Research Horizons


CASIN May Improve the Odds for Bone Marrow Transplants

The experimental drug CASIN improved the harvest of donor blood stem cells and lessened toxicity in transplant recipients, according to two preclinical studies led by our researchers, both recently published in Leukemia.

Both studies were led by senior investigator Yi Zheng, PhD, and a team of experts at the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute.

In June 2018, Zheng’s team reported using CASIN to mimic the action of the gene Cdc42, which helps regulate blood stem cells. Tests showed that CASIN effectively mobilized blood-making stem cells and promoted their exit from the bone marrow. The harvested stem cells also were hardier following transplant than cells harvested with current clinical regimens.

Then in September 2018, researchers used CASIN to make the mouse bone marrow more receptive to healthy blood stem cells, lessening the chemotherapy needed prior to transplant.

The researchers caution the procedure remains in preclinical testing and results from such studies may not translate to human patients.

Publication Information
Original title: A non-myeloablative conditioning approach for long-term engraftment of human and mouse hematopoietic stem cells
Published in: Leukemia
Publish date: June 29, 2018

Research By

Yi Zheng, PhD
Director, Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology
The research activities of Dr. Yi Zheng’s laboratory focus on studies of the physiological and pathological function and the mechanism of regulation of Rho family GTP-binding proteins.