DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘United States’

STEM CELLS COME TO THE USA!!!

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on April 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

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 Stem Cells Come to the USA!

A real possibility is that all off shore facilities will go under shortly as people realize stem cells are coming to the USA.   Not only “the smart patient” but also “the smart investor” will return home.   Please forward to relevant parties and contact me if you want to know what the next step is to US based stem cell facilities and treatments.

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Brownback signs into law bill establishing adult stem cell research and treatment at KU Medical Center

Topeka — In a mix of science and anti-abortion politics, Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday signed into law a bill that establishes the nation’s first adult stem cell research and treatment center at the Kansas University Medical Center.

“I am honored to sign this bill of hope and promise and current treatments,” Brownback said.

Brownback described adult stem cell and umbilical cord blood research as an “exploding” area of new discoveries to treat people with a wide range of diseases. “KU will be the leader, Kansas will be the leader, which is fabulous in this burgeoning field,” he said.

But the bill carried political overtones.

It was sponsored by vehement abortion opponents and pushed by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group.

In addition, KU never asked for the legislation establishing what will be known as the Midwest Stem Cell Center, and the Legislature has yet to produce the estimated $1.1 million needed for the center’s startup.

Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at KU Medical Center, on Monday speaks during Gov. Sam Brownback’s bill-signing ceremony on legislation establishing the Midwest Stem Adult Stem Cell Center.  The center will be charged with working on adult stem cell, cord blood and related stem cell research, providing therapies to patients and serving as a clearinghouse for physicians on cutting-edge treatments.  The center is prohibited from using embryonic stem cells or cells taken from aborted fetal tissue.  Abortion opponents oppose human embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of the embryo.

Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at KU Medical Center, was the only KU representative on hand at the bill-signing ceremony. He said the number of clinical trials of bone marrow stem cells for treatment of heart disease had been increasing tremendously over the past several years.

“It would be great to bring such therapies to Kansas, and the formation of such a center which would engage in adult stem cell therapy in patients would give Kansans the chance to be enrolled in such therapy and perhaps give treatment that would change their life,” he said.

David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council, said the center “puts Kansas in a leadership position.”

State Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, who carried the bill in the Legislature said she would push for funding the center when the Legislature returns May 8 for the wrap-up session.

“That’s all under discussion right now,” she said.

At the bill-signing ceremony, several people who have survived diseases spoke about their treatments and how they believed the new center would expand the availability of treatments for others.

Mary Rusco, of Wichita, said she received stem cells from an umbilical cord.

“I have been cancer free for four years now, and as far as I’m concerned I’m cured. I really appreciate the fact that Kansas is doing this so that other people can have access to this opportunity,” she said.

Terry Killman, of Independence, received a bone marrow transplant from his brother.

“This bill will make it that much better for more people to have the opportunity that I’ve had to live,” he said.

Summary of Senate Bill 199 ( .PDF )

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KIDNEY BREAKTHROUGH: COMPLETE LAB GROWN ORGAN WORKS IN RATS

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on April 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm
A brand new rat kidney being built on the scaffold of an old one <i>(Image: Ott Lab, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital)</i>

A brand new rat kidney being built on the scaffold of an old one

(Image: Ott Lab, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital)

Kidney breakthrough: complete lab-grown organ works in rats

 

  • 18:00 14 April 2013 by Andy Coghlan

 

For the first time, complete lab-grown kidneys have been successfully transplanted into rats, filtering and discharging urine as a normal kidney would.

 

The breakthrough paves the way for human-scale versions, which could potentially provide an inexhaustible supply of organs, eliminating the need for recipients to wait for a matching donor kidney Movie Camera.

 

Similar techniques have already been applied successfully in people with simpler tissue, such as windpipes. But the kidney is by far the most complex organ successfully recreated.

 

“If this technology can be scaled to human-size grafts, patients suffering from renal failure, who are currently waiting for donor kidneys, could theoretically receive an organ grown on demand,” says Harald Ott, head of the team that developed the rat kidneys at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

 

“In an ideal world, such grafts could be produced from patient-derived cells, enabling us to overcome both donor organ shortages and the need for long-term immunosuppression drugs,” says Ott. Currently in the US alone, 18,000 transplants are carried out each year, but 100,000 Americans remain on waiting lists.

 

Strip and coat

 

To make the rat kidneys, Ott and his colleagues took kidneys from healthy “donor” rats and used a chemical solution to wash away the native cells, leaving behind the organ’s scaffold. Because this is made of collagen, a biologically inert material, there is no issue of the recipient’s body rejecting it.

 

Next, the team set about regrowing the “flesh” of the organ by coating the inner surfaces of the scaffold with new cells. In the case of humans, these would likely come from the recipient, so all the flesh would be their own.

 

The kidney was too complex to use the approach applied to the windpipe – in which its scaffold was coated by simply immersing it in a bath of the recipient’s cells.

 

Instead, the team placed the kidney scaffolds in glass chambers containing oxygen and nutrients, and attached tubes to the protruding ends of the renal artery, vein and ureter – through which urine normally exits the kidney. They recoated the insides of the blood vessels by flowing human stem cells through the tubes attached to the artery and vein. Through the ureter, they fed kidney cells from newborn rats, re-coating the labyrinthine tubules and ducts that make up the kidney’s urine filtration system.

 

It took many attempts to establish the precise pressures at which to feed the cells into the organ, as if it was growing in an embryonic rat. Remarkably, given the complexity of the kidney, the cells differentiated into exactly those required in the different compartments of the organ. “We found the correct cell types homed in to specific regions in the organ matrix,” says Ott.

 

The kidneys, which took about a fortnight to fully recoat, worked both in the lab and when transplanted into rats. They filtered out and discharged urine, although they did not sieve it as well as a natural kidney would. Ott is confident that the function can be improved by refining the technique.

 

Humans and pigs

 

The team is now attempting the same procedure using human kidneys, and also pig kidneys, which could be used to make scaffolds if there were a scarcity of human donors. The team has already successfully repopulated pig kidneys with human cells, but Ott says further studies are vital to guarantee that the pig components of the organ do not cause rejection when transplanted into humans.

 

The fact that heart valves and other “inert” tissues from pigs are already successfully used in humans without rejection suggests that this will not be a big problem.

 

Other researchers working in the field hailed the team’s success at recreating such a complex organ. “The researchers have taken a technique that most in the field thought would be impossible for complex organs such as the kidney, and have painstakingly developed a method to make it work,” says Jamie Davies at the University of Edinburgh, UK, who was part of a team that last year made some headway in their attempts to grow kidneys from scratch in the lab. “By showing that recellularisation is feasible even for complicated organs, their work will stimulate similar approaches to the engineering of other body systems.”

 

Journal reference: Nature Medicine, DOI: 10.1038/nm.3154

Parkinson’s patients fund their own stem cell research

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

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Healing Parkinson’s patients with their own stem cells

Up to 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Because aging is the chief risk factor for the disease, the patient population is expected to increase as the baby boom generation gets older.  Parkinson’s selectively kills brain cells that make the neurotransmitter dopamine, which enables movement. No one knows how it happens, or how to stop it. Researchers expect that transplanted dopamine-producing brain cells will eventually die, but perhaps not for 10 to 15 years.

The most visible symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, slowed movement, stooped posture and loss of balance, and trouble speaking. People sometimes walk with a shuffling gait, and they may experience severe and chronic pain. Patients’ faces can assume a mask-like expression.  Drugs that provide dopamine or mimic its effects can partially relieve the symptoms, but they produce side effects such as uncontrolled movement. Also, their effectiveness decreases over time.

A groundbreaking stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s disease is getting close to moving from lab research in La Jolla to therapy for patients. The research, funded by the patients and their supporters, could also pioneer a new model for moving medical advances from the lab into the clinic.

Eight Parkinson’s patients have allied with scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and medical professionals from Scripps Clinic for the project, which involves creating new brain cells from other cells in their own bodies. Because of the unusual, personalized nature of the research, the patients are participating with scientists and doctors as equals, meeting regularly to review the progress.

The ambitious goal is to relieve the movement difficulties Parkinson’s causes by replacing the brain cells the disease destroys. In theory, it would restore near-normal movement for a decade or more, and the procedure could be repeated as needed.

Research is far enough along that scientists and health care professionals in the project are talking to regulators about beginning clinical trials, perhaps as soon as next year.

The replacement brain cells are now being grown in a lab at The Scripps Research Institute. Patches of skin the diameter of a pencil eraser were removed from the patients’ arms and turned into a new kind of stem cell that acts like embryonic stem cells. Called induced pluripotent stem cells, they were discovered in 2006, a feat honored by a Nobel Prize last year.

These IPS cells can become nearly any kind of cell in the body… Another potential advantage of IPS cells over embryonic stem cells is that they should be less prone to rejection by the patients’ immune systems, because the transplanted cells come from the individuals themselves.

Patient Cassandra Peters, 57, learned of the reality of Parkinson’s and the hope of a new treatment in a visit with Dr. Houser, her neurologist.  “Interestingly, when I first had a conversation with her, when she definitively told me I had Parkinson’s, she said to me, quote, “You will have a stem cell procedure in your lifetime.”  I took that ball and held it in my heart, thinking, this is going to be my ‘get out of jail free’ card.  Not a day goes by when I don’t have an opportunity to share what I’m going through now and what the future might hold,” Peters said.

Ileana Slavin, a research associate in the lab of Jeanne Loring, and Suzanne Peterson, a staff scientist, discuss what it means for scientists to directly meet the people they’re trying to help.  Diabetes researcher Matthias von Herrath of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology said the work could help scientists developing stem cell therapies for diabetics,” von Herrath said. “And that’s going to open the door for these type of stem cells.”

Loring’s researchers are reaching the final stages of their part of the project. They have made induced pluripotent stem cells from all eight patients, and have turned those into the needed brain cells for two of them. The work continues for the other six.

Parkinson’s represents the “low-hanging fruit” of neurological diseases for stem cell therapy.  We know what cell types are lost in Parkinson’s disease,” Bratt-Leal said in a March 8 meeting of the group. “We can make them from stem cells.  And now we can make stem cells from adult tissues.  The next logical step is to make these cells from people and put them back into them.”

“With IPS cells grown from the patient, rejection should be less of a worry”, Bratt-Leal said.

Now that the research side of the project has overcome its greatest hurdles, the focus is shifting to medicine, Loring said. The replacement brain cells will be grown in a clinical grade facility at the City of Hope in Los Angeles.  As part of the transition to the medical side, Houser will provide expertise in setting up the clinical trial, assuming approval is granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Beyond the potential benefit to the eight patients, the project may provide an answer to what Loring and other researchers call the “Valley of Death,” the period that halts promising research before it can become a medical treatment.  Most scientific research is federally funded, but commercialization is left to the private sector. If companies don’t see a way to make money, they won’t pursue a therapy, even if it works.  This problem is especially forbidding for treatments customized to individual patients. These don’t produce economies of scale, and hence are not attractive to pharmaceutical companies.  Advocates of the customized Parkinson’s therapy said it will pay off in the long run. Patients will require less medical care, and find it easier to maintain their jobs.

To Read Full Article click HERE.

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

 

WHY TRAVEL ABROAD FOR STEM CELL TREATMENTS???

In ALL ARTICLES, CELEBRITIES & STEM CELLS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 12, 2013 at 9:00 am
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“Woke up this morning and am “aware” of my surroundings. I guess in other words I’m not a zombie. Haven’t been this clear in years. And the headache i’ve had all week is GONE!”

A women who has been battling Multiple Sclerosis, wheel chair bound for two years, unable to grasp objects due to severe shaking, and dealing with daily Brainfog, was treated with stem cells here in the United States two weeks ago.   For the first time in two years she was walking with the assistance of a cane and able to grasp her morning coffee cup and this was ONLY AFTER TEN DAYS!!!

Jack Osbourne

It’s a shame that Son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, Jack Osbourne has had to travel to Germany to ­undergo stem cell replacement therapy to treat his Multiple Sclerosis, when he could have been treated here in the United States..  Jack, who went public about his health crisis last summer, said he is currently feeling well and getting plenty of rest – despite being a new dad to nine-month-old daughter Pearl.

“There are odd restrictions here in America because everybody still thinks it’s, like, what it isn’t. So I’m going to Germany. They pull stem cells from your own blood then inject them back into you.  Hopefully it will repair any damaged cells and nerves and things like that.” said Jack.

For more articles related to Stem Cell treatments for Multiple Sclerosis click HERE.

 

1 MILLION CUSTOMERS SERVED

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 1, 2013 at 9:00 am

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1 Millionth Blood Stem Cell Transplant Marks Major Medical Milestone

The collaborative work of medical scientists and physicians across the globe has resulted in a major medical milestone: the world’s 1 millionth blood stem cell transplant, a procedure that has become a proven and essential therapy for many patients battling blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, as well as other critical diseases.

The Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT) announced the landmark achievement today. The WBMT—a nonprofit scientific organization whose mission is promoting excellence in stem cell transplantation, stem cell donation and cellular therapy—said the 1 millionth transplant occurred in late December 2012. The finding is based on data collected by WBMT international member organizations involved in blood stem cell transplantation, which were analyzed and verified by the WBMT.

“One million transplants is a milestone that may surprise many people, because blood stem cell transplants were viewed as a rare procedure until the last decade or so,” said Dietger Niederwieser, M.D., president of the WBMT and professor of medicine in the division of hematology and medical oncology at the University Hospital of Leipzig, Germany. “But important discoveries—and the vital cooperation of many scientists and physicians around the world—have dramatically improved outcomes for patients who undergo stem cell transplantation.”

The first blood stem cell transplant was reported by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas in 1957, who received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for pioneering the use of this innovative approach to treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening diseases.

By the late 1960s, as knowledge of the requirements for matching patients with donors evolved, physicians were performing successful allogeneic transplants, using blood-forming stem cells from sibling donors (among the first in U.S., Holland and France). In 1973, the first successful transplant between two unrelated people occurred in New York, when a young boy received a transplant from a donor identified as a match through a blood bank in Denmark. In 1988, the first successful umbilical cord blood transplant was performed in Paris.

Since then, a near-exponential rise in all types of blood stem cell transplants, particularly from unrelated donors, has occurred. This is largely thanks to the willingness of now more than 20 million voluntary stem cell donors worldwide. Today, unrelated transplants are often as successful as those that use family donors.

International partners will help make this continued growth possible. Already, data from the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), a WBMT partner, show that nearly half of the transplants performed with unrelated donors cross an international border. International donor registries not only expand the pool of potential donors, they help advance the global science of transplantation through the exchange of information.

“It must be especially emphasized that WBMT has contributed to the advances of blood stem cell transplants in emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in the other areas of the world, where the awareness to this medical procedure is sharply increasing,” said Yoshihisa Kodera, vice president of WBMT, chairman of APBMT and professor of Aichi Medical University, Japan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized transplantation as an important global task, recently recognizing the WBMT as a non-governmental organization (NGO). “Transplantation has extended the lifespan of hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide and enhanced their quality of life,” said Luc Noël, M.D., of WHO. “It has become the standard of care for many patients, and should no longer be restricted to affluent countries or individuals.”

Today, more than 70 malignant and non-malignant diseases are treated routinely with blood stem cell transplantation, providing new cures for patients around the globe. The procedure technique itself has improved considerably because of dedicated cancer centers but also because of collaboration and cooperation among scientists, clinicians, nurses and data managers, as well as the 19 international scientific societies that establish standards, collect data on the procedure and analyze outcomes. In patients with optimal conditions, disease-free survival rates are now reaching more than 90 percent.

“Worldwide, more than 50,000 patients a year are receiving transplants, in regions ranging from the Asia-Pacific to the Mid-East to Central America,” said Dennis Confer, M.D., treasurer of the WBMT and chief medical officer of the U.S.-based National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP). “The curative potential of this therapy will only increase, thanks to the commitment and collaboration of researchers and physicians across the globe.”

BERN, Switzerland, Jan. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – (www.globenewswire.com)

STEM CELLS BEAT KIDNEY REJECTION

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

Stem Cells

Stem cells ‘boost kidney transplants’

Published on Monday 21 January 2013

Coverage by BBC News

“Stem cells beat kidney rejection,” says BBC News. The broadcaster says that an injection of stem cells given alongside a kidney transplant could remove the need for a lifetime of treatment to suppress the immune system.

“The news is based on research detailing the outcomes of eight experimental kidney transplants where the organ came from a living donor. In addition to having their kidney removed, the donor also donated blood stem cells, which can develop into any type of blood cell, including immune system cells. After the recipient patient had received chemotherapy and radiotherapy to suppress their own immune system, the donor kidney and stem cells were transplanted. The aim was to help prevent the organ from being rejected by altering the recipient’s immune system to match that of the donor kidney. Five of the eight patients were able to have their immunosuppressant drugs reduced within one year. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the donor’s transplanted immune cells had started to attack the recipient’s healthy tissue, a possible complication of this type of treatment.”

“Although this is only early-stage research, the results of this small case series are promising and could have implications for the future of organ transplants, particularly in those cases where the donor and recipient are not matched to each other.”

Where did the story come from?

“The study was carried out by researchers from Comprehensive Transplant Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago and other institutions in the US. Funding was provided by the US National Institute of Health; the Department of the Army, Office of Army Research; the National Foundation to Support Cell Transplant Research; the WM Keck Foundation; and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Collaborative Scientist Award. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine.”

What kind of research was this?

“This was a case series reporting on the results of eight patients receiving kidney transplants alongside haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs – cells that can develop into any type of blood cell). These were taken from “mismatched” donors (either related or unrelated to the recipient). If they are “mismatched”, the donor and recipient do not share the same human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), which are proteins located on the surface of immune cells and other cells in the body. The immune system recognizes “foreign” HLAs and will attack cells that carry them, potentially leading to rejection. If donor cells carry the same HLAs there is less chance that the host’s immune cells would recognize the transplant tissue as foreign. This is why the ideal situation is to find a suitable HLA-matched donor for individuals awaiting a transplant, although this is often not possible.”

“This research investigated a theory known as “chimerism” (named after a mythical creature made up of parts of different animals), where the transplant recipient has both their own immune cells and those that come from the donor. The hope is that this will prevent the body from rejecting the transplant. However, there is a chance that this could increase the risk of what is known as graft versus host disease (GVHD), which is where the donor’s immune cells instead attack the healthy tissue of the host. HSC transplant also carries a risk of what is known as “engraftment syndrome”, which is characterized by a fever, skin rash and other symptoms.”

What did the research involve?

“This case series reported the outcomes of eight adults (age range 29-56 years) who were receiving a kidney transplant from a living, unmatched donor. A special technique was used to retrieve relevant cells from the donor’s blood, including both HSCs and “graft facilitating cells” (FCs – which are a type of immune cell derived from HSCs).  Prior to transplant of the donor kidney and HSCs/FCs, the recipients were first treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy to suppress their own immune system and reduce the chance of rejection. After the transplant they received continued treatment with two drugs to suppress their immune system and reduce the chance that their bodies would reject the transplant. They were discharged from hospital two days after the transplant and managed as outpatients.  The researchers monitored the patients to look at how the procedure was tolerated and whether GVHD or engraftment syndrome occurred.”

What were the basic results?

“By one month after transplant the level of chimerism in the recipients’ blood (where they demonstrated cell lines coming from both their own stem cells and the donor’s stem cells) was reported to vary between 6 and 100%.  One patient developed a viral blood infection and blood clot in one of their kidney arteries two months after transplant. Two patients demonstrated only slight chimerism and were maintained on low-dose immunosuppressive treatment. However, five patients demonstrated “durable chimerism” and were able to be weaned from immunosuppressive treatment by one year. None of the recipients developed GVHD or engraftment syndrome.”

How did the researchers interpret the results?

“The researchers conclude that transplant of HSCs is a “safe, practical, and reproducible means of inducing durable chimerism”. It also appeared to be tolerated with no signs of GVHD or engraftment syndrome.  If confirmed in larger studies, the researchers say that this approach to transplantation could free some patients from the need for immunosuppressive treatment within one year of transplantation.”

Conclusion

“This research reported on the cases of eight patients who were receiving a kidney from an unmatched living donor. Alongside the kidney transplant, recipients were also given a transplant of the donor’s haematopoietic stem cells, which have the ability to transform into a range of blood cell types. The aim was that slightly altering the recipient’s immune system to produce cells that “matched” those of the donor kidney would help prevent the organ from being rejected. Five of the eight patients were able to have their immunosuppressant drugs reduced within one year. Furthermore, no patients developed a serious condition called graft versus host disease (where the donor’s transplanted immune cells start to attack the recipient’s healthy tissue), and no patients developed another complication of HSC transplant, known as engraftment syndrome, which includes fever, skin rash and other symptoms.”

“Importantly, this is only early-stage research, reporting the results of treatment in only eight people. Further follow-up in these patients will be needed, in addition to study in much wider groups of patients. However, the results are promising and could have implications for the future of kidney transplant and the transplant of other organs, particularly in people for whom it has not been possible to find a suitable matched donor.”

http://www.southyorkshiretimes.co.uk/news/health/behind-the-headlines/stem-cells-boost-kidney-transplants-1-4676753

STEM CELL TREATMENT FOR DEGENERATING INTERVERTEBRAL DISCS

In ALL ARTICLES, BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

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Stem cell treatment for spine tested

An Australian-invented stem cell treatment for spinal surgery has been successfully used for the first time in the United States.  The patented stem cells product created by Melbourne-based company Mesoblast was trialed in a small group of patients with spinal discs that had degenerated beyond repair.  The bone marrow-derived stem cells – called mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) – were used to promote bone growth to fuse together spinal vertebrae, to eliminate debilitating leg and back pain.

If the procedure ultimately passes the final stage of clinical trials and is approved by America’s drug regulator, it would potentially provide patients worldwide with a quicker and less invasive procedure.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved trial compared the use of stem cells to fuse vertebrae with bone harvested from the patient’s own hip, the current gold standard for this common operation.  The stem cells were used in conjunction with two chemicals to encourage bone growth, said Texas surgeon Dr Randall Dryer, who performed a number of surgical procedures in the trial.  The chemicals, hydroxyapatite and tricalcium phosphate, are non-cellular components of bone that tell the stem cells to turn into bone-forming cells, rather than other tissues, “If you put these cells into an environment that stimulates them to grow into bone, they do.  That eliminates us having to take the patient’s own bone from a different location to pack in there“, said Dr. Dryer, an orthopedic surgeon at the Central Texas Institute in Austin.

Eight of the 24 patients enrolled in the trial had the surgery using their own bone.  Of these, six patients’ bone had successfully fused after a year.  Six out of seven patients given a low concentration of stem cells had equally successful results, while five out of eight patients given a higher concentration of stem cells achieved the bone fusion.  “These stem cells work at least as good as or better than the patients’ own bone.”  The advantage of the operation is that it cancels the need to harvest the patient’s own bone, which lengthens the surgery time, is more painful and can lead to more complications.  This is hopefully going to be a new tool that we can use to help patients recover less painfully, quicker and with just the same effectiveness.” There were no adverse events in the phase two trial, which tests the product for safety and efficacy.  The company plans to apply for FDA approval to conduct a larger phase three trial in the United States, Europe and Australia later this year.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/stem-cell-treatment-for-spine-tested/story-fn3dxiwe-1226551833859

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TODDLER BEATS LEUKAEMIA AFTER RECEIVING CORD BLOOD STEM CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

William

Toddler beats leukaemia after receiving life-saving stem cell transplant from the U.S

“A seriously ill toddler has been given a second chance at life after receiving a stem cell transplant from the U.S following a transatlantic appeal.  Toddler William Morris had been diagnosed with leukaemia at just six weeks old and intensive chemotherapy had failed to eradicate the cancer.  The 18-month-old desperately needed a stem cell transplant to help his body make new healthy blood cells after his own had been destroyed by the disease. However, no matches from umbilical cord blood donations could be found in the UK.”

“When William was diagnosed with leukaemia, it was devastating. It was the last thing that we had expected. William was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells and bone marrow, when he was just six weeks old. He underwent four courses of intensive chemotherapy, which were unsuccessful, and within a month had a relapse of his condition.”

“But in March last year William was matched with an anonymous donor in the U.S. He was treated on Mother’s Day while in isolation in Newcastle for two months and is now in remission.  William was given a cord blood stem-cell transplant at the end of March and soon began to respond well to the treatment.”

William’s condition is in remission and he continues to be regularly monitored by consultants. Dr Sujith Samarasinghe, a consultant paediatric haematologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘William had a high-risk leukaemia.  Since the transplant he is doing extremely well.  It is early days, but there is now no evidence of leukaemia in his system.”

William 7 mom

“I don’t know who the donor is, but I wish I could send a letter to the mum saying ‘thank you for helping to save my son’s life”, said William’s mother Catherine Wray.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2260718.html

For more success stories click HERE.

STEM CELL THERAPIES TARGET OVARIAN CANCER

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

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“Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States get ovarian cancer. Among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death, after lung and bronchus, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, but it accounts for only about 3% of all cancers in women. When ovarian cancer is found in its early stages, treatment is most effective.†”

Ovarian cancer stem cell study puts targeted therapies within reach

“Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified a key link between stem cell factors that fuel ovarian cancer’s growth and patient prognosis.  Yingqun Huang, M.D. and her colleagues have demonstrated a connection between two concepts that are revolutionizing the way cancer is treated.

First, the “cancer stem cell” idea suggests that at the heart of every tumor there is a small subset of difficult-to-identify tumor cells that fuel the growth of the bulk of the tumor. This concept predicts that ordinary therapies typically kill the bulk of tumor cells while leaving a rich environment for continued growth of the stem cell tumor population.  The second concept defines a critical role for the tumor cells’ “microenvironment,” which is the special environment required for cancer cell growth and spread.  “Both concepts have particular relevance for the treatment of adult solid tumors such as ovarian cancer, which has been notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Ovarian cancer patients are plagued by recurrences of tumor cells that are resistant to chemotherapy, ultimately leading to uncontrolled cancer growth and death.”

Cell Cycle Vol. 12, Issue 1

Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2009 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2013. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.

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