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Stem Cell Colon Tissue

June 30, 2017

Lab mice with human colon tissue could help researchers fight colon cancer.



Studying human colon diseases in mice. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists have created mice with colons made of human tissue— a big step towards understanding and treating colon cancer, colitis and Crohn’s dise ase. In the journal Cell Stem Cell, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital pediatric surgeon Michael Helmrath and his colleagues report taking human stem cells, and making them grow into colon tissue in the lab. Helmrath says they were then able to transplant the tissue into mice.

MICHAEL HELMRATH (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital):

It only will grow so far in a dish. When we put it into the animal, it further matures in a way that we can’t do in a dish, that really becomes and resembles human colon.


He says that human colon diseases don’t occur in lab animals, and that has been an enormous barrier to finding treatments.  Having functional human tissue in mice could jumpstart this research.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon