Scientists from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) have shown for the first time how a unique protein found in human bone marrow can drive stem cells to repair our blood system after an injury.

These groundbreaking findings provide a roadmap to make existing radiation and chemotherapy treatments more effective for patients with cancer and other blood-related diseases. Led by Dr. John Chute, UCLA professor of hematology and radiation oncology and JCCC member, the nearly two-year study was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Millions of cancer patients worldwide currently receive some form of radiation therapy or chemotherapy in hopes of curing the disease, and most will suffer damage to the blood system as a result. Current therapeutic regimens are also cyclical (generally requiring a 30-day wait period between treatments) to allow the blood system time to heal and repair.

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