Institute scientist is author in book on cell death

Dr. Chefetz wrote two chapters sharing her expertise on research methods

AUSTIN, Minn – January 8, 2021 – Dr. Ilana Chefetz, head of the Cancer Stem Cells and Necroptosis lab at The Hormel Institute, has written two chapters in the newly published book Detection of Cell Death Mechanisms. The book is part of the Methods in Molecular Biology series and details the procedures and rules for experiments involving programmed cell death.

The two chapters Dr. Chefetz and her team wrote, “Induction and Detection of Necroptotic Cell Death in Mammalian Cell Culture” and “Visualization of Necroptotic Cell Death through Transmission Electron Microscopy” draw on their expertise with necroptosis, a type of cell death Dr. Chefetz researches.

“One of the most promising directions in necroptosis studies is the implication of necroptotic cell death for cancer treatments,” said Dr. Chefetz.

“While majority of anti-tumor therapeutic agents currently used in clinical practice can efficiently induce apoptosis in malignant cells, the acquired chemoresistance and apoptosis evasion remain a paramount challenge in cancer treatment.”

Cell programmed necrosis (necroptosis) has been shown to be involved in different diseases such as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and inflammatory disorders. To study cell death signaling cascades, the series of reactions in a cell that cause cell death, scientists need model systems that can be reproduced.

Apoptosis and necroptosis remain the most common and well-understood cell death types, and researchers must be able to reliably identify and differentiate apoptotic and necroptotic events in order to block them in pathological conditions or accelerate them in chemoresistant cells.

Dr. Chefetz and her team are now researching new and innovative ways to induce necroptosis in malignant cells, which could lead the way to new cancer treatments in the future.

The two chapters can be found here: