Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Stem-cell furore erupts : Nature News

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on June 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

What are iPSc?  iPSc are INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS.  In short, a scientist takes a skin cell, typically from the foreskin or testes, and regresses or devolves them into an embryonic-like stem cell (sort of like a test tube version of Benjamin Button).

It was originally hoped that IPSc would hold great promise because they had all of the benefits of embryonic stem cells (read – Pluripotency: the ability to differentiate into any of the 320+ cells in the human body) and none of the drawbacks.  Here is what we know about Embryonic stem cells:

  1. Embryonic stem cells form Cysts/Tumors
  2. Embryonic stem cells are associated with tons of Controversy
  3. After 10 years, no treatments have been developed from embryonic stem cells
  4. Many of the foremost Embryonic stem cell scientists have abandoned embryonic research for adult stem cell and iPSc research

Now, here’s the kicker.  After 2 years, extensive research based on the originally ground breaking article and a huge media following (over 4,000,000 hits on google), it turns out that not only DO iPSc form cysts/tumors…but they also may NOT be pluripotent at all.

Why did it take so long?  “Skutella (the author of the original paper)  and his co-authors said that they wanted to share the cells but that the original agreement signed by tissue donors precluded distribution to third parties….even though Nature requires its authors to share all published research resources”

Regardless of how this turns out, I guess iPSc are like embryonic stem cells:

  1. iPSc form Cysts/Tumors (like embryonic stem cells)
  2. iPSc are NOW associated with tons of Controversy (like embryonic stem cells)
  3. After 2 years, no treatments have been developed from iPSc (like embryonic stem cells)

Is this a witch hunt on Skutella? Is this a fraud perpetrated by him? Is this just a misunderstanding?  It remains to be seen but as a pivitol paper that has launched (or may end) an entire field of research and commercial treatment potential, a certain degree of data transparency should be expected.

Since when does scientific research have more drama than Grey’s Anatomy? Keep your “Eyes on the Ball” guys, “Eyes on the Ball!”  -dg


Stem-cell furore erupts

Data analysis ignites public row.

Published online 29 June 2010 | Nature | doi:10.1038/466017a – Alison Abbott

Thomas Skutella.

Long-rumbling hostilities between stem-cell researchers in Germany exploded into a blazing public row last week, after Nature published a critical reanalysis of data from a high-profile 2008 article.

The researchers behind the original work1, led by Thomas Skutella of the University of Tübingen, reported using cells from adult human testes to create pluripotent stem cells with similar properties to embryonic stem cells.

Unlike other adult cells, these reproductive or ‘germline’ stem cells can be reprogrammed for pluripotency without the need to introduce additional genes, a step that often relies on a virus. That could make them safer for future use in medicine.

The paper made headlines because such pluripotent stem cells might be used instead of ethically sensitive human embryonic tissue. Soon after its publication, however, some stem-cell scientists said that the evidence for pluripotency was unconvincing. They also complained that Skutella would not distribute cells to other labs for verification, even though Nature requires its authors to share all published research resources.

Hans Schöler, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster and an author of last week’s critical comment2, says that he proclaimed Skutella’s achievement as a breakthrough when he first saw the data at a meeting, but became doubtful after seeing the published paper. “If this paper is wrong, then a lot of scientists are wasting time, energy and money in trying to follow up on it,” he says. Others fear that the episode is undermining the credibility of the field.

In response, Skutella last week asked the DFG, Germany’s main research-funding agency, to conduct an investigation both of his paper in Nature and of what he claims is a witch-hunt against him. Schöler, who also works with germline stem cells, says that he would welcome such a move.

Pluripotent cells should form teratomas (often cancerous cysts) — encapsulated tumours comprising different cell types — when injected under the skin of mice, and also exhibit a particular profile of gene expression. “The teratoma pictures in the Nature paper were not terribly convincing but that didn’t concern me too much at first,” says Schöler. “It was the failure to provide cells that started to concern me.” After more than a year of requests for access, he decided to reanalyse data in the paper in Nature showing which genes in the disputed cells were being expressed.

Together with bioinformaticians, he compared the genes’ expression profile with those of other cells in public databases and found that it overlapped with a type of connective-tissue cell called fibroblasts but not with pluripotent stem cells. Schöler suggests that fibroblasts may have contaminated Skutella’s samples. But Skutella and his colleagues deny3 mistaking fibroblasts for pluripotent cells. Skutella says that comparison of gene-expression data is meaningless “if the cells being compared were not processed identically”.

Takashi Shinohara at Kyoto University in Japan, whose team in 2004 generated the first pluripotent germline stem cells from mice, shares Schöler’s concerns about the expression data. He says that fibroblasts and pluripotent cells have different gene-expression profiles even if the cells are not processed in similar ways, and adds that it would be helpful to see Skutella’s cells.

In a corrigendum to his original paper in August 2009, Skutella and his co-authors said that they wanted to share the cells but that the original agreement signed by tissue donors precluded distribution to third parties. (Really???) Having gained broader consent from some donors, Skutella now promises to distribute the cells once they have been quality-checked. But stem-cell researcher Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is not impressed: “It’s a big problem not providing the cells for what is nearly two years — whatever the excuses, this is bad.”

Ulrike Beisiegel, ombudsman for the DFG, says her office will decide “soon” whether to take up the investigations.

via Stem-cell furore erupts : Nature News.

The acute and long-term effects of intracoronary Stem cell Transplantation in 191 patients with chronic heARt failure: the STAR-heart study — Eur J Heart Fail

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Another study that proves that “Intracoronary BMC (bone marrow [stem] cell) therapy improves ventricular performance, quality of life and survival in patients with heart failure.”


The acute and long-term effects of intracoronary Stem cell Transplantation in 191 patients with chronic heARt failure: the STAR-heart study

1. Bodo-Eckehard Strauer*,

2. Muhammad Yousef and

3. Christiana M. Schannwell

+ Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Pneumology and Angiology, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Moorenstr 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

1. *Corresponding author. Tel: +49 211 8104848 Fax: +49 211 8118396 Email: strauer@med.uni-duesseldorf.de

* Received February 11, 2010.

* Revision received April 12, 2010.

* Accepted April 16, 2010.


Aims Despite accumulated evidence that intracoronary bone marrow cell (BMC) therapy may be beneficial in acute myocardial infarction, there are only limited data available on the effectiveness of BMC’s in chronic heart failure. The aim of this study was to quantitatively investigate ventricular haemodynamics, geometry, and contractility as well as the long-term clinical outcome of BMC treated patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) due to chronic ischaemic cardiomyopathy.

Methods and results Patients with chronic heart failure (n = 391 LVEF ≤35%) due to ischaemic cardiomyopathy were enrolled in the present study. Of these, 191 patients (mean NYHA class 3.22) underwent intracoronary BMC therapy. The control group (mean NYHA class 3.06) consisted of 200 patients with comparable LVEF. Assessments of haemodynamics at rest and exercise, quantitative ventriculography, spiroergometry, 24 h Holter ECG, late potentials, and heart rate variability were analysed. Over 3 months to 5 years after intracoronary BMC therapy there was a significant improvement in haemodynamics (e.g. LVEF, cardiac index), exercise capacity, oxygen uptake, and LV contractility. Importantly, there was a significant decrease in long-term mortality in the BMC treated patients compared with the control group.

Conclusion Intracoronary BMC therapy improves ventricular performance, quality of life and survival in patients with heart failure. These effects were present when BMC were administered in addition to standard therapeutic regimes. No side effects were observed.

via The acute and long-term effects of intracoronary Stem cell Transplantation in 191 patients with chronic heARt failure: the STAR-heart study — Eur J Heart Fail.


In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm


  1. used autologous limbal stem cells cultivated on fibrin
  2. treated 112 patients with corneal damage
  3. most had burn-dependent limbal stem-cell deficiency


  1. Permanent restoration of a transparent, renewing corneal epithelium was attained in 76.6% of eyes.
  2. Restored eyes remained stable over time, with up to 10 years of follow-up (mean, 2.91±1.99; median, 1.93).
  3. Cultures in which p63-bright cells constituted more than 3% of the total number of clonogenic cells were associated with successful transplantation in 78% of patients.




Figure 3. Regeneration of a Functional Corneal Epithelium and Restoration of Visual Acuity.

[Brief: “All three eyes had total limbal stem-cell deficiency, complete corneal opacification, and stromal scarring (images at left).  In all three patients, autologous limbal stem-cell cultures successfully regenerated functional corneal epithelium.“]

Panel A shows the left eye of Patient 93 (see Table 1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org), who had total limbal stem-cell deficiency due to an acid burn (image at left). His visual acuity was reduced to counting fingers. A graft of autologous limbal cultures was sufficient to regenerate functional corneal epithelium (image at right) and to restore normal vision (visual acuity, 0.7), since the eye had no stromal scarring. Panel B shows the eyes of Patients 22, 26, and 46 (see Table 1 in the Supplementary Appendix), which were damaged by alkali burns and were treated with unsuccessful surgery 13, 30, and 3 years before admission, respectively. All three eyes had total limbal stem-cell deficiency, complete corneal opacification, and stromal scarring (images at left). Vision was reduced to counting fingers (in Patient 22) or perceiving hand movements (in Patients 26 and 46). In all three patients, autologous limbal stem-cell cultures successfully regenerated functional corneal epithelium. To improve their visual acuity after grafting, the patients underwent penetrating keratoplasty. In all three eyes, the engrafted limbal stem cells resurfaced the donor stroma. At the last follow-up visits (at 6, 6.5, and 4 years, respectively), all eyes were covered by stable corneal epithelium (images at right). The keratoplasty resulted in complete restoration of visual acuity in Patients 22 and 46 (0.9 and 0.8, respectively). The visual acuity of Patient 26 increased to only 0.3 because of a concomitant amblyopia (the alkali burn had occurred 30 years before admission). In Patient 46, the follow-up image shows that the conjunctival vessels stop at the conjunctival–corneal boundary (arrowheads); they do not invade the restored corneal surface.


Figure 1. Kaplan–Meier Estimates of Grafted Limbal Stem-Cell Survival.

[Brief: “the final clinical outcome was deemed a success in 76.6% of the eyes treated“]

Panel A shows the survival estimates for the cultures after one graft was placed, with partial or total success attained in 68.2% of the eyes treated. Panel B shows survival estimates after a second graft was placed in 11 eyes (a total of 12 additional grafts, since 1 eye was regrafted twice), indicating either partial success or failure. After regrafting, 9 of these eyes regenerated normal epithelium. Thus, the final clinical outcome was deemed a success in 76.6% of the eyes treated. All failures occurred within the first year after grafting, whereas successful cultures remained stable for up to 10 years of follow-up.

THIS POST IS AN ADDENDUM TO EARLIER STORY:  Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows – Bloomberg – VIA

THE IMAGES AND TEXT ARE VIA: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0905955v1#F3

World Cup Soccer Players Could Benefit from Stem Cell “Repair Kit” – twitter moms: the influential moms network

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

A decade ago, stem cells and World Cup soccer would have been considered an unusual pairing yet today they can easily be found on the same playing field. Recent reports indicate that some players in top-tiered soccer leagues are storing their infants’ stem cells for possible use as a “repair kit” for future injuries.


“As a footballer, if you’re prone to injury it can mean the end of your career, so having your stem cells – a repair kit if you like – on hand makes sense,” said one unnamed Premier League player from England in a 2006 story in the London Times. “We decided to store our baby’s stem cells for possible future therapeutic reasons, both for our children and possibly for myself.”

Stem cells defined as ‘mesenchymal’ stem cells are of increasing interest to the field of regenerative medicine because they are able to become many different types of cells including bone, cartilage, tendon and more. One example of a possible application for these cells would be for the treatment of damaged knee cartilage, which is a very common athletic injury that can occur while playing sports or exercising. As a result of the injury, the joint becomes inflamed and painful. Injection of stem cells can potentially lead to cartilage rejuvenation.

via World Cup Soccer Players Could Benefit from Stem Cell “Repair Kit” – twitter moms: the influential moms network.

JAMA — Stem Cells Boost Dopamine – to help Parkinson’s

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Stem Cells Boost Dopamine

Bridget M. Kuehn

JAMA. 2010;303(24):2464.

JAMA: The  Journal Of the American Medical Association.  To Promote the Science and  Art of Medicine and the Betterment of the Public Health

  Vol. 303 No. 24, June 23/30, 2010

Since this article does not have an abstract, we have provided the first 150 words of the full text and any section headings.

Transplantation of human endometrial–derived stem cells (HEDSC) [HEDSC ARE ADULT STEM CELLS FROM THE ENDOMETRIUM] into mice with a Parkinson disease-like disorder boosted the animals’ dopamine production, according to a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The findings provide preliminary evidence that such transplantation may have therapeutic benefits in Parkinson disease.

In the study, a team of researchers from Yale University first demonstrated that HEDSC could differentiate into dopaminergic neurons in vitro (Wolff EF et al. J Cell Mol Med. 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01068.x [published ahead April 7, 2010). Next, the investigators transplanted HEDSC into both immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice with a Parkinson-like disorder. They found that the transplanted cells survived at the transplant site and also migrated to damaged brain regions and differentiated into neural cells. Both immunodeficient and immunocompetent animals that had undergone such transplants showed no sign of rejecting the transplanted cells and experienced increased . . .

via JAMA — Stem Cells Boost Dopamine, June 23/30, 2010, Kuehn 303 (24): 2464.

Isolation and expansion of functionally-competent cardiac progenitor cells directly from heart biopsies. – Johns Hopkins University (JHU) – Collexis Research Profiling 3.6

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm



Scientific Abstract of Clinical Trial below…

– – – – – – –

Isolation and expansion of functionally-competent cardiac progenitor cells directly from heart biopsies.

Davis Darryl R; Kizana Eddy; Terrovitis John; Barth Andreas S; Zhang Yiqiang; Smith Rachel Ruckdeschel; Miake Junichiro; Marbán Eduardo (Profiled Author: Marban, Eduardo)

Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA – Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology 2010;49(2):312-21.


The adult heart contains reservoirs of progenitor cells that express embryonic and stem cell-related antigens. While these antigenically-purified cells are promising candidates for autologous cell therapy, clinical application is hampered by their limited abundance and tedious isolation methods. Methods that involve an intermediate cardiosphere-forming step have proven successful and are being tested clinically, but it is unclear whether the cardiosphere step is necessary.

Accordingly, we investigated the molecular profile and functional benefit of cells that spontaneously emigrate from cardiac tissue in primary culture. Adult Wistar-Kyoto rat hearts were minced, digested and cultured as separate anatomical regions. Loosely-adherent cells that surround the plated tissue were harvested weekly for a total of five harvests. Genetic lineage tracing demonstrated that a small proportion of the direct outgrowth from cardiac samples originates from myocardial cells.

This outgrowth contains sub-populations of cells expressing embryonic (SSEA-1) and stem cell-related antigens (c-Kit, abcg2) that varied with time in culture but not with the cardiac chamber of origin. This direct outgrowth, and its expanded progeny, underwent marked in vitro angiogenic/cardiogenic differentiation and cytokine secretion (IGF-1, VGEF).

In vivo effects included long-term functional benefits as gauged by MRI following cell injection in a rat model of myocardial infarction. Outgrowth cells afforded equivalent functional benefits to cardiosphere-derived cells, which require more processing steps to manufacture. These results provide the basis for a simplified and efficient process to generate autologous cardiac progenitor cells (and mesenchymal supporting cells) to augment clinically-relevant approaches for myocardial repair.

via Isolation and expansion of functionally-competent cardiac progenitor cells directly from heart biopsies. – Johns Hopkins University (JHU) – Collexis Research Profiling 3.6.

“Stem Cell Awareness Seminar” Tampa, FLA. Aug 28, 2010

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on June 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm

“Stem Cell Awareness Seminar”

August 28,2010 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Free Admission – open to the public


Learn the Truth regarding the differences between embryonic and adult stem cell treatments. Doctors, patients and others will share their knowledge and experiences with you and answer any questions you may have on stem cells.

Regenerative stem cell therapies for diseases, disorders and injuries will be discussed: ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Ataxia, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Heart disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, ONH & optic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke patients have shown significant improvements after treatment.

Several doctors will speak about the progress they have noted in their patients. They will share information with you both pre and post stem cell therapies. You will also hear from several stem cell patients who will share their personal experiences and views of this regenerative therapy. You can also read documented case studies of adult stem cell patients.

David Granovsky, author of “The Stem Cell Blog” and the 1st children’s book on stem cells  “Super Stemmys Doris and the Super Cells” will begin the discussions.

We look forward to meeting you!


Marriott Tampa Airport Hotel
Tampa International Airport
4200 George J. Bean Pkwy.
Tampa, Florida 33607

Hotel Reservations 800-564-3440 , ask for Stem Cell awareness room block or Http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tpaap? group Code= STCSTCA


Please RSVP by filling out the following survey:



Carol Petersen
Stem Cell Advocate
Ph: 1-941-235-0088

Adult Stem Cells – Diabetes type1

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Great article and great site written by the mother of a boy who had a transplant from his own stem cells (autologous) for Type1 Diabetes and Asperger’s Syndrome! -dg

Diabetes type 1 and the Cure – What I feel Are the Most Promising

I first wanted to hear if from a child’s perspective. Here it goes:

Mom: What do you feel is the cure for diabetes?

Gabriel: What I had done.

Mom: What did you have done?

Gabriel: Stem Cells from my body.

Mom: How do you feel?

Gabriel: Good. I thank God. I just hope that my anteebuddies don’t attack my new cells.

Mom: How about if one day your Endo gives you a sheet of paper and allowed to choose one to cure you. Let’s assume you were given these options. Which one would you choose?

1. Adult stem cell transplant (what you had done)

2. Artificial pancreas

3. Islet Cell Transplantation from a donor pancreas

4. Islet Sheet

5. Pig Islet Cell Transplant

6. Stem Cell Therapy Drug(from donor) via injections

I explained the above in child’s terminology.

Gabriel: I like #1. What I had done. I know what to expect and it didn’t hurt and it was safe. I am doing well.

Mom: Why not the others?

Gabriel: I don’t know about pigs in my body. I may become one. I don’t get it. I don’t want # 2 because I already wear an insulin pump and I don’t want more things on my body. I am full of holes and this is really not the cure. It’s just something better than the pump. I don’t know about the others.

Mom: How about #6.

Gabriel: It’s something like #1, but it’s from other people’s body not my own. I want my own body to go back into my body. Why can’t they do #6 with the person’s own body? Oh, on #4…..I don’t know if that sheet will melt or pop inside my body. Do I need to go back and get a new one? how do they get the sheet inside my body? Mommy, remember when we travel and we go through those bars at the airport and I take off my pump? Would the sheet inside my body make the security bar ring? and then I cannot take it off. How about when I go to the doctor and get X-rays will it explode the sheet? I don’t think I like #4.

Mom: Good questions and I don’t know the answer. I’m assuming it will be fine.

Mom: So, what are you going to do when you are cured?

Gabriel: I will close my eyes and look at the sky and raise my hands up really really high and thank God for no more insulin, no more counting carbs, no more backpack wherever I go! And then, and then, ummmm… I will have a bubble gum party. Yes! I will have a bubble gum party!

Mom: Who are you going to invite to the bubble gum party?

Gabriel: Everyone that wants to come.

Mom: Who will pay this big party?

Gabriel: hmmmmm..You and Dad. Maybe JDRF.

via Adult Stem Cells – Diabetes type1.

Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows – Bloomberg

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 22, 2010 at 3:00 am

Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows

Patients blinded in one or both eyes by chemical burns regained their vision after healthy stem cells were extracted from their eyes and reimplanted, according to a report by Italian researchers at a scientific meeting.

Patient's Own Stem Cells Fix Damaged Eyes

The tissue was drawn from the limbus, an area at the junction of the cornea and white part of the eye. It was grown on a fibrous tissue, then layered onto the damaged eyes. The cells grew into healthy corneal tissue, transforming disfigured, opaque eyes into functioning ones with normal appearance and color, said researchers led by Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

The stem-cell treatment restored sight to more than three- quarters of the 112 patients treated, Pellegrini said yesterday in a presentation at the International Society for Stem Cell Research meeting. She estimated the work may benefit 1,000 to 2,000 patients in Europe whose eyes have been damaged by chemical burns and many more in developing countries where the use of chemicals is less regulated. Her patients were followed for an average of three years and some for as long as a decade…..

via Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows – Bloomberg.

BBC News – Frenchay Hospital trials offer MS stem cell hopes

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Almost missed this article from May 5th.  Good results. Confirms what we already know.  Bone marrow stem cells…

“increased nerve function by up to 20%.”

This is backed up by 58 articles from https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/multiple-sclerosis-and-stem-cells-need-more-info/ (There are more. This list is as of Sept, 09′) and a number of clinical trials. – dg

Frenchay Hospital trials offer MS stem cell hopes

Scientist examining tissue culture

The study has been carried out at the Burden Centre in Frenchay Hospital

Clinical trials on six multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who have had stem cell injections have produced “encouraging” results, scientists say.

The trials, which are thought to be a world first,

World first??!! What about the 23 MS/Stem Cell trials listed here: http://clinicaltrial.gov/ct2/results?term=multiple+sclerosis+stem+cell – dg

are taking place at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

The six were injected with stem cells harvested from their own bone marrow. Research found this increased nerve function by up to 20%.

…Liz Allison, one of the volunteers being studied, said: “My long-term hope is that stem cell research will be a cure for MS and will be available for everyone who is afflicted with this disease.

“It has the added benefit of being a relatively pain-free procedure and having no side effects.”

via BBC News – Frenchay Hospital trials offer MS stem cell hopes.

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