DAVID GRANOVSKY

Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

ROBIN ROBERTS HEALS WITH ADULT STEM CELLS, BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

RobinRoberts73

Robin Roberts Returns to GMA. Use of adult stem cells to treat her blood disorder overlooked

Once again a jaunt on the old Gold’s Gym treadmill paid results. Although I had forgotten all about it, Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts was making her triumphant return to ABC’s #1 rated morning show after being on medical leave following a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

It was great television: a close up of Roberts who told her audience, “”I’ve been waiting 174 days to say this: ‘Good morning, America.’”

During the course of the program (obviously much of which was devoted to Roberts), she reflected on faith, family and physicians.

“There’s so many people that I want to thank throughout the morning, my doctors and nurses and family and colleagues and people who have sat in this chair and those who have blazed the trail before me,” Roberts said. “As my mother said, ‘We all have something.’ Everyone’s story has purpose and meaning and value and I share this morning, this day of celebration with everyone.”

Besides a wonderful story of triumphing over cancer, there is a special association for pro-lifers. Indeed, if the full ramifications of the stories about Roberts were more widely known, it would be a real eye-opener.

MDS damages the bone marrow, making it no longer able to make the healthy cells and platelets we all need to live. Her older sister, Sally-Ann, was Robin’s bone marrow donor. In the procedure, a patient’s damaged bone marrow is eradicated and then replaced with healthy, donated marrow.

Although the words were not used, in fact, the transplant is another example of the successful, even routine use of adult stem cells.

As we reported at the time of the transplant, hematologist-oncologist Colleen Delaney, director of the program in cord blood transplant and research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said, “We always call it a bone marrow transplant, but really it is a transplant with blood stem cells.”

Another terrific source is umbilical cord blood.

Obviously there is a better chance of success the closer the match between donor and recipient cells. Ms. Roberts was especially fortunate because her sister was an excellent match. (Finding a family match happens only about 30% of the time, according to a USA Today’s story.)

“The other 70% (more than 10,000 patients each year) have to turn to an unrelated adult donor or donated umbilical cord blood,” wrote Michelle Healy. “Often treated as waste and discarded, umbilical cords and placentas are rich with blood-forming cells, and more recent studies show the outcomes of cord blood transplants ‘are just as good as conventional donor outcomes,’ Delaney said.”

And “Because cord blood transplants don’t require the close genetic matching needed for more conventional bone marrow transplants, they hold special promise for the thousands of patients each year who can’t find a well-matched, unrelated donor, a particular challenge for people of mixed ethnicity and minority backgrounds, says Delaney.”

NRL News Today asked Dr. David Prentice, an expert on the issue of stem cells, to comment. “It is so heartening to see her return, and it further validates the life-saving abilities of adult stem cells,” he said. “I hope she’ll become a champion to speak out and educate people about the real promise of stem cells–adult stem cells.  Many more lives could be saved if only more people were aware of the successes, shown by her example and thousands of others.”

Prentice noted that “No doubt, it’s a harrowing experience for MDS patients leading up to the transplant, with chemotherapy to destroy the cancer in the body.” However, “the adult stem cell transplant is a short and simple procedure—an IV injection into a vein, and the millions of adult stem cells begin looking for a new home. In this case, they will look to make themselves at home as new bone marrow, and begin producing new red blood cells to carry oxygen, white blood cells for immunity, and platelets for clotting.”

His conclusion speaks volume:

“The more we focus on adult stem cells, the sooner we’ll find gentler and more efficient methods for transplants like this one, for other types of cancers, for anemias, as well as spinal cord injury, heart damage, and dozens of other conditions.  Adult stem cells are truly the patient’s best friend.”

HUMAN NOSE GROWN THROUGH STEM CELLS ON PATIENTS ARM

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

nose-growing-on-arm-omg

Havana (PL). – A British businessman suffering from a cancer that cost him his nose expects to recover the affected organ by a novel technique of reconstruction from its own tissue.  The procedure is being developed by researchers from the University College London (UCL), and it is about making the nasal appendage grow into the patient’s arm in order to transplant it later to the face, hoping also this part can recover the sense of smell.

According to experts, the new nose began to form in a biodegradable mold -based on the original one- with a synthetic material where millions of stem cells were injected.  At the same time they worked the skin of one of the arms, which was extended gradually with a small inflated ball housed beneath the surface. Two months later the ball was replaced by the nose in training, where the appendix is now acquiring networks of nerves and small blood vessels, as well as a skin cover.

After three months, the nose will be grafted into the man’s face, in an operation so precise that it should leave no scars. Whereas his arm will return to normal, said the attending physician team.  Scientists are convinced of the success of the procedure, and they explained that the nasal structure will be even slightly curved to the left, very similar to that lost as a result of their illness.

Some time ago a team of Spanish surgeons rebuilt the face of two children who suffered a serious facial hemiatrophy with adult stem cells extracted from adipose tissue of patients.  This technique, which not only generates volume but also regenerates tissues, is about practicing millimeter punctures in the children abdomen, in order to suck, through liposuction cannulas, the fat that is deposited there.  The material is processed in an aseptic manner, and from the fat are extracted the purest stomach stem cells with the higher regenerative properties, which are mixed with the fatty tissue for immediate re implantation into the patient, in an operation not very complex, they said.

The benefits of this therapy can be transferred to any other soft tissue atrophy, and the results are evident in a few months, because stem cells are regenerated and optimize the quality of the implant after a while, they said.

In fact, a similar technique for breast reconstruction and for improving cardiac function in myocardial infarction has been used.  Besides it has been successful in repairing tissues such as the trachea, esophagus and skeletal muscle in animal and human models, while advancing in the regeneration of organs such as liver, heart and lungs.

CELL THERAPY AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE

Throughout life, cells forming tissues wear out and are degenerated. Advances in medicine based on replacement techniques of damaged tissue have been a revolution not without problems, including the limitation on the number of donor organs, and immunological complications (graft rejection), partly resolved with medication.  It is known that tissue forming part of the body have naturally the intrinsic capacity to self-renew, a process which occurs thanks to the remaining cells with capacity of differentiation.  This has opened a new era in the so-called regenerative medicine using stem cells, which is nothing but exploiting the natural mechanisms of cell renewal to repair damaged tissues, a new concept that opens possible therapeutic paths for certain diseases considered incurable at present.

The old dream of scientists to create organs on demand seems, judging by the progress made, ever closer.

* Journalist of the Science and Technology Editorial Department of Prensa Latina News Agency.

STASH OF STEM CELLS FOUND IN A HUMAN PARASITE

In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 25, 2013 at 9:00 am
A composite image of a scanning electron micrograph of a pair of male and female Schistosoma mansoni with the outer tegument (skin) of the male worm "peeled back" (digitally) to reveal the stem cells (orange) underneath.

A composite image of a scanning electron micrograph of a pair of male and female Schistosoma mansoni with the outer tegument (skin) of the male worm “peeled back” (digitally) to reveal the stem cells (orange) underneath.

Stash of Stem Cells Found in a Human Parasite

The parasites that cause schistosomiasis, one of the most common parasitic infections in the world, are notoriously long-lived. Researchers have now found stem cells inside the parasite that can regenerate worn-down organs, which may help explain how they can live for years or even decades inside their host.

Schistosomiasis is acquired when people come into contact with water infested with the larval form of the parasitic worm Schistosoma, known as schistosomes. Schistosomes mature in the body and lay eggs that cause inflammation and chronic illness. Schistosomes typically live for five to six years, but there have been reports of patients who still harbor parasites decades after infection.  According to new research from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator Phillip Newmark, collections of stem cells that can help repair the worms’ bodies as they age could explain how the worms survive for so many years. The new findings were published online on February 20, 2013, in the journal Nature.

The stem cells that Newmark’s team found closely resemble stem cells in planaria, free-living relatives of the parasitic worms. Planaria rely on these cells, called neoblasts, to regenerate lost body parts. Whereas most adult stem cells in mammals have a limited set of possible fates—blood stem cells can give rise only to various types of blood cells, for example —planarian neoblasts can turn into any cell in the worm’s body under the right circumstances.  Newmark’s lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has spent years focused on planaria, so they knew many details about planarian neoblasts —what they look like, what genes they express, and how they proliferate. They also knew that in uninjured planarians, neoblasts maintain tissues that undergo normal wear and tear over the worm’s lifetime.

“We began to wonder whether schistosomes have equivalent cells and whether such cells could be partially responsible for their longevity,” says Newmark.

Following this hunch, and using what they knew about planarian neoblasts, post-doctoral fellow Jim Collins, Newmark, and their colleagues hunted for similar cells in Schistosoma mansoni, the most widespread species of human-infecting schistosomes.  Their first step was to look for actively dividing cells in the parasites. To do this, they grew worms in culture and added tags that would label newly replicated DNA as cells prepare to divide; this label could later be visualized by fluorescence. Following this fluorescent tag, they saw a collection of proliferating cells inside the worm’s body, separate from any organs.

The researchers isolated those cells from the schistosomes and studied them individually. They looked like typical stem cells, filled with a large nucleus and a small amount of cytoplasm that left little room for any cell-type-specific functionality. Newmark’s lab observed the cells and found that they often divided to give rise to two different cells: one cell that continued dividing, and another cell that did not.  “One feature of stem cells,” says Newmark, “is that they make more stem cells; furthermore, many stem cells undergo asymmetric division.” The schistosomes cells were behaving like stem cells in these respects. The other characteristic of stem cells is that they can differentiate into other cell types.  To find out whether the schistosome cells could give rise to multiple types of cells, Newmark’s team added the label for dividing cells to mice infected with schistosomes, waited a week, and then harvested the parasites to see where the tag ended up. They could detect labeled cells in the intestines and muscles of the schistosomes, suggesting that stem cells incorporating the labels had developed into both intestinal and muscle cells.

Years of previous study on planarians by many groups paved the way for this type of work on schistosomes, Newmark says.

“The cells we found in the schistosome look remarkably like planarian neoblasts. They aren’t associated with any one organ, but can give rise to multiple cell types. People often wonder why we study the ‘lowly’ planarian, but this work provides an example of how basic biology can lead you, in unanticipated and exciting ways, to findings that are directly relevant to important public health problems.”

Newmark says the stem cells aren’t necessarily the sole reason schistosome parasites survive for so many years, but their ability to replenish multiple cell types likely plays a role. More research is needed to find out how the cells truly affect lifespan, as well as what factors in the mouse or human host spur the parasite’s stem cells to divide, and whether the parasites maintain similar stem cells during other stages of their life cycle.

The researchers hope that with more work, scientists will be able to pinpoint a way to kill off the schistosome stem cells, potentially shortening the worm’s lifespan and treating schistosome infections in people.

http://www.sciencedaily.com

BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ELDERLY STEM CELL PATIENTS

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm
Stem Cell Transplantation Safe For Elderly Patients

learnjiujitsu11513

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Researchers have shown that stem cell transplantation for elderly patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), is safe and effective, according to research presented last week in Salt Lake City at the 2013 BMT Tandem Meetings, the combined annual meetings of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research.

Prior to this study, little was known about the safety of stem cell transplants in patients over the age of 70, who may have previously been excluded as candidates for stem cell transplantation because of their age.

This news about stem cell transplants comes as Robin Roberts returns as a host of Good Morning America tomorrow, five months after her successful transplant for MDS, a pre-leukemia blood disease that affects healthy blood cell formation in the bone marrow.  Although Roberts is younger, more than 80% of newly diagnosed MDS cases occur in people over the age of 60.

According to the research presented at the BMT Tandem Meetings, 56 patients age 70 or older, most of whom received transplants for acute leukemia or MDS, were identified for the study.  After being treated with low doses of chemotherapy and radiation, the majority of the patients received a peripheral blood stem cell transplant from a matched unrelated donor, while the remainder of the group received a transplant from a matched related donor.

surfing granny

Among the findings in 46 patients who experienced nadir (when blood cell counts are at their lowest):

  • the median time for blood cell counts to return to normal was 13 days;
  • one year after transplant, the incidence of chronic graft-versus-host disease, a common transplant complication, was 37%;
  • the incidence of survival without disease progression one year after transplant was 42%;
  • the incidence of overall survival one year after transplant was 55%;
  • the cumulative incidence of relapse was 34%;
  • at day 100, a critical time for stem cell transplants, the incidence of non-relapse mortality was only 3.6%; and
  • the incidence of non-relapse mortality one year after transplant was only 5.5%.

“Particularly newsworthy in this year in which we celebrated the performance of the 1 millionth transplant worldwide were the presentations related to increasing the use of stem cell transplantation in older patients with acute leukemia and MDS,” said Sergio Giralt , MD, president-elect of the ASBMT and the hematologist/oncologist who performed Roberts’ stem cell transplant.  “This abstract presented at the BMT Tandem Meetings demonstrates the feasibility and relatively good outcomes of patients over the age of 70 undergoing stem cell transplantation for a variety of blood cancers.”

The BMT Tandem Meetings abstract book is published as a supplement to the February issue of Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the ASBMT.  The study, led by Andrew Brunner , MD, was conducted by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, both located in Boston.

The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation is an international professional membership association of physicians, investigators and other healthcare professionals promoting blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapy research, education, scholarly publication and clinical standards.

Contact:
Thomas L. Joseph , MPS, CAE
Executive Director, ASBMT
(847) 427-0224

SOURCE American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stem-cell-transplantation-safe-for-elderly-patients-191850851.html

Elderly MDS Patients May Achieve Long-Term Survival From Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCO 2012)

Elderly patients with myelodysplastic syndromes or acute myeloid leukemia may experience long-term survival after undergoing stem cell transplantation, according to a recent study conducted at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

STEM CELL TRAIL BLAZER RICHARD HUMPHRIES WILL BE MISSED

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

richard humphries

Richard Davis Humphries was a trail blazer in the area of adult stem cell treatments and his strength and passion will be missed. His successful treatment and recovery from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2007 enlightened untold numbers to the benefits and safety of adult stem cell treatments. If you didn’t know him, here’s a small piece of his battle and recovery from MS:

In March of 2007, “Humphries, a 54-year-old Alexandria native who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, was bedridden and suffering from excruciating pain with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

“Very few people know this,” he said, “but I prayed to die every day and night, for the pain was off the charts.”…

…”The night after the second injection, I started to feel better and the fog had lifted. The time was midnight, and I had not been able to stay up that late in some time. The pain was gone….

HUMPHRIES WAS THE FIRST ADIPOSE (FAT TISSUE) DERIVED STEM CELL RECIPIENT IN THE WORLD.  STEM CELLS FROM FAT HAVE SOME OF THE HIGHEST REGENERATIVE CAPABILITIES AND ARE FOUND IN SUPER ABUNDANCE, MAKING THEM AN IDEAL SOURCE FOR TREATMENT.


…In February (2008?), Humphries underwent another experimental stem cell treatment to regrow inner ear nerve hairs. It not only improved his hearing but helped him tolerate heat, which can be a problem for people with MS…

“It’s an amazing recovery,” Ichem said (Dr. Tom Ichem of San Diego, a scientist). “I was with him in (Washington) D.C. and spent three days with him, and I was, honestly, bona fide flabbergasted. It’s one thing to read about recoveries like this, but to see it first hand — I hate to say ‘miracle,’ but it was absolutely something very, very stunning. Usually when we develop new treatments, we see results with some impact, but I’ve never seen this kind of stunning impact. It literally shocked me.”

Rest In Peace my friend. You will be missed.

PIONEERING??? Heart Study

In ALL ARTICLES, CATCH UP!, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

This makes me crazy.  Thousands, maybe tens of thousands treated to date successfully with studies going back to 2002 and they call this brand new study pioneering?  Consider the triple blind study protocol used:

  • 1/3 RECEIVE NOTHING AT ALL
  • 1/3 RECEIVE A PLACEBO
  • 1/3 RECEIVE STEM CELLS

The odds are not in his favor to even get the treatment.  It’s time to catch up to the rest of the world. – DG

DeBary man takes part in pioneering stem cell study

Dr. David Henderson, left, talks to his patient Robert Anderson, 64, of DeBary recently at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Anderson is participating in a clinical research trial that uses a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate cardiovascular tissue. He was the first patient to enroll in the clinical study that started in December at Cardiology Research Associates of Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center.

News-Journal/STEVEN NOTARAS

By
STAFF WRITER
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 5:41 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH — At 44, Robert Anderson’s career as a chemical engineer was cut short due to pain in his chest and jaw.

A few years earlier doctors had performed bypass surgery on Anderson to repair the deteriorating muscle around his heart. Like 850,000 Americans, Anderson suffers from angina, which causes chest discomfort due to coronary heart disease.

But the surgery was a temporary fix for Anderson, whose diabetes worsened his heart condition. As the pain in his jaw and chest increased when he walked, the DeBary resident was forced into early retirement.

For the past 20 years, Anderson’s life has been limited by his heart condition, which has only worsened.

With no surgical options left, Anderson is hoping his participation in a clinical research trial that uses a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate cardiovascular tissue will improve his quality of life. Some patients taking part in the study also were injected with a placebo…

ADULT STEM CELLS USED TO SUCCESSFULLY REBUILD A HUMAN TRACHEA

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 20, 2013 at 9:03 am

trachea

Tissue-Engineered Trachea Transplant Is Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough

The first tissue-engineered trachea (windpipe), utilizing the patient’s own stem cells, has been successfully transplanted into a young woman with a failing airway. The bio-engineered trachea immediately provided the patient with a normally functioning airway, thereby saving her life.  These remarkable results provide crucial new evidence that adult stem cells, combined with biologically compatible materials, can offer genuine solutions to other serious illnesses.  In particular, the successful outcome shows it is possible to produce a tissue-engineered airway with mechanical properties that permit normal breathing and which is free from the risks of rejection seen with conventional transplanted organs. The patient has not developed antibodies to her graft, despite not taking any immunosuppressive drugs. Lung function tests performed two months after the operation were all at the better end of the normal range for a young woman.

The loss of a normal airway is devastating, but previous attempts to replace large airways have met serious problems. The 30-year-old mother of two, suffering from collapsed airways following a severe case of TB, was hospitalized in March 2008 with acute shortness of breath rendering her unable to carry out simple domestic duties or care for her children. The only conventional option remaining was a major operation to remove her left lung which carries a risk of complications and a high mortality rate.  Based on successful laboratory work previously performed by the team, and given the urgency of the situation, it was proposed that the lower trachea and the tube to the patient’s left lung (bronchus) should be replaced with a bio-engineered airway based on the scaffold of a human trachea.

A seven-centimeter tracheal segment was donated by a 51-year-old transplant donor who had who had died of cerebral hemorrhage. Spain has a policy of assumed consent for organ donation. Using a new technique developed in Padua University, the trachea was decellularised over a six-week period so that no donor cells remained.  Stem cells were obtained from the recipient’s own bone marrow, grown into a large population in Professor Martin Birchall’s lab at the University of Bristol, and matured into cartilage cells (chondrocytes) using an adapted method originally devised for treating osteoarthritis

The donor trachea was then seeded with chondrocytes on the outside, using a novel bio-reactor which incubates cells, allowing them to migrate into the tissue under conditions ideal for each individual cell type. In order to replicate the lining of the trachea, epithelial cells were seeded onto the inside of the trachea using the same bio-reactor.  Four days after seeding, the graft was used to replace the patient’s left main bronchus. The operation was performed in June 2008 at the Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, by Professor Paolo Macchiarini of the University of Barcelona.

Professor Macchiarini, lead author on the paper, said: “We are terribly excited by these results. Just four days after transplantation the graft was almost indistinguishable from adjacent normal bronchi. After one month, a biopsy elicited local bleeding, indicating that the blood vessels had already grown back successfully”.

Martin Birchall, Professor of Surgery at the University of Bristol, added: “Surgeons can now start to see and understand the very real potential for adult stem cells and tissue engineering to radically improve their ability to treat patients with serious diseases. We believe this success has proved that we are on the verge of a new age in surgical care”.

Anthony Hollander, Professor of Rheumatology and Tissue Engineering at the University of Bristol, concurred: “This successful treatment manifestly demonstrates the potential of adult stem cells to save lives”.

The patient, Claudia Castillo, a young woman from Colombia but now living in Spain, had no complications from the operation and was discharged from hospital on the tenth post-operative day. She has remained well since and has a normal quality of life. She is able to care for her children, walk up two flights of stairs and occasionally go out dancing in the evenings.

http://www.science20.com

NEW STEM CELL TREATMENT STUDY FOCUSES ON PREVENTING SIGHT LOSS FROM DIABETICS

In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

eye

Currently millions of diabetics worldwide are at risk of sight loss due to a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar causes the blood vessels in the eye to become blocked or to leak. Failed blood flow harms the retina and leads to vision impairment and if left untreated can lead to blindness.  Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast are hoping to develop a novel approach that could save the sight of millions of diabetes sufferers using adult stem cells.

The novel REDDSTAR study (Repair of Diabetic Damage by Stromal Cell Administration) involving researchers from Queen’s Centre for Vision and Vascular Science, will see them isolating stem cells from donors, expanding them in a laboratory setting and re-delivering them to a patient where they help to repair the blood vessels in the eye. This is especially relevant to patients with diabetes were the vessels of the retina become damaged.

At present there are very few treatments available to control the progression of diabetic complications. There are no treatments which will improve glucose levels and simultaneously treat the diabetic complication.  The research is being carried out with NUI Galway and brings together experts from Northern Ireland, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and the US.

Professor Alan Stitt, Director of the Centre for Vision and Vascular Science in Queen’s and lead scientist for the project said: “The Queen’s component of the REDDSTAR study involves investigating the potential of a unique stem cell population to promote repair of damaged blood vessels in the retina during diabetes. The impact could be profound for patients, because regeneration of damaged retina could prevent progression of diabetic retinopathy and reduce the risk of vision loss.

“Currently available treatments for diabetic retinopathy are not always satisfactory. They focus on end-stages of the disease, carry many side effects and fail to address the root causes of the condition. A novel, alternative therapeutic approach is to harness adult stem cells to promote regeneration of the damaged retinal blood vessels and thereby prevent and/or reverse retinopathy.”

“This new research project is one of several regenerative medicine approaches ongoing in the centre. The approach is quite simple: we plan to isolate a very defined population of stem cells and then deliver them to sites in the body that have been damaged by diabetes. In the case of some patients with diabetes, they may gain enormous benefit from stem cell-mediated repair of damaged blood vessels in their retina. This is the first step towards an exciting new therapy in an area where it is desperately needed.”

The project will develop ways to grow the bone-marrow-derived stem cells. They will be tested in several preclinical models of diabetic complications at centres in Belfast, Galway, Munich, Berlin and Porto before human trials take place in Denmark.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforVisionandVascularScience/

Stem cells aid recovery from stroke

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm
Stem cells aid recovery from stroke
January 27, 2013 in Medical research
Stem cells from bone marrow or fat improve recovery after stroke in rats, finds a study published in BioMed Central‘s open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Treatment with stem cells improved the amount of brain and nerve repair and the ability of the animals to complete behavioural tasks.
Stem cell therapy holds promise for patients but there are many questions which need to be answered, regarding treatment protocols and which cell types to use. This research attempts to address some of these questions. Rats were treated intravenously with stem cells or saline 30 minutes after a stroke. At 24 hours after stroke the stem cell treated rats showed a better functional recovery. By two weeks these animals had near normal scores in the tests. This improvement was seen even though the stem cells did not appear to migrate to the damaged area of brain.
The treated rats also had higher levels of biomarkers implicated in brain repair including, the growth factor VEGF. A positive result was seen for both fat (adipose) and bone-marrow derived stem cells. Dr Exuperio Díez-Tejedor from La Paz University Hospital, explained, “Improved recovery was seen regardless of origin of the stem cells, which may increase the usefulness of this treatment in human trials. Adipose-derived cells in particular are abundant and easy to collect without invasive surgery.”

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-01-stem-cells-aid-recovery.html#jCp

 

BROADCAST JOURNALIST SON TREATED WITH STEM CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

Daren DaviLa and son

Karen Davila resorts to stem-cell therapy for son’s autism

Broadcast journalist Karen Davila’s firstborn, David, was 3½ years old when he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD/NOS) in the Autism Spectrum, a severe form of autism. The development pediatrician said there was no cure for David’s condition.   “David didn’t have the classic signs of autism, but clearly he wasn’t developing like other children his age,” says Davila. “At the age of 3, he wasn’t speaking spontaneously, although he could read. He had tantrums, couldn’t express his needs, whether he was hungry or sad, and didn’t reach out to other children his age.”

Like most kids in the autism spectrum, the boy had attention difficulties. “He was spaced out most of the time, and was rigid. It was so heartbreaking to see my eldest this way,” she adds.   Davila refused to accept that there was no answer to her son’s condition. “I researched endlessly and devoted myself to making sure my son got the best possible treatment,” she says. She quickly put her son on a casein- and gluten-free diet and biomedical treatment, under the care of Defeat Autism Now (DAN)-licensed doctors.

Early last year, Davila was offered an opportunity to try the fresh cell therapy being offered by a clinic in Germany.  The stem cells are harvested from lamb fetus and injected into the patient. By then, the journalist-mom had read up on the supposed benefits of stem cell on children with special needs.  In March, mother and son flew to Frankfurt.

“I didn’t consult with David’s doctors,” Davila admits. “But I have an aggressive-progressive approach to David’s condition. I’m willing to try anything that could help my son.  Doctors will frown upon this (lamb stem cell) since it is not accepted in the medical field, but I did try it for David’s sake.”

Around June last year, Dr. Z Teo and his wife, dermatologist Aivee Aguilar-Teo, introduced autologous fat stem-cell therapy or fat stem-cell therapy in their clinic.   Dr. Teo has been performing fat stem cell repair therapy or FSCR in his clinic in Singapore for a few years.

 Unlike the sheep stem cell, FSCR harvests fat from the patient’s tummy or thigh; a machine then isolates the stem cells from the fat. The fresh stem cell is then injected back into the patient’s body to stimulate the production of new, healthy cells. In patients who are too old or too sick, or have autism like David, fat stem cells are taken from a close blood kin.

Speaking to her son’s autism specialists, Davila says they have “no strong opposition against autologous fat stem-cell therapy.”

David’s procedure is deemed safe, “but blood screening, infectious screening, and compatibility testing and complete physical checkup must be performed prior to the procedure,” says Dr. Aguilar-Teo. Compatibility testing is vital to determine which of the parents is a better-match donor, she adds.  The clinic has performed 50-60 FSCRs since last year, only a handful of which share the same case as David’s.

As for its effect on David, “after just a week or two, the results were dramatic,” Davila says. “We noticed that David was quicker in question-and-answer response. He was visibly more aware, more in the moment, and he was bantering more at home and in school.

“Earlier that year, I brought David to Germany for fresh cell therapy. The effects were quite different. I believe that stem cell coming from the human body is clearly more powerful and potent.”

The surgeons in the Teos’ clinic also injected back some of Davila’s fat stem cells into her body. Apart from its purported benefits for people with neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders, and diseases like diabetes and asthma, FSCR is largely touted for its anti-aging and aesthetic benefits.  Prominent personalities who have admitted undergoing stem-cell therapy include former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Speaking to her son’s autism specialists, Davila says they have “no strong opposition against autologous fat stem-cell therapy.”

To read full article, click HERE.

“When considering stem cell treatment you are taking your own health and well being in your hands. Do yourself a favor and surround yourself with positive open minded people who want you to recover. Is this how you describe your doctor, Your family?  Talk to patients who have been treated successfully. Embrace their health, passion and optimism and make it your own. The fastest way to greater health is to want it, believe it can happen, surround yourself with other like minded people and make it happen.”

– DG

 “Be the change u want to see in the world” – Gandhi

%d bloggers like this: