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Posts Tagged ‘NIH’

Adult Stem Cells Help Patients with Aggressive Multiple Sclerosis

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Adult Stem Cells Help Patients with Aggressive Multiple Sclerosis
by David Prentice – March 22, 2011

A team of scientists from Thessaloniki, Greece, have shown that chemotherapy followed by adult stem cell transplant can stop progression of aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS). The team observed a group of 35 patients who received transplants of their own bone marrow adult stem cells after being treated with chemotherapy to wipe out the rogue immune cells that were attacking their nervous system and causing their MS. An average of 11 years after their transplants, 25% of the patients in Greece have not seen their disease progress, the researchers report. Among patients with active lesions on MRI scans before their transplants, indicating that they were in an inflammatory phase of the disease, 44% have not progressed. For 16 people, symptoms improved by an average of one point on their disability scale after the transplant, and the improvements lasted for an average of two years. The participants also had a reduction in the number and size of lesions in their brains. But two patients died from transplant-related complications. The results are published in the journal Neurology, the journal of the American Association of Neurology. Co-author Dr. Vasilios Kimiskidis said:

“Keeping that in mind, our feeling is that stem cell transplants may benefit people with rapidly progressive MS. This is not a therapy for the general population of people with MS but should be reserved for aggressive cases that are still in the inflammatory phase of the disease.”

Other researchers not associated with the current study commented that this was still a big step forward in the use of adult stem cells to treat MS Dr. Richard Nash of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle noted:

“This is the first long-term paper that’s being published on this.”

Nash is part of a National Institutes of Health trial of stem cell transplants for MS, but he was not involved in the Greek study.

Dr. Richard Burt, Chief of the Division of Medicine-Immunotherapy for Autoimmune Diseases at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, points out:

“It’s the only therapy to date that has been shown to reverse neurologic deficits. But you have to get the right group of patients.”

Burt published a study in 2009 in The Lancet in which 17 out of 21 patients with relapsing-remitting MS improved after stem cell transplants.

In a gentler method of treatment, Prof. Neil Scolding and colleagues published positive results in 2010 for stabilization of MS patients using their own adult stem cells.

Adult stem cells continue to lead the way, showing published evidence of positive benefits for thousands of patients with dozens of diseases and conditions.

FRC Blog » Adult Stem Cells Help Patients with Aggressive Multiple Sclerosis.

ESC versus ASC

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on September 16, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC) come from embryos and have 1 goal only. They split + split through cell mitosis for 7 weeks until there is a fetus the size of a thumbnail. When they are manipulated to be used for treatment, they often revert back to their original goal. This means that they will start splitting uncontrollably at the site of injection, disease or injury. The natural result of this uncontrolled splitting is the development of cysts + tumors that often become cancerous. Because of this, ESC have NOT been used to treat any diseases in humans to date. Because ESC are very likely to be rejected by the body, patients are frequently required to take immunosuppressive drugs. The ineffectiveness of ESC for treating patients is the main issue that has stymied their research + use around the world while many in the USA believe it is due to ethical + moral dilemmas. The FACT remains that ESC are considered a dead end in regard to treatments by some of the top Stem Cell minds in science (including the top ESC scientists!).

To date, ESC research has been 100% fruitless (in regard to generating treatments) for well-funded + government supported scientists around the world for the last 11 years.

Dr James Thomson, father of ESC research said: “…[ESC] are not being used in any clinical applications yet, while alternatives such as adult stem cells figure in scores of therapies.”

Ian Wilmut, who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, abandoned his license to attempt human cloning, saying that the researchers “may have achieved what no politician could: an end to the [ESC] debate.”

Dr. Bernadine Healy, former director of the NIH in U.S. News & World Report: “…[ESC], once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, are obsolete….. In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on.”

Perhaps ESC will one day provide great insights into medicine + disease but they will NOT generate treatments for decades to come, if ever.

Adult stem cells (ASC), on the other hand, are the body’s natural healing cells. Their one job is to heal damaged organs and tissues. ASC have been used in bone marrow transplants for 40 years and have over a half decade of treatment in humans. ASC have virtually no side effects…in fact, an ASC treatment using cells from your own body, when following standard quality controls, carries about the same amount of risk as drawing blood. To date, 100+ diseases have been treated with ASC with approximately 2/3 of of patients deriving therapeutic benefits.

U.S. court rules against Obama’s stem cell policy | Reuters

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on August 23, 2010 at 9:50 pm

A U.S. court ruled in favor of a law suit filed in June against the National Institutes of Health by researchers.   The preliminary injunction on Monday stops federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research under the position that “human embryonic stem cell research involved the destruction of human embryos.”  Christian groups also opposed to embryo research argued the NIH policy violated U.S. law and took funds from researchers seeking to work with adult stem cells.

While this ruling is based on moral issues and not scientific issues, there is a preponderance of evidence that scientifically, embryonic stem cells for treatment may prove to be a dead end for at least 20-50 years and adult stem cells are already proven safe and effective for treating over 130+ diseases in humans.  For more information on why adult stem cells are scientifically better suited for treating humans than embryonic stem cells, read these articles:

U.S. court rules against Obama’s stem cell policy

A microscopic view shows smooth muscle cells derived from human  embryonic stem cells showing the nuclei (blue) and proteins of the  cytoskeleton (green) in this handout photo released to Reuters by the  California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, March 9, 2009.  REUTERS/Alexey Terskikh/Burnham Institute for Medical  Research/California Institute for Regenerative Medicine/Handout

WASHINGTON | Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:22pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction on Monday stopping federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, in a slap to the Obama administration’s new guidelines on the sensitive issue.

The court ruled in favor of a suit filed in June by researchers who said human embryonic stem cell research involved the destruction of human embryos.

Judge Royce Lamberth granted the injunction after finding the lawsuit would likely succeed because the guidelines violated law banning the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos.

“(Embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed,” Lamberth wrote in a 15-page ruling. The Obama administration could appeal his decision or try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with U.S. law.

The suit against the National Institutes of Health, backed by some Christian groups opposed to embryo research, argued the NIH policy violated U.S. law and took funds from researchers seeking to work with adult stem cells.

The U.S. Department of Justice, White House and NIH had no immediate comment.

Key to the case is the so-called Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which Congress adds to budget legislation every year. It bans the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos.

That was not an issue for the NIH until the discovery of human embryonic stem cells in 1998. In 2001, then-President George W. Bush said he could only allow federal research money to pay for work done using a few batches, or lines, of the cells.

Many stem cell researchers objected, saying they could not do work needed to fulfill the promise of the powerful cells, which can give rise to all the tissues and cells in the human body. Privately funded researchers could do as they pleased, but federal funding is the cornerstone of such basic biological research.

NEW POLICY

As one of his first acts after taking office, Obama overturned that decision and the NIH set up a careful process for deciding which batches of human embryonic stem cells could be used by federally funded researchers.

The new guidelines do not allow the use of federal dollars to create the stem cells but do allow researchers to work with them if they are made by another lab.

Dr. James Sherley of Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Theresa Deisher of Washington-based AVM Biotechnology, who both work with adult stem cells, filed the original suit saying the guidelines would harm their work by increasing competition for limited federal funding. They both oppose the use of human embryonic stem cells.

Sherley was not immediately available for comment.

“There is no after-the-fact remedy for this injury because the Court cannot compensate plaintiffs for their lost opportunity to receive funds,” Lamberth wrote.

He found that the injunction would not seriously harm researchers who focus on human embryonic stem cells because it would preserve the status quo and not interfere with their ability to get private funding.

With the preliminary injunction in place, the two sides will likely present arguments and case history to the judge over whether the guidelines can be permanently blocked or be allowed to go into effect.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)

via U.S. court rules against Obama’s stem cell policy | Reuters.

PHG Foundation | Legal disputes over adult and embryonic stem cell research

In ALL ARTICLES on July 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

Legal disputes over adult and embryonic stem cell research

11 July 2010 | By Dr Philippa Brice | News story

the Court of Appeals in Washington DC has granted permission for two adult stem cell researchers to file a lawsuit against the National Institutes of Health on the basis that the new Federal government support for embryonic stem cell research (see previous news) is diverting funding away from their own parallel – and some would argue, ethically superior [and superior in treating humans] – field of research.

via PHG Foundation | Legal disputes over adult and embryonic stem cell research.

Man Receives His Own Stem Cells as a Treatment for Heart Failure

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on March 11, 2010 at 4:52 pm

THE TIDE IS TURNING

This story is HUGE.  No, not because a guy got better from stem cells…that’s been goi ng on commercially for half a decade around the world and was proven safe and effective in testing and studies on humans for over a decade.  What’s amazing about this story is that:

a human patient received ADULT stem cells in the US and the story was reported by a major US science publication in a positive light.

To explain;

  • for years the US news sources were unable or incapable or ordered not to publish any positive stories about ADULT stem cells.
  • There were falsely reported positive hyped stories about embryonic stem cell success everywhere…
  • There were positive stories about induced pluripotent stem cells…
  • then there were negative stories about induced pluripootent stem cells…
  • and when the negative induced pluripotent stem cell stories came out, someone decided to rename THOSE stem cells ADULT so as to confuse everyone and cast a negative light on ADULT stem cells…
  • and there were positive ADULT stem cell stories because you just can’t hold back the tide of positive stories from around the world – but these stories never ever had the word ADULT  associated with positive results so the reader had to assume the story was about embryonic…
  • but there were NEVER positive ADULT stem cell stories where the reporter called them ADULT stem cells.
  • This may in fact be the first!

WELL DONE! Keep up the good work!

Now maybe the US can start to catch up on using ADULT stem cells for treatment…seeing as how the EXACT content of this story has already been repeated around the world for almost a decade now. -dg

Man Receives His Own Stem Cells as a Treatment for Heart Failure

By Mandy Kendrick – Jul 27, 2009 03:45 PM

The first person to receive a new cardiac stem cell treatment in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration clinical trial is doing well, it was announced last week.

On Friday, doctors at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, in collaboration with the nearby Jewish Hospital, issued a press release stating that one week after treatment, Mike Jones’s heart was getting stronger.

Jones, whose heart tissue is permanently scarred and weakened by two previous heart attacks, suffers from congestive heart failure, a condition affecting about five million Americans each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Currently, two treatment options predominate for patients with heart failure, said Mark Slaughter, a cardiovascular surgeon who aided in the trial. A person can receive a heart transplant or a mechanically assisted heart device.

The new approach, using a patient’s adult stem cells to regenerate healthy heart tissue, is currently in phase I clinical trials to test for safety. The procedure consists of removing healthy heart tissue from the patient, purifying the stem cells from the material, and allowing the stem cell population to grow. Once ready, the stem cells are reintroduced into the scarred region of the heart using a minimally invasive technique.

Since the re-injection of his own stem cells on July 17, Jones’s heart has increased its ability to pump blood by about 5 percent. Jones commented in the University of Louisville School of Medicine press release that he felt so good he might “even start jogging again.”

The doctors will continue monitoring Jones every few months for the next two years to measure his recovery. There are currently 13 more patients going through the phase I trial, and the researchers hope to eventually test a total of 20 patients.

Last month, a group at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles made news with a similar technique that was undergoing clinical trials.  Instead of using purified stem cells, the group is using a mixture of cells, including stem cells, to regenerate heart tissue. Ken Miles, the first patient to receive the treatment, told CBS’s The Early Show that he “feels great.”

Heart Muscle Health Aspects | VesCell adult stem cell therapy

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Heart Muscle Health Aspects You Should Consider

Stunned or Dying Tissue can be Rejuvenated by Adult Stem Cells Injected in the Patient’s Heart

Heart muscle health aspect from James Eilert story

Click here to see if your heart disease is treatable with Adult/Repair Stem Cells now

James Eilert, a young man, who was a victim of the heart disease epidemic that is increasingly taking hold around the world, has been given a second chance at a healthy life thanks to VesCell adult stem cell therapy.

In 2006, at the relatively young age of 34, James experienced a major heart attack. His left anterior descending artery (or what the doctors call the ‘widowmaker’) was 100% blocked. The heart attack left him with severe damage to his heart. A normal ejection fraction is generally considered to be 55-75%. At the tender age of 34, James’ ejection fraction had sunk to 20-25%. The doctors diagnosed him as being in Class III NYHA Heart Failure.

He didn’t want to die, but figured dying would be a better option than living as he was. That was when James stumbled upon VesCell on the internet. Already a patient at the world renowned Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute in Detroit, James was shocked to find out that Dr. Barbara Czerska, the Medical Director of the Heart Failure Transplant Program at Henry Ford was featured prominently on the VesCell website. That, along with reading that recent medical research indicates that dead heart tissue can be ‘awakened’ by the implantation of adult stem cells gave James new hope.

He contacted VesCell and Dr. Czerska and prepared for his trip to Bangkok, Thailand to receive a new shot of hope using his own adult stem cells.

After arrival in Bangkok, James along with his father, were well taken care of by the TheraVitae team and the doctors and nurses at Phyathai 2 Hospital. James was treated by Dr. Damras Tresukosol, the director of the Phyathai-Harvard Heart Center and also the lead investigator of TheraVitae’s clinical trial using adult stem cells which was presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting in 2006.

Treated on November 14, 2007, James received 41 million of his own adult stem cells via catheter to heal his damaged heart muscle.

Told by doctors that the stem cells would take approximately 6-8 weeks to take affect, James was pleasantly surprised that the doctors were mistaken – just 1½ weeks after his stem cell treatment,

James had an echocardiogram done and found out his previously dead part of his heart had life again….

Click [HERE] to see if your heart disease is treatable with Adult/Repair Stem Cells now

via Heart Muscle Health Aspects | VesCell adult stem cell therapy.

NIH STARTS TO CATCH UP TO HEART DISEASE and STEM CELL TREATMENTS

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

For more info on clinical trials for treatment of heart disease, go HERE!

In the research laboratory, investigators often use a mouse or rat model of a heart attack to study new therapies (see Figure 9.1. Rodent Model of Myocardial Infarction). To create a heart attack in a mouse or rat, a ligature is placed around a major blood vessel serving the heart muscle, thereby depriving the cardiomyocytes of their oxygen and nutrient supplies. During the past year, researchers using such models have made several key discoveries that kindled interest in the application of adult stem cells to heart muscle repair in animal models of heart disease…

A second study, by Jackson et al. [3], demonstrated that cardiac tissue can be regenerated in the mouse heart attack model through the introduction of adult stem cells from mouse bone marrow. In this model, investigators purified a “side population” of hematopoietic stem cells from a genetically altered mouse strain. These cells were then transplanted into the marrow of lethally irradiated mice approximately 10 weeks before the recipient mice were subjected to heart attack via the tying off of a different major heart blood vessel, the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery. At two to four weeks after the induced cardiac injury, the survival rate was 26 percent. As with the study by Orlic et al., analysis of the region surrounding the damaged tissue in surviving mice showed the presence of donor-derived cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells. Thus, the mouse hematopoietic stem cells transplanted into the bone marrow had responded to signals in the injured heart, migrated to the border region of the damaged area, and differentiated into several types of tissue needed for cardiac repair. This study suggests that mouse hematopoietic stem cells may be delivered to the heart through bone marrow transplantation as well as through direct injection into the cardiac tissue, thus providing another possible therapeutic strategy for regenerating injured cardiac tissue.

More evidence for potential stem cell-based therapies for heart disease is provided by a study that showed that human adult stem cells taken from the bone marrow are capable of giving rise to vascular endothelial cells when transplanted into rats [6]. As in the Jackson study, these researchers induced a heart attack by tying off the LAD coronary artery. They took great care to identify a population of human hematopoietic stem cells that give rise to new blood vessels. These stem cells demonstrate plasticity meaning that they become cell types that they would not normally be. The cells were used to form new blood vessels in the damaged area of the rats’ hearts and to encourage proliferation of preexisting vasculature following the experimental heart attack.

Like the mouse stem cells, these human hematopoietic stem cells can be induced under the appropriate culture conditions to differentiate into numerous tissue types, including cardiac muscle [10] (see Figure 9.2. Heart Muscle Repair with Adult Stem Cells). When injected into the bloodstream leading to the damaged rat heart, these cells prevented the death of hypertrophied or thickened but otherwise viable myocardial cells and reduced progressive formation of collagen fibers and scars. Control rats that underwent surgery with an intact LAD coronary artery, as well as LAD-ligated rats injected with saline or control cells, did not demonstrate an increase in the number of blood vessels. Furthermore, the hematopoietic cells could be identified on the basis of highly specific cell markers that differentiate them from cardiomyocyte precursor cells, enabling the cells to be used alone or in conjunction with myocyte-regeneration strategies or pharmacological therapies. (For more about stem cell markers see Appendix E.i. How Do Researchers Use Markers to Identify Stem Cells?)

For more info on clinical trials for treatment of heart disease, go HERE!

more from NIH…

California Stem Cell Report: LA Times on CIRM Plans to Remain ‘Relevant’

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on February 2, 2010 at 3:46 am

Monday, February 01, 2010

LA Times on CIRM Plans to Remain ‘Relevant’

The changing focus of the California stem cell agency – with its aggressive push towards fast, tangible and marketable results and presumably away from its original emphasis on human embryonic stem cell research – was the focus of a Los Angeles Times article early last month.

The Jan. 10, 2010, piece by Karen Kaplan said,

“Now the institute has a more immediate goal: boosting therapies that are much further along in development and more often rely on less glamorous adult stem cells. It is concentrating its vast financial resources on projects that could cure conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, AIDS, sickle cell disease and various types of cancer.

via California Stem Cell Report: LA Times on CIRM Plans to Remain ‘Relevant’.

Investors.com – California’s Proposition 71 Failure

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on February 2, 2010 at 3:43 am

California’s Proposition 71 Failure

Posted 01/12/2010 06:36 PM ET

Bioethics: Five years after a budget-busting $3 billion was allocated to embryonic stem cell research, there have been no cures, no therapies and little progress. So supporters are embracing research they once opposed.

California’s Proposition 71 was intended to create a $3 billion West Coast counterpart to the National Institutes of Health, empowered to go where the NIH could not — either because of federal policy or funding restraints on biomedical research centered on human embryonic stem cells.

Supporters of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, passed in 2004, held out hopes of imminent medical miracles that were being held up only by President Bush’s policy of not allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) beyond existing stem cell lines and which involved the destruction of embryos created for that purpose.

Five years later, ESCR has failed to deliver and backers of Prop 71 are admitting failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created to, as some have put it, restore science to its rightful place, is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stem cell research. It not only has treated real people with real results; it also does not come with the moral baggage ESCR does.

To us, this is a classic bait-and-switch, an attempt to snatch success from the jaws of failure and take credit for discoveries and advances achieved by research Prop. 71 supporters once cavalierly dismissed. We have noted how over the years that when funding was needed, the phrase “embryonic stem cells” was used. When actual progress was discussed, the word “embryonic” was dropped because ESCR never got out of the lab.

Prop 71 had a 10-year mandate and by 2008, as miracle cures looked increasingly unlikely, a director was hired for the agency with a track record of bringing discoveries from the lab to the clinic. “If we went 10 years and had no clinical treatments, it would be a failure,” says the institute’s director, Alan Trounson, a stem cell pioneer from Australia. “We need to demonstrate that we are starting a whole new medical revolution.”

The institute is attempting to do that by funding adult stem cell research. Nearly $230 million was handed out this past October to 14 research teams. Notably, only four of those projects involve embryonic stem cells.

Among the recipients, the Los Angeles Times reports, is a group from UCLA and Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles that hopes to cure patients with sickle cell disease by genetically modifying their own blood-forming stem cells to produce healthy red blood cells. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will use their grant to research injecting heart-attack patients with concentrated amounts of their own cardiac stem cells that naturally repair heart tissue.

Dr. Bernadine Healy, director of the National Institutes of Health under Bush 41, wrote in her U.S. News & World Report column recently that “embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes, are obsolete.”

Even worse, they can be dangerous.

They are difficult to control, to coax into the specific type of tissue desired. Unlike adult stem cells taken from a patient’s own body, ES cells require the heavy use of immunosuppressive drugs. Their use can lead to a form of tumor called a teratoma.

.

…It is ESCR researchers who have politicized science and stood in the way of real progress. We are pleased to see California researchers beginning to put science in its rightful place.

via Investors.com – California’s Proposition 71 Failure.

NIH Director Promotes Politics Over Adult Stem Cell Research, Sound Science

In CATCH UP! on January 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

NIH Director Promotes Politics Over Adult Stem Cell Research, Sound Science

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor, January 4, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In a new opinion column appearing the magazine Science, NIH director Francis Collins appears to put politics over science. In a list of five “opportunities for research,” Collins promotes embryonic stem cell research but ignores the adult variety already helping patients.

In the column, Collins says it is “appropriate to identify areas of particular promise” where NIH can help fund the work of scientists and researchers in “areas that are ripe for major advances that could reap substantial downstream benefits.”

“Yet when discussing stem cell research and Translational Medicine, there is no mention whatsoever of pushing ahead with developing more adult stem cell treatments, already shown effective for patients,” notes Family Research Council fellow Dr. David Prentice. “Instead, the emphasis is all on embryonic stem cells and the embryonic-like iPS cells.”

Collins promotes the first human protocol (for spinal cord injury) involving human embryonic stem cells and says it was approved by the FDA in 2009. The NIH director says “the opening up of federal support for hESC research will bring many investigators into this field.” Collins also spends time touting iPSCs even while admitting “much work remains to be done to investigate possible risks.”

While pro-life advocates share the excitement about induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), they note that significant hurdles have not been overcome that would bring it to the level of adult stem cells — that are helping patients today battle more than 100 different diseases and condition.

Prentice, a former Indiana State University biology professor, says “Collins continues to pump the [Obama] Administration line on stem cells, emphasizing embryonic stem cells and completely ignoring the only stem cells helping patients now — adult stem cells.”

“This is not the first time Collins has seemed ignorant of adult stem cell successes. But it is still disappointing to see the emphasis on political science instead of putting the patients first,” Prentice says.

In a previous interview with the New England Journal of Medicine, Francis Collins talks about the number of “stem cell” clinical trials. The “one clinical trial” Collins refers to is the one embryonic stem cell experiment with patients that is out there. And it is indeed on hold. But there are at least 2,000 clinical trials for Adult Stem Cells,” Prentice says. “By the way, there are quite a few done on the NIH campus itself.”

via NIH Director Promotes Politics Over Adult Stem Cell Research, Sound Science.

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