This is David Scadden.
I'm hematologist-oncologist at
Mass General Hospital, co-direct
the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and
co-chair of the Department of Stem
Cell and Regenerative Biology
at Harvard University.
I'll be talking today
about niche oncogenesis,
the role of the hematopoietic
stem cell niche in particular,
and the development of malignancy.
The stem cell niche is a concept
first proposed by Ray Schofield
back in 1978 when he was
looking at blood stem cells.
At the time, the method by
which cells were analyzed
was called a colony-forming unit
of the spleen-- a so-called CFU-S.
And he recognized that stem cells
that he had been able to isolate
from the spleen in these colonies
seemed to behave less robustly
than stem cells derived
from the bone marrow.
And he proposed what now seems to
be an entirely obvious concept,
that where a stem cell resides
was in some ways playing
a critical role for its
function-- that the niche was
the basis for stem cells
having regulated self-renewal
It was a competing hypothesis at the
time, which was that stem cells had
their own intrinsic engineering
and were capable of going
in the direction
that they knew best.
And it was Ray Schofield
who proposed that there was
this imposition of
information from the tissue
in which the stem cell resided.
It was a concept initially, and
one that really did not have much
in the way of experimental
definition until some years later
and mostly in invertebrates.