Stem cells – are they a cause or cure for cancer?
A research article by Dr. Meis Moukayed

AUD’s Dr. Meis Moukayed, Professor of Natural Sciences at the School of Arts and Sciences, recently presented a research paper entitled “Stem cells – are they a cause or cure for cancer?” at the Current Trends in Biotechnology (CTBT-2017) 3rd International Conference in Life Science Research and Development, in Dubai.
The research examined whether stem cells can be used in cellular therapies to treat cancers in the future, given the knowledge that cancer stem cells are one of the root causes of malignancy and metastasis. Dr. Moukayed presented new treatment considerations for designing therapeutic nanotherapies aimed at targeting resistant malignant tumors.
CTBT-2017, which was held at Manipal University Dubai on 12–13 April 2017 and inaugurated by Dr. Maryam Matar, Director General of the Community Development Authority (CDA) and Founder and chairperson of the UAE Genetics Diseases Association, included several international academic and industry leaders, who presented the latest in global biotechnology trends and innovations in life science research and development.
Stem cells have shown that they are double-edged swords in health and disease”, said Dr. Moukayed. “On the one hand, pluripotent stem cells have potentially opened unlimited possibilities for cellular therapies to treat diseases and enable tissue engineering for regeneration. Stem cells have been used to regenerate several tissues and organs including pancreatic cells, neural cells, musculo-skeletal tissues, amongst other tissues. However, due to their endless regenerative capacity, transformed cancer stem cells have been implicated as causative factors in the development of malignant tumors and cancers”, she added, explaining, “in this thesis, we review the possible molecular and cellular mechanisms which scientists may target using biotechnological tools to enable the use of cancer stem cells for cancer cell therapy. We propose that scientists may be able to use the double-edged, multi-faceted dimensions of stem cell growth and differentiation, to enable their use in cancer cell therapy, especially in tumors which are resistant to classical chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments”.
This is the latest in cell-specific targeted effective therapeutic approaches to deliver nanotherapies to the site of tumors, leading to prolonged patient survival and a reduction in the likelihood of the recurrence of the tumor.