The latest stories from “Adult Stem Cell Awareness”

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on September 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm
The latest stories from “Adult Stem Cell Awareness”

Still No Human Trials for ESCR!

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

Earlier this year the drug developer Geron Corp. announced that it was given FDA approval to begin the first trial of an embryonic stem cell treatment in humans. But alas, the FDA reversed its decision last week:

Geron said the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing new data from studies of the therapy, called GRNOPC1, on animals. The company plans to start testing its product on humans this summer, but that testing will be delayed during the FDA’s review. Geron said it will work with the FDA, and did not estimate how long the review will take.

This is significant given that most people think that ESCs have already been used to treat human patients. Meanwhile, ethical stem cells continue to kick butt and outperform – in animals as well as many humans. Full speed ahead!

Mesenchymal Stem Cells May Repair Damaged Brain Cells

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

brainSomeone should tell Michael J. Fox:

There is no known cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But new hope, in the form of stem cells created from the patient’s own bone marrow, can be found ― and literally seen ― in laboratories at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Yoram Cohen of TAU’s School of Chemistry has recently proven the viability of these innovative stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, using in-vivo MRI. Dr. Cohen has been able to track their progress within the brain, and initial studies indicate they can identify unhealthy or damaged tissues, migrate to them, and potentially repair or halt cell degeneration. His findings have been reported in the journal Stem Cells.

“By monitoring the motion of these cells, you get information about how viable they are, and how they can benefit the tissue,” he explains. “We have been able to prove that these stem cells travel within the brain, and only travel where they are needed. They read the chemical signalling of the tissue, which indicate areas of stress. And then they go and try to repair the situation.”…

Dr. Cohen and his team of researchers took magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and used them to label the stem cells they tested. When injected into the brain, they could then be identified as clear black dots on an MRI picture. The stem cells were then injected into the brain of an animal that had an experimental model of Huntington’s disease. These animals suffer from a similar neuropathology as the one seen in human Huntington’s patients, and therefore serve as research tool for the disease.

On MRI, it was possible to watch the stem cells migrating towards the diseased area of the brain. “Cells that go toward a certain position that needs to be rescued are the best indirect proof that they are live and viable,” explains Dr. Cohen. “If they can migrate towards the target, they are alive and can read chemical signalling.”…

Although there is a drawback to using this particular type of stem cell ― the higher degree of difficulty involved in rendering them “neuron-like” ― the benefits are numerous. “Bone marrow-derived MSCs bypass ethical and production complications,” says Dr. Cohen, “and in the long run, the cells are less likely to be rejected because they come from the patients themselves. This means you don’t need immunosuppressant therapy.”

Vatican Radio Discusses ASCR

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

From Religious Intelligence:

Dr Settimio Grimaldi, an expert at the Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine in Rome, asked Vatican Radio listeners this week “Why we should complicate things by going and taking embryonic cells, with all the ethical questions that follow?”

The Vatican radio show discussed the latest developments in adult stem cell research which have revealed a method to repair a damaged heart by cultivating cardiac stem cells and re-injecting them to replace damaged tissue. Researchers revealed that the treatment could be available within three years following successful testing.

Dr. Grimaldi said: “The adult stem cell is already prepared to differentiate in the tissue we want to repair. And it is certainly more productive, less wasteful and less dangerous, beyond the ethical aspects, to work with adult stem cells instead of embryonic stem cells.”

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Treatment Saves Legs

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

The results of a clinical trial to save volunteers’ leg from amputation by injecting stem cell concentrate to the limb affected by thrombo angitis obliterance (TAO) have been encouraging. The stem cells were taken from the patients’ bone marrow.

The clinical trial is being conducted on patients suffering from blocks in the artery of the leg. Sixty patients were enrolled in the trial, and all of them were smokers. Some had diabetes as well.

Thirty nine of the 44 patients who had already undergone the mandatory 6-month follow-up did not require amputation following stem cell injection to the affected legs. Follow-up of the remaining 16 patients is under way.

The last patient, enrolled on May 25, will complete his six-month follow up in November.

“We have got very good results,” said Dr. K.S. Vijayaragavan. “The legs of 89 per cent of the patients have been saved.” Dr. Vijayaragavan, Head of the Department of Vascular Surgery, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, is conducting the trial.

According to him, the failure to save the leg of five patients was because they continued to smoke even after stem cell injection. Immediate and complete cessation of smoking is the most basic and important requirement for saving the leg. Diabetes should also be under control.


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