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Polygence Scholar2021
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Ruhika Muralidhar

Dublin High SchoolClass of 2024Dublin, California



  • "Stem cell therapies for lung cancer patients with a history of tobacco use." with mentor Joseph (Working project)

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Stem cell therapies for lung cancer patients with a history of tobacco use.

Started Jan. 26, 2022

Abstract or project description

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. This form of cancer occurs when a malignant tumor forms in any of the structures of the lung, which can then spread throughout the rest of the body and lead to other problems. There are two main types of lung cancer, small cell carcinoma, and non-small cell carcinoma. Non-small cell carcinoma is more common and less aggressive than small cell carcinoma. The main cause of lung cancer is smoking and using tobacco products. A single cigarette contains thousands of chemicals, including over 70 carcinogens, that can damage the cells of the lung and lead to the formation of cancer when inhaled. Lung cancer is more commonly diagnosed in its later stages, making it harder to treat in the long run. Currently, there are three main treatments for cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. While these treatments have worked for a number of patients, they generally do not have a high success rate, specifically for patients with small cell lung cancer. There is a new treatment method that can change the course of cancer treatment in the future: stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy can be used to repair the lungs of lung cancer patients and provide them with the needed cells for their lungs to return to normal function. Outside of cancer, stem cell therapy can also treat many disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, type 1 diabetes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and many more. The stem cells would be removed from the skin or blood of the patient and genetically transformed into embryonic stem cells, which provides more utility for the stem cells in the body. Once they are modified, these stem cells can be transferred to the body through in vitro scaffolds, tissue engineered scaffolds, and local injections. After the transfer has occurred, the stem cells would be able to rebuild the lungs and help the body return to normal conditions.