We usually report that stem cells are being used to grow new tissues and organs in the lab, and this is arguably no different. But these scientists from Monash Institute believe stem cells are behind the out-of-control prostate growth and hyperplasia that plagues nearly all men, later in life. To study how hormones and other factors influence this process, the team used stem cells to create the equivalent of a young man’s prostate:
A team from the Monash Institute of Medical Research pioneered the technique to turn human embryonic stem cells into prostate tissue equivalent to that found in a young man, in 12 weeks.
The prostate, grown in mice, is not the same size as the human organ but has the same tissue, blood vessels, glands, ducts and biological processes.
Project leader Prof Gail Risbridger said the breakthrough would let scientists monitor change in a prostate from normal to diseased for the first time.
We find it’s worth noting that this man-made prostate was made by an all-female team of Australian scientists… (okay, it was slightly less obvious to make a pun on their gender, than it was to refer to their location, as well as the anatomic location of the prostate, as “Down Under”).
More from the Monash Institute…