12. 11. 2020 |

Laboratory oncology translational research group FNUSA-ICRC (LOTR) focuses primarily on pediatric oncology and its goal is to bring new knowledge in the field of tumor biology into practice. The team led by prof. RNDr. Renata Veselska, Ph.D., M.Sc. and works closely with clinical oncologists and pathologists so that laboratory research can be used as soon as possible to create new ways to treat patients. "We focus mainly on detailed molecular characterization of a particular tumor, which is crucial in terms of identifying targets for so-called precision therapy, and we also deal with tumor stem cells, which play a key role in the mechanisms of tumorigenesis," said prof. Veselska. LOTR has several publications in prestigious magazines, some of which we will take a closer look at.

Very important knowledge about the biological properties of rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumor that typically affects children´s muscle tissue, was published by a team of authors from the Laboratory of Tumor Biology MU and the LOTR research team led by RNDr. Jan Skoda, Ph.D. and prof. Veselska in the magazine Cancers, which ranks among the 25% of the best in the Oncology category. The authors described a new approach to the study of the molecular characteristics of highly aggressive rhabdomyosarcoma cells, ie the so-called tumor stem cells mentioned above. These cells are often resistant to anti-tumor therapy and are responsible for tumor regrowth and metastasis. Under laboratory conditions, tumor stem cells are characterized in that they are the only one of all cells in the tumor mass capable of initiating tumor formation and growth. This was used by the authors of a published study and showed that during the repeated injection of rhabdomyosarcoma cells into mice, the proportion of tumor stem cells increases in individual samples. They were the first to provide evidence that rhabdomyosarcoma tumor stem cells occur in a highly plastic state, showing signs of epithelial and mesenchymal cells, which could explain their ability to respond to changes in the microenvironment or to resist anti-tumor therapy.
The article can be found here:

Another publication, published in the international journal Cells, showed a very unusual and as yet unknown localization of the NANOG protein within the cell. This protein is known as a transcription factor important, for example, for the proper function of stem cells, and its presence is therefore typical of the cell nucleus. Authors led by dr. Skoda and prof. Veselska described an unusual localization of the NANOG protein within the centrosome, a structure that is significantly involved in many physiological processes in the cell, including cell division. The results of the study clearly showed that NANOG is found in the centrosomes of cells of various origins, from embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts to many types of tumor cells. "It is also completely new to know that the presence of NANOG protein within the centrosome changes in individual phases of the cell cycle," added Mgr. Erika Mikulenkova, the first author of the article, who points out the possible, as yet undescribed role of the NANOG protein in the process of centrosome duplication, which is very important in terms of understanding the functions of the transcription factor NANOG in the cell.
The article can be found here:

The development of resistance in cancer is one of the most common reasons for failure of their treatment and relapse. A review article has been published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences on the problem of the use of low molecular weight tyrosine kinase inhibitors in anticancer therapy. Under the leadership of prof. Veselska, the authors of the work focused on a summary of existing knowledge about the interactions of tyrosine kinase inhibitors with membrane transporters - "pumps", which are able to remove drugs from tumor cells. The article provided a new perspective on the potential clinical use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, some of which could be unconventionally used to block the activity of membrane transporters responsible for resistance. "Based on the synthesis of previous studies, we also outlined various treatment strategies that could lead to overcoming drug resistance and improve the success of cancer treatment by appropriate combination of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor with conventional cytostatics or other targeted drugs," described Mgr. Maria Krchniakova, the first author of this work.
The article can be found here:

5. 11. 2020 |

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences has published the work of a team of authors from the Center for Tissue and Cell Engineering (CTEF) of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno. In the publication, authors dr. Lenka Tesarova, Klara Jaresova, dr. Pavel Šimara and doc. Irena Koutná presented the umbilical cord as a suitable source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for immunosuppressive clinical applications.

MSCs are a unique tool in somatic cell therapies due to their ability to promote tissue regeneration and suppress the immune system. Compared to bone marrow and adipose tissue, umbilical cord MSCs showed the best expansion potential, while the cells retained their immunosuppressive properties. In addition, these umbilical cord MSCs have been able to utilize the addition of fibroblast growth factor to the expansion medium, which further increases cell yield. In a relatively short time, it is thus possible to obtain a sufficient number of cells for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease or autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma and others. The findings obtained from this study will be used in the manufacture of an investigational medicinal product for advanced therapies in CTEF clean rooms.

The research was supported by the European Regional Development Fund - project CZECRIN_4 PATIENTS (reg. No. CZ.02.1.01 / 0.0 / 0.0 / 16_013 / 0001826).

The article can be found here:

dr. Lenka Tesarova

foto Sviglerova Jitka

3. 11. 2020 |

Sepsis and septic shock are among the most common complications in intensive care units. The WHO identifies sepsis as one of the major global health problems. During research coordinated by Dr. Jan Frič, PhD., the team of authors focused on elucidating the dynamics of the occurrence of individual subpopulations of monocytes in patients with septic shock. The results were published by the research team in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in an article entitled "Differences in monocyte subsets associated with short-term survival in patients with septic shock.

This project, in which the Cellular and Molecular Immunoregulation (CMI) Research group from the Center for Translational Medicine participated, together with the Intensive Care Research (INC) Research group and colleagues from the Department of Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation at the St. Anne's University Hospital Brno and Faculty of Medicine MU, confirms the excellent connection between the clinical and research part of the St. Anne's University Hospital Brno. FNUSA-ICRC received funding for this research from grants from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (AZV) and the European Union (ENOCH and MAGNET).

Monocytes are activated in the very early stages of the development of septic shock - on the order of hours, so they can be considered as the first sensors of developing septic shock. The incidence of individual monocyte subpopulations is associated with the prediction of survival in patients with septic shock. It is this specific profile of monocyte subpopulations that can be observed in patients within the first hours of their admission to the ICU. These data could be used to identify at-risk patients who do not respond to conventional treatment, but could benefit from specific tailor-made treatment.

You can find the article here:, or via QR code.

29. 10. 2020 |

Dozen of experts from four continents participated in the conference organized by the research program Kardiovize Study. For the organizers, the step into the virtual environment was a big unknown, but everything turned out great. "We were most worried about the time shift. We had speakers from different time zones, from the USA, South America to Kenya," said Juan Pablo Gonzalez Rivas MD, head of the FNUSA-ICRC Kardiovize 2030 research program.

The program included discussions not only on research, but also on various approaches to improving the health of the population, for example in Brazil, the issue of cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiovascular health, or lifestyle medicine. "After each lecture there was space for discussion, sometimes it was quite difficult to adhere to the set time frame for the next lecture," said Dr. Gonzalez Rivas.

The audience consisted not only of scientists, but also of doctors and students. In the morning, most of the audience was from the Czech Republic, in the afternoon foreign participants also joined. "We were pleased with the interest in this virtual conference and we would like to continue. We are thinking about the regular format of the event, where we would, for example, present one or two specific projects one day a month. The space for questions would thus be less limited and the Kardiovize project would become known to a larger professional and public audience, "added Dr. Gonzalez Rivas.

We keep our fingers crossed that everything will work out and of course we will inform about it in time!

26. 10. 2020 |

The 25th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society was scheduled to take place at the end of September in Seville, Spain, but circumstances forced the organizers to move it to a virtual space. Even so, the program included more than a hundred lectures on topics related to sleep and its impact on human health.

One of the two lecturers from the Czech Republic was also prof. MUDr. Ondrej Ludka Ph.D., Head of the FNUSA-ICRC Cardiovascular Sleep Research Center. His lecture was entitled Long-term mortality of patients after acute myocardial infarction with reduced (<45%) left ventricular ejection fraction and moderate to severe sleep apnea. "Sleep apnea is a major, but often neglected, problem in these patients," said prof. Ludka. "Its solution could - not only in these patients - significantly improve the quality of life."

The last big event where sleep experts could meet personally remains the January meeting of the European Sleep Apnea Database (ESADA), which took place in our center in Brno and from which is also a photo of prof. Ludka during the lecture.

21. 10. 2020 |

A scientific article on the use of thrombectomy in patients with minor stroke, published in the journal Neurology (the official journal of the American Society of Neurology), has aroused great interest among the professional public. The work entitled Thrombectomy vs medical management in low NIHSS acute anterior circulation stroke was placed in the Top 5 according to the Altmetric Attention Score.

Thrombectomy is an interventional procedure through the arterial bed, during which a blood clot in a cerebral vessel is localized and aspirated using a special catheter and a basket (stent). "It is a highly effective method of treating patients with moderate to severe stroke," said the first author of the work, MUDr. Ondrej Volny Ph.D., researcher of the Cerebrovascular Research Team FNUSA-ICRC and Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University in Brno. "In our study, which is the result of an international collaboration, we focused on using this method in patients with a low NIHSS score."

NIHSS is a standardized neurological scale that objectively expresses the severity of neurological impairment in a stroke. "In patients with a low NIHSS score and large cerebral artery occlusion, which we focused on in this study, we do not have enough data (so-called evidence) that it is safe and effective. In addition, prospective randomized studies are still lacking, "added Dr. Volny.

The results of an international study of 236 patients showed that thrombectomy in patients with ischemic stroke with large vessel occlusion and low neurological deficit as assessed by the NIHSS scale was associated with a higher risk of neurological deterioration after 24 hours. "However, both standard (drug) treatment and mechanical thrombectomy led to the same clinical outcome after three months, which is the standard of clinical evaluation of a patient after a stroke," stressed Dr. Ondrej Volny.


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