Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Great work being done with adult stem cells : Everybody’s Column : The Buffalo News

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 27, 2010 at 9:47 am

Indeed! Well articulated Dr Yates! -dg

Great work being done with adult stem cells

Updated: May 24, 2010, 6:53 am /Published: May 24, 2010, 12:30 am

Kudos to The Buffalo News in reporting the recent advances in adult stem cell research being done at the University of Miami. Adult stem cells are infused around a damaged heart or an injured spinal cord with documented improvement to the damaged tissue.

Consider a woman’s trachea being rebuilt using her own adult stem cells, subsequently replacing her damaged one. In 2009, a team of American and Brazilian researchers used the adult stem cells from patients with type 1 diabetes and were successful in managing the diabetes for several years without the need of insulin injections. Similar studies are presently under way at two domestic research centers.

The ethical reality of using adult stem cells is that there is no destruction of a human embryo, coupled with the medical benefit that there is minimal risk of rejection because the person receiving treatment is using the adult stem cells from her own body (bone marrow, fatty tissue and other organs).

Let us hope that the media will be as quick to publish authentic scientific medical information regarding adult stem cells as it was in promoting the hyperbole of the unrealized hope of the embryonic stem cell.

Ferdinand D. Yates Jr., M. D.

via Great work being done with adult stem cells : Everybody’s Column : The Buffalo News.

New Disease Identified By Australian Researchers

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 27, 2010 at 9:40 am

And now, stem cells are treating disease that we don’t even know about yet! – dg

New Disease Identified By Australian Researchers

Researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital have identified a previously undiagnosed condition and successfully treated it by performing an experimental stem cell transplant.

Having spent her late teenage years in and out of hospital Katie Pulling had almost given up hope. “It was very confusing and very daunting. I kept hearing the doctors say, ‘We don’t know what is wrong’, ‘We don’t know why you are so sick’,” said Katie, who lives in north-eastern NSW.

With no options left Katie agreed to an experimental stem cell transplant – a transplant which ultimately saved her life.

“Katie presented with a range of symptoms when she was eleven. No one could identify her condition and no treatment had been successful. She did not respond to regular treatments and she continued to get sick, often complicated by life-threatening infections,” said Dr Maher Gandhi head of QIMR’s Clinical Immunohaemotology Laboratory.

The key to unlocking the reason for Katie’s reoccurring symptoms came when she contracted the common teenage virus that causes glandular fever. Usually most people come down with only a mild infection. However, Katie developed a full-blown version known as fulminant infectious mononucleosis (FIM)…

via New Disease Identified By Australian Researchers.


In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm


This is an incredibly special birthday, considering all that he has been through!!!


James Eilert, 34 years old, presents with a “widowmaker” [100 % blockage of the left ascending coronary artery]. His ejection fraction (EF – volume of blood his heart pumps out) was between 20 and 25 percent (55 is normal). His cardiologist told him he has about 5 years left to live.  James had to leave his country and travel to Thailand in order to receive Repair Stem Cell treatment.

Heart muscle health aspect from James Eilert story


* · 1 1/2 weeks after treatment – Echocardiogram revealed that his completely dead apex was beating again.
* · 6 months after treatment – Sidewalls of heart beat normally.  Septum went from 100% damage to 30% damage. Cardiologist confirms James’ heart is 50 percent more elastic than the year before Repair Stem Cell therapy.
* · 6 – 9 months after treatment – James’ total dead heart tissue is down to about 10%.  EF is up to 50%!
* · 4 years later – James’ heart and health continue to improve. He continues to push himself and his limits.  He runs regularly, works 7 days a week and can bike 20 miles .


* · James went from Class III congestive heart failure to Class I with an ejection fraction (EF) increase from ~20-25% to his current EF of 50%.  His doctors have lifted all restrictions and limitations on his physical activities.

Hooray for James and beating the odds!

Catholic Church announces adult stem cell venture with Neostem :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on May 26, 2010 at 3:16 am

.- The Vatican issued a communique on Tuesday announcing a joint initiative with an international bio-pharmaceutical company to raise awareness and expand research of adult stem cell therapy.

Neostem Inc. and the Pontifical Council for Culture will combine the efforts of their respective foundations, the Stem for Life Foundation and STOQ (Science Theology and the Ontological Quest) Foundation, to advance research and explore the use of adult stem cells in regenerative medicine.

Fr. Tomasz Trafny from the Council for Culture remarked in a May 19 press release, “Considering the potential implication of scientific investigation, medical applicability and the cultural impact of research on adult stem cells, we view the collaboration with NeoStem as a critical effort.”

“Through educational initiatives with NeoStem and sponsorship of scientific research programs involving cutting edge adult stem cell science which does not hurt human life, we come one step closer to a breakthrough that can relieve needless human suffering,” he said.

The pontifical council is particularly excited about the company’s VSEL technology, which utilizes adult stem cells that behave like embryonic stem cells in their ability to regenerate and repair. Fr. Trafny said the technology could receive a significant financial investment from the Church.

“For over 40 years, physicians have been using adult stem cells to treat various blood cancers, but only recently has the promise of using adult stem cells to treat a significant number of other diseases begun to be realized. There are tremendous clinical and economic advantages to autologous stem cell transplantation (receiving your own stem cells) as there are no issues with immune rejection. Engraftment with your own stem cells is faster, safer and much less costly than receiving someone else’s stem cells (allogeneic),” said Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem.

The initiative will also explore the cultural relevance and theological impact of adult stem cell therapy.

“As part of the collaboration, NeoStem and the pontifical council will make efforts to develop educational programs, publications and academic courses with an interdisciplinary approach for theological and philosophical faculties, including those of bioethics, around the world,” said Tuesday’s Vatican communique.

“One of the initiatives,”  the statement added, “will be a three-day international conference at the Vatican on adult stem cell research, including VSEL technology (which uses very small embryonic-like stem cells), that will focus on medical research presentations and theological and philosophical considerations and implications of scientific achievements.”

via Catholic Church announces adult stem cell venture with Neostem :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Research confirms presence of stem cells in human milk

In ALL ARTICLES on May 26, 2010 at 3:14 am

Research confirms presence of stem cells in human milk

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 AT 12:00 AM (IST)

PUNE: Gynaecologist and infertility specialist Dr Satish Patki from Kolhapur and technical director, Stempeutics Research, Malaysia and senior scientist, National Centre for Cell Science Pune, Dr Ramesh Bhonde have collaborated on a research in which they have demonstrated the presence of stem cells in human milk.

They have also documented for the first time in literature the potential of these stem cells, isolated from human milk to differentiate into various other types of cells like insulin producing cells of pancreas, bone cells etc.

“We are floating stem cells derived from breast milk as a drug for neonatal diseases like sepsis, respiratory diseases and others, which lead to infant mortality. Oral stem cell therapy only works in the case of infants. The stem cells from mother’s milk can be cultured and stored in stem cell banks,” said Dr Bhonde…

via Sakaal Times.


In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on May 26, 2010 at 3:08 am

Discovery of Stem Cell Illuminates Human Brain Evolution, Points to Therapies

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2010) — UCSF scientists have discovered a new stem cell in the developing human brain. The cell produces nerve cells that help form the neocortex — the site of higher cognitive function — and likely accounts for the dramatic expansion of the region in the lineages that lead to humans, the researchers say.

Future studies of these cells are expected to shed light on developmental diseases such as autism and schizophrenia and malformations of brain development, including microcephaly, lissencephaly and neuronal migration disorders, they say, as well as age-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease…

via Discovery of stem cell illuminates human brain evolution, points to therapies.

New study on stem cells in cord suggest delayed cord clamping after birth

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 26, 2010 at 3:03 am

What if you found out there was a method by which to increase the potential of the following benefits to your baby during delivery:

  • improving hemacrit levels
  • improving respiratory functions
  • reducing incidence of sepsis
  • encouraging organ growth in preterm infants
  • lowering the rate of transfusions for anemia
  • reducing incidence of hemorrhage
  • having stable glucose levels.

What if you found out the method was both free and easy.

There is.  Stem cells in umbilical cord, when given more opportunity to travel from the mother, into the baby, do all of the above.

Makes sense right?  It’s also true.

“In each trial, delayed cord clamping (DCC) was shown to have statistically significant benefits to babies.”

Every now and then, an article comes out and I am struck by the obviousness of the results and wonder why nobody ever thought of it before (including me). -dg

New study on stem cells in cord suggest delayed cord clamping after birth

May 25, 10:35 AM Seattle Women’s Issues Examiner Emily Flynn

Here’s the typical scene: Mom delivers baby. Baby has some suction to help clear the mucous from it’s nose and mouth. A pink, screaming baby! Cord is clamped and doctor asks Daddy, “Do you want to cut the cord now?”

That all happens in a matter of seconds, but there’s a good bit of new evidence that suggests that at least the last part, cord clamping and cutting, should be delayed not just by a matter of seconds, but by several minutes.

The University of South Florida study in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine is the most recent in a series of trials testing the benefits and risks of delayed cord clamping. Studies where conducted to test the effectiveness of delayed clamping for increasing hemacrit levels, improving respiratory functions, reducing incidence of sepsis, encouraging organ growth in preterm infants, lowering the rate of transfusions for anemia, reducing incidence of hemorrhage, and having stable glucose levels. In each trial, delayed cord clamping (DCC) was shown to have statistically significant benefits to babies–both preterm and term, born vaginally or via cesarean.

The JCMM article looked specifically at the effect of stem cell transfer from placenta to baby as the cord continues to pulse minutes after birth. As the abstract states:

[S]ince it was known that umbilical cord blood contains various valuable stem cells…the merit of delayed cord clamping has been magnified.

Commenting on this study on LiveScience, Paul Sanberg, the lead researcher, noted that this is an evolutionarily significant process, to let the cord continue pulsing–one that is practiced in all mammals, save for humans in Westernized societies. By giving the placenta time to transfer it’s full nutritional, oxygenated, and stem cell enriched blood to the baby immediately postpartum, we are giving our children the best shot at full development. Sanberg goes so far as to comment on the squatting position for delivery–one that is commonly adopted by women spontaneously in the second stage of labor (pushing)–as being the most beneficial for stem cell transfer, thanks to the aid of gravity.

Further comment on the advantages of delayed cord clamping can be easily found through a number of scientific journals.

Recently, the Journal of Perinatology published the results of a trial at the Women and Infants’ Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, assessing the benefits and risks of delayed cord clamping, particularly for infants with very low birth weights (VLBW). The trial sought to clarify a decade worth of studies on this subject to hopefully ween out some of the methodological errors in the previous trials. The researchers noted:

At term, approximately two-thirds of the fetal – placental blood volume (FPBV) is in the fetus. In a preterm pregnancy, approximately one half of the FPBV is in the placenta leaving the preterm fetus more vulnerable when the cord is clamped immediately because the infant receives very little placental transfusion. During transition from fetal to neonatal life, there is an increase in the circulatory bed as various organs—lung, liver, kidney, etc.—begin to assume the functions sustained by the placenta during fetal life. This increase in circulatory bed or capacity may need additional blood volume that is deprived by immediate cord clamping. The resulting relative hypovolemia leads to decreased blood pressure, poorer perfusion, fewer available nutrients, and may create a subtle hypoxia or hypoxemia that may adversely affect the organs at the cellular level.

The study also found that infants who had delayed cord clamping showed lower incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)–a breakdown of intestinal tissue–and better feeding capabilities than those who had immediate cord clamping (ICC).

Improved lung capability and a reduced incidence in supplemental oxygen has been noted in several studies, including the above mentioned two, as being relative to delayed cord clamping. It is thought by some researchers to be a result of the increased blood volume shown in infants who had DCC versus ICC. Often, early clamping is done to bring the baby to a warming bed to be oxygenated, but many studies have shown that keeping the cord pulsing does a great deal to encourage successful oxygenation and improve resuscitation outcomes. The added benefit of keeping the infant in the mother’s arms can go a long way

For decades, babies were whisked away to warming beds immediately after birth, deeming the immediate cutting of the cord necessary. More recent studies show that having the infant placed on the mother’s abdomen immediately after birth and staying with the mother for an extended period of time has tremendous benefits for both mother and baby. This allows for delayed cord clamping, and even the practice of lotus birth–keeping the umbilical cord and placenta attached till it naturally separates from the child–possible for families who choose to practice this tradition. In any regard, waiting for the cord to stop pulsing does not barre the care providers from performing any standard newborn procedures–many of which can be delayed for the few minutes it takes to wait for the pulsing to stop, and/or can be done while the infant remains in the mother’s arms.

Regardless of your chosen place of birth–homebirth, birthing center, or hospital–talk with your care provider about the possibility of having delayed cord clamping. Most care providers won’t have a problem with allowing the few precious minutes it takes for this to happen. If you are writing a birth plan, it is a good idea to put your intentions for delayed clamping in this, as well, and to inform your nursing staff if you are birthing in the hospital.

via New study on stem cells in cord suggest delayed cord clamping after birth.


In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on May 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

My new friend, Dan just posted –

Can Web 2.0 Really Save Clinical Trial Participation Rates?

It never ceases to amaze me that people think that technology alone can improve clinical trial participation rates. What they need to understand is that potential study participants want to actually LEARN more about clinical trials before they sign up for a study. Having an app that can find open studies available for your phone is not going to encourage anyone to actually join a study. What is missing is the human touch, and research professionals doing more education themselves and not outsourcing study participant recruitment to third party vendors.  Via: Save Clinical Trial



Dan poses an interesting question that got me thinking. In support and response, here are a few of my thoughts…


A few thoughts…

  • ***I fully support and applaud Dan’s movement/efforts to re-evaluate and reform the clinical trial parameters and process so it is more patient friendly.
  • ***Changing the trial process to help those within the trial is a great step in the right direction.
  • ***I would further like to see the process changed to help those patients outside of the trials who are sick, desperate and with no available options ‘to get better’ within our current medical practices.

A few facts…

  • ***1938 – the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was the first attempt to regulate cosmetics and medical devices requiring that drugs be proven safe prior to marketing.
  • ***It typically costs 500-700 million dollars and 7-10 years to bring a drug public, including the clinical trial process.
  • ***The current clinical trial process severely limits the available treatments for thousands of disorders because there just is no hope of recouping the expenditure to study them properly.  For ex: A very effective drug for treating a rare form of glioblastoma drug was abandoned because there was only 23,000 people in the US with the disease [ $500mil/$23k = ~$22k per patient just to break even on the expenditure!! ]
  • ***The clinical trial process is based on an outdated and “broken” paradigm that has let many drugs pass only to be pulled off of the market when patients started developing serious complications or dying from the “safe and approved” drugs.
  • ***New technologies like stem cells are now available all over the world except in the US because the FDA is trying to force stem cells to be a “clinical trial drug” which they are not.

A few conclusions…

  • 1.  The clinical trial process from soup to nuts MUST be revamped…perhaps with many of the ideas Dan proposed.
  • 2.  The clinical trial process must be reformed based on the goal of “treating more patients and more diseases safely and well”…not the goal of “recouping expenditures for the trials.”
  • 3.  The clinical trial process must be torn down and rebuilt anew for those procedures that exist outside of the historic and pre-conceived notions of medicine…those that are not “DRUGS,” like adult or repair stem cell treatments.

Charlestown boy’s sight improves after stem cell treatment

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 25, 2010 at 10:00 am

IMPROVEMENT: Connor Wink, 11, and his mother Tracey.

Charlestown boy’s sight improves after stem cell treatment

BY DONNA SHARPE – 18 May, 2010 10:44 AM

A CHARLESTOWN boy is showing marked signs of improvement in sight after his first round of stem cell treatment.

Connor Wink, 11, and his mother Tracey recently returned from China where he received a round of injections, which are not available in Australia.

The treatment appears to have had dramatic results.

Connor has gained light perception, a sign the treatment is working.

Born blind, he also suffers nystagmus, a condition which means Connor has poor muscle control causing his eyes to move frequently.

“That has slowed right down so it’s certainly a big plus,” Mrs Wink said.

Connor is the second Hunter child to undergo stem cell treatment in China.

Holly Arvidson, 12, of Denman, is having a second round of the procedure in a bid to restore her sight.

For the past 12 months, The Herald has been following the progress of Holly, who is in China with her family for the treatment which involves stem cell injections, acupuncture and bone marrow cultivation.

The treatment is only available in a handful of hospitals worldwide. It has an 80 per cent success rate but since Holly’s first round her condition has not changed.

Mrs Wink said she is praying Holly receives a positive result this time.

“Connor was lucky and we have seen improvements. We were sitting in front of a fire at the weekend and he could tell when someone was putting logs on it,” she said.

The Charlestown community and Connor’s school, Hillsborough Public, helped raise money for the China trip.

“We still have enough money to travel for Connor’s second round of treatment thanks to those earlier fund-raising efforts which Connor was a big part of, raising $6000 busking.”

via Charlestown boy’s sight improves after stem cell treatment – Local News – News – General – The Herald.

Autologous Blood Stem Cell Transplant Improves Survival for Children with Advanced Neuroblastoma : Cancer News

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 24, 2010 at 8:09 pm

The stem cells that worked in these children are autologus stem cells (autologus means: from the patient’s own body).  They are ADULT or REPAIR stem cells, not embryonic and not induced pluripotent.  Why? Because:


Autologous Blood Stem Cell Transplant Improves Survival for Children with Advanced Neuroblastoma

Two sequential doses of high-dose chemotherapy each supported by autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation was shown to be very effective in the treatment of advanced neuroblastoma in children, according to a study performed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and several other medical centers…

via Autologous Blood Stem Cell Transplant Improves Survival for Children with Advanced Neuroblastoma : Cancer News.

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