawan Al-Kharboosh, a Ph.D. candidate at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, is investigating how stromal vascular fraction stem (SVF) cells react in microgravity and if that may be applied to fight the most deadly type of brain cancer — glioblastoma. SVF cells are a type of cells with the potential to regenerate tissue.

Treatment of the glioblastoma has seen little improvement in outcome in the past decades, with a dismal prognosis and a devastating median survival of 14.6 months. Despite vigorous treatment combinations of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, there is nearly a 100% recurrence rate. The microscopic cells left behind after surgery – the ones that are not seen on an MRI – are responsible for its resistance and ultimate relapse.

Al-Kharboosh is enrolled in the neuroscience track of Mayo's Ph.D. program and is a scholar in the Regenerative Sciences Training Program (RSTP), supported by the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. The program, led by Jennifer Westendorf, Ph.D., and administered through the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is designed to prepare the next generation of researchers and advance regenerative sciences into clinical practice. 

Read the rest of the article on the Center for Regenerative Medicine blog.
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