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Archive for February 20th, 2009|Daily archive page

Fetal stem cells cause tumor in a teenage boy: Scientific American Blog

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:41 pm

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“That tumor, it turns out, grew out of the (embryonic) stem cells, obtained from at least two aborted fetuses, used in his brain.”

Fetal stem cells cause tumor in a teenage boy

By Coco Ballantyne in 60-Second Science Blog- Feb 19, 2009 01:30 PM

In May 2001, Israeli parents of a nine-year old boy with a crippling disease that left him wheelchair-bound took their child to see doctors in Moscow. In a highly experimental procedure that was presumably unavailable in their home country, those doctors injected fetal stem cells into various regions of his brain.

The boy’s parents—they aren’t named in a report describing the case in this week’s PLoS Medicine—must have been desperate. The nine-year old suffered from ataxia-telangiectasia, a childhood disease that causes degeneration of parts of the brain that control muscle movements and speech. The symptoms include slurred speech, poor balance, impaired immune function, and the appearance of red spider veins called telangiectasias in the eyes, ears or cheeks.

There are no treatments for the disorder and the prognosis is dim; patients usually only make it into their teens or early twenties, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. While it’s unclear exactly what the Russian doctors were trying to achieve (the researchers who wrote the case report were not involved in the stem cell therapy), they must have been hoping that the injected cells would restore some function in his brain, or at least slow the disease progression. The boy went back for injections in 2002 and 2004, although it’s not clear from the report whether his condition improved as a result.

Then he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005. That tumor, it turns out, grew out of the stem cells, obtained from at least two aborted fetuses, used in his brain.

via Fetal stem cells cause tumor in a teenage boy: Scientific American Blog.

Michael J. Fox is missing the forest and the trees

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Who doesn’t love Michael J. Fox? I just wish someone would slap him in the head and tell both him and his foundation that adult stem cells have been treating Parkinson’s successfully for years.  Don’t wait for the improbability of embryonics producing a treatment.  The top ESC scientist say that day s 10-50 years away.  C’mon Mike.  Act like the fighter I know you are and hop on the plane to China and get yourself some adult stem cells.  Please? -DG

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muhammed_ali_michael_j_fox

MICHAEL J. FOX

February 13, 2:43 PM -by Andy Williamson, Celebrity Profile Examiner

There are certain actors for whom our affection is deepened simply because we watched them grow up. Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ron Howard come to mind. Yet, even this short list would be incomplete without mentioning Michael J. Fox.

Best known for his roles on the television series Family Ties and Spin City, and his portrayal of Marty McFly in three Back to the Future movies, Michael semi-retired from acting in 2000 due to the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Since that time, Michael has been a strong advocate of Parkinson’s disease research. He started The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which seeks to cure the disease through the use of embryonic stem cells.  While he supported numerous politicians whose stance on the controversial issue would have allowed such research to continue, it has not, as of this writing, been approved.  In October of 2006, three of those ads were called out by pill-popping blowhard conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who accused Michael of being “either off his medication or he’s acting.” Limbaugh later tried to save face recanted, by saying that he would apologize to Fox “if I am wrong in characterizing his behavior on this commercial as an act.” Michael responded to the offensive and insensitive comment, by saying, “… it’s difficult for people who don’t have Parkinson’s, or don’t know about Parkinson’s, to understand the symptoms and the way they work and the way medication works.  You get what you get on any given day.”

via Celebrity Profile Examiner: Michael J. Fox.

And don’t forget that the “The Stem Cell Blog” (https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com) can now be found under the Health category of AlphaInventions.com

Regards-

David Granovsky
STEM CELL BLOGGER
https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com

News: UT receives Michael J. Fox award to develop Parkinson’s vaccine. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News – Biotechnology from Bench to Business

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Feb 17 2009, 12:12 PM EST

UT receives Michael J. Fox award to develop Parkinson’s vaccine

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have received a $325,000 award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to develop a vaccine for this progressive neurological disorder that affects about a million Americans.

via News: UT receives Michael J. Fox award to develop Parkinson’s vaccine. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News – Biotechnology from Bench to Business.

Mr. President, the Science Is Waiting

In ALL ARTICLES, CATCH UP!, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:24 pm
barack obama with his hands tied

barack obama with his hands tied

Mr. President, the Science Is Waiting

Mr. President, what’s taking so long on the stem cell executive order?

OK. That’s not really fair. It’s pretty clear that you’re consumed by some very important things during your first few weeks in office. Between mortgages, financial services and auto industry bailouts, and completing your Cabinet team, the critical challenges on your plate are urgent ones that need your attention. Welcome to the White House! I for one am happy you are there.

Four weeks after the election, though, I’m just a little confused about what happened to the stem cell issue on which you were so clear in the months and years leading up to the election. I get that campaign promises are sometimes just that – and honestly, I believe that is just part of the game. Even for you…

via Katie Hood: Mr. President, the Science Is Waiting.

Stem Cells: Ideology Or Science? – Michael J. Fox

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm
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Stem Cells: Ideology Or Science?

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY -Posted 2/20/2009

Medical Advancement: It’s the supporters of embryonic stem cell research who have politicized science. The desperation of a family and the pressure to produce results may have produced a medical tragedy instead.

In the 2006 election, actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s, made a commercial for Democrats in which he urged voters to support Senate candidates who supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

As we noted then and do again, ESCR was not the “most promising” avenue of stem cell research. And no, that’s not because of a lack of federal funds, but rather with the difficulties of controlling the embryonic stem cells and what they turn into.

Unfortunately, it’s been almost impossible to have a rational debate about this. ESCR supporters view adult stem cell research as something pushed by pro-lifers whose real target is Roe v. Wade.

Adult stem cells culled from a patient’s body solve the rejection problem of ESCs and have already been used in hundreds of treatments and therapies of patients. But embryonic, or pluripotent, stem cells can’t seem to make it out of the laboratory.

They are called pluripotent because they can develop into any and every type of human tissue. That’s why some scientists prefer them. Problem is, they (embryonic stem cells) are hard to control and tend to develop into one of the most primitive and terrifying forms of cancer, a tumor called a teratoma.

In 2006, stem cell researcher Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York reported in the journal Nature Medicine that human embryonic stem cells injected into rat brains developed into cells that could lead to tumors.

As Princeton professor Robert George, who sat on President Bush’s bioethics panel, told National Review Online, “the tendency of embryonic stem cells to produce tumors makes it unethical to use them in human beings — even in experimental treatments.”

Yet just such an experimental treatment was reported Tuesday in the Public Library of Science’s journal, PLoS Medicine.

The family of an Israeli boy suffering from a lethal genetic brain disease sought a solution in the form of injections of fetal stem cells. The boy had been taken at age 9 to Russia, where he was injected with neural stem cells, from fetuses, that were expected to grow into new and healthy brain cells. The cells were injected into his brain and spinal cord twice more at ages 10 and 12.

Tragically, within a year of the last injection, teratomas developed in the boy’s brain and spinal cord.

ESCR defenders will say such a tragedy couldn’t happen here, where controls are more strict. And, they say, embryonic stem cell companies get around the teratoma problem by genetically altering the cells to a point where researchers are more certain the cells will develop into the desired tissue and not simply run amok.

This process to make embryonic cells safer makes them exorbitant to produce for medical purposes, to the point that even if you got a treatment that might work, it would be prohibitively expensive for general use.

What we do know is what we’ve reported recently: that adult stem cells, aside from their current application in treating a wide range of diseases and conditions, have produced impressive clinical results in new areas such as treating AIDS and Parkinson’s.

The Food and Drug Administration approved within three days of President Obama’s inauguration the first permission granted to test ESC treatments on human subjects. It OK’d an application from a California firm to inject stem cells from human embryos into people paralyzed from the chest down by spinal cord injuries.

Yet the media and many politicians have ignored adult stem cell successes and embryonic stem cell failures.

We hope that stem cell research of all types will be driven by sound science leading to real results, not by desperation or ideology. Otherwise, more such tragedies as the Israeli boy will result.

via Today in Investor’s Business Daily stock analysis and business news.

How many is too many? | Michigan Tech Lode

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm
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star_wars_clone_army

How many is too many?

Written by Katie Wysocky on Tue, 02/17/2009 – 19:52

In this new age of medicine, many different medical advancements have come under attack. From stem cell research to cloning to having the ability to determine babies’ characteristics before they are born, modern medicine is embarking on a never-explored frontier. This progress can perform miracles, save lives and give hope where there was none before. But with great power comes great responsibility. How far is too far in the world of medicine? Can a doctor play God?

for more… How many is too many? | Michigan Tech Lode.

Interview: Medicine man, Christopher Evans, asks for a £1bn injection | Business | The Observer

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 20, 2009 at 11:15 pm

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“At University College Hospital, Professor John Martin is a year into a trial in which heart attack patients have their hearts injected with their own stem cells to prevent further damage and restore their normal functions. Scientists in California and Ireland are closer to a breakthrough that could see a cure for leukaemia using stem cells, while Britain’s Ark Therapeutics Group has gained European clearance and expects to get UK approval soon for a revolutionary and seemingly impressively effective brain tumour treatment.

This year, another British company, ReNeuron, grabbed headlines after winning approval to begin clinical trials into stem cell stroke treatment which promises to restore brain function. And UK firm Neuropharm has received positive regulatory feedback for its groundbreaking autism treatment, which in trials appears to improve serotonin levels to the brain, reducing repetitive behaviour and boosting its functioning. Evans has invested and helped to develop many of these treatments and more besides.”

Medicine man asks for a £1bn injection

Christopher Evans expects an explosion in medical breakthroughs. The PM is behind him, and now he needs the financiers, he tells Nick Mathiason

* Nick Mathiason

*

o Nick Mathiason

o The Observer, Sunday 15 February 2009

o Article history

It is not easy concentrating on the latest advances in medical science when in your peripheral vision is a large black-and-white picture of a buxom model tightly squeezed into a leather corset.

But amid the prints adorning the walls of Marco Pierre White’s London West End restaurant, Luciano – a picture of a thigh-length boot-wearing young women on all fours holding up a glass coffee table takes the almond biscotti – Sir Christopher Evans, Europe’s leading biotech entrepreneur, is in full flow at his regular haunt.

via Interview: Medicine man, Christopher Evans, asks for a £1bn injection | Business | The Observer.

General Assembly 2009 Half Time Report

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm
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senate-chamber

“The governor’s proposed budget (HB1600) was passed on Feb. 12 with several amendments by the House of Delegates. These amendments were created by the House Appropriations Committee and resulted in unsuccessful objections by House Democrats to several harmful amendments in such areas as education (K-12 and higher ed.), stem cell research, energy and water quality improvement. The Senate has decided to wait until at least Feb. 18 before considering the governor’s introduced budget. The Senate wanted to wait until the January revenue data was available and for the details of what Virginia would receive from the recent federal economic stimulus package. The Speaker of the House decided to not wait.”

General Assembly 2009 Half Time Report

By Del. Chuck Caputo (D-67) -Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The 2009 legislative session reached halftime this past week with the event known as crossover. This is when both the Senate and House of Delegates complete work on each chamber’s own legislation with the exception of the state budget. Now, we in the House can only consider the Senate’s bills (and vice versa). About 2,300 bills and resolutions were introduced this year and about half are still alive. So, here’s a rundown of some of the significant pieces of legislation:

via General Assembly 2009 Half Time Report.

STEM CELLS & HIV (Part 4) University Of Edinburgh And Castle Craig Hospital Launch Pilot Study For Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy In The Treatment Of Alcoholic Liver Disease

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm
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stem-cells-hiv

University Of Edinburgh And Castle Craig Hospital Launch Pilot Study For Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy In The Treatment Of Alcoholic Liver Disease

Main Category: Liver Disease / Hepatitis

Article Date: 20 Feb 2009 – 3:00 PST

A pilot study to treat alcoholic liver disease with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is being launched by Castle Craig Hospital and the Department of Hepatology at The University of Edinburgh, after obtaining Ethical Committee approval.

The Phase I study aims to show whether bone marrow stem cells are mobilised into the bloodstream following HBOT, in patients who recently drank alcohol to excess[1], with or without chronic liver disease. The trial will also examine whether there is an improvement in liver function following HBOT.

via University Of Edinburgh And Castle Craig Hospital Launch Pilot Study For Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy In The Treatment Of Alcoholic Liver Disease.

STEM CELLS & HIV (Part 3) ‘Major Advance’ in HIV Gene Therapy

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm
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stem-cells-hiv

‘Major Advance’ in HIV Gene Therapy

Study Shows HIV Gene Therapy Is Safe, Could Make Body Resist AIDS Virus

By Daniel J. DeNoon -WebMD Health News -Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 16, 2009 — A one-time gene therapy that puts an anti- HIV RNA weapon into blood cells is safe and, in higher doses and stronger form, could make the body resist the AIDS virus, a clinical trial suggests.

This “major advance in the field” is the largest clinical trial ever to test genetically altered cells in humans, say UCLA researcher Ronald T. Mitsuyasu, MD, and colleagues.

“This study indicates that cell-delivered gene transfer is safe and biologically active in individuals with HIV and can be developed as a conventional therapeutic product,” the researchers report in the Feb. 15 advance online issue of Nature Medicine.

The treatment calls for patients to get shots of a growth factor that stimulates growth of white blood cells. Then the cells are taken from their blood. Blood stem cells are separated out and put in cell culture dishes…

via ‘Major Advance’ in HIV Gene Therapy.

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