Shackled together, stem cells and platelets may help us escape cancer, report UCLA scientists. In the scientists’ new study, the cancer is leukemia, and the defiant ones include a guide, a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC), and a drug carrier, an engineered platelet. The guide brings the duo into bone marrow, and the drug carrier delivers checkpoint inhibition therapy.

In experiments with mice that had acute myeloid leukemia, the UCLA team found that their unusual combination therapy halted the disease from developing any further. Of the mice that received the treatment, 87.5% were cured by 80 days after the combination cells were injected. Those mice also were all resistant to leukemia cells that were re-injected two months after the 80-day period.

Additional details appeared October 29 in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering , in an article titled, “ Conjugation of haematopoietic stem cells and platelets decorated with anti-PD-1 …