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Growing Prostates from Adult Stem Cells -- But Who Would Want One?

Researchers report today that they have grown prostate glands—important for reproduction in male mammals—in mice using a single stem cell transplanted from the prostates of donor mice. The findings may pave the way to new therapies for prostate cancer, which strikes one in six men in the U.S. Given the ability of stem cells to divide indefinitely, investigators have debated their possible role in the development of the disease. Defining which cells in the prostate are actually stem cells, however, has been difficult.

Researchers report today that they have grown prostate glands—important for reproduction in male mammals—in mice using a single stem cell transplanted from the prostates of donor mice. The findings may pave the way to new therapies for prostate cancer, which strikes one in six men in the U.S. Given the ability of stem cells to divide indefinitely, investigators have debated their possible role in the development of the disease. Defining which cells in the prostate are actually stem cells, however, has been difficult.

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