HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELLS: BIOLOGY AND CLINICAL APPLICATIONS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objectives of the course will acquire the basic knowledge on hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms that regulate hematopoiesis and on major diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs. Educational objective will also be to learn the main clinical applications of hematopoietic stem cells and in particular transplant procedures. Students will need to show ability to understand what is the physiology and pathophysiology of hematopoietic stem cells, hematopoiesis and blood diseases and must show competence on the notions that the student will acquire through the frequency of education and study.
The course will also aim to achieve autonomy judgment, communication skills and learning ability in the field of hematopoietic stem cell biology and their clinical applications
Course contents summary
The first lessons will be focused on haemopoietic stem cells and stem cell niches: osteoblastic and vascular niche. Moreover general topics such as the process of hematopoiesis, including erythropoiesis, the myelopoiesis and lymphopoiesis, and characteristics of peripheral blood cells will also be described. Lessons will be carried out on laboratory procedures for identifying, characterizing and studying hematopoietic stem cells by both transcriptional and immunophenotypic analyses. The role of growth factors such as erythropoietin, thrombopoietin, and the colony stimulating factors will be discussed as well as methods for in vitro expansion of hematopoietic stem cells.
The second part of the course will be focused on the pathophysiology of hematopoietic stem cells and their microenvironment including the process of cancer neo-angiogenesis. A general overview of blood and blood-forming organ diseases will be made, including anemia, leukemia, myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative diseases, lymphomas and multiple myeloma addressing the etiological, pathophysiological and diagnostic aspects.
The third part of the course regards the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with a focus on laboratory procedures such as freezing, handling, purging, depletion and cell enrichment. The HLA system and its methods of study, donor search and alternative sources of stem cells will be also explained. The main aspects concerning the procedures of self-transplantation and allo-transplantation from matched and not compatible donors, the indications for transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells and clinical problems of transplantation will be discussed.
G. Castoldi e V Liso, Manual of Blood and bone marrow diseases
6th edition; Mc Graw Hill.
Hoffman et al.
Hematology, Basic principes and practice.
The modalities of teaching and teaching methods of the course will be lectures, participation in seminars and conferences and exercises in the laboratory of Hematology and bibliographical research. During the lectures will discuss the issues related to stem cells, hematopoiesis and blood diseases.
The course will be supported by laboratory exercises. The exercises will be individual and practices and their purpose is to provide the opportunity for each student to be able to measure in the design of autonomous solution to the real problems that will be made. These activities will be planned in such a way that within each exercise, the student can achieve practically the solutions of the problems outlined during theoretical lessons.
Assessment methods and criteria
The primary mode of verification will be to make interactive lessons with questions aimed at students and their active involvement in the discussion on the main issues discussed during class knowledge and the links between knowledge skills that are going to occur will focus on what are the characteristics of hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal cells, the notions haematopoiesis and pathophysiology, etiology and diagnosis of blood diseases and stem cell transplantation procedures and manipulation of hematopoietic stem cells in the laboratory.
A final check will be made through written test with open questions on the main topics discussed during the lectures.