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Growth Factors

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The Branch funds research on the functions of growth factors and their receptors. This research has led to an understanding of post-receptor intracellular events and to clinical applications of growth factors. For instance, epidermal growth factor (EGF) is now used to treat corneal ulcers and severe burns, and EGF-receptor activity is used to plan regimens of chemotherapy for treating breast cancer. In animal models, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been found to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulates neurogenesis; it also stimulates stromal cells of human bone marrow to differentiate into neurons, thus providing a reservoir of cells that may be used to treat degenerative neurologic diseases of the brain and spinal cord.​

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