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Novel Stem Cell Therapy Provides Long-Term Treatment For Crohn’s Fistula

Source: Healio.com; Stem Cells Translational Medicine

(SEOUL, Korea) — Long-term follow-up of patients with fistulae related to Crohn’s disease demonstrated sustained complete closure after autologous adipose-derived stem cell therapy, according to research data.

“Crohn’s fistula is one of the most distressing diseases as it decreases [a] patient’s quality of life and frequently recurs,” Chang Sik Yu, MD, PhD, from Asan Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, said in a press release. “It has been reported to occur in up to 38% of Crohn’s patients and over the course of the disease, 10% to 18% of them must undergo a proctectomy.”

Currently available treatments fail to achieve complete closure or reduce recurrence and adverse events, he added.

In a previous phase 2 clinical trial involving 43 patients with Crohn’s fistula, Yu and colleagues demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue were safe and had therapeutic potential, with 82% of patients achieving complete healing with sustained response for 1 year.

“It strongly demonstrated [mesenchymal stem cells] derived from [adipose-derived stem cells] are a safe and useful therapeutic tool for the treatment of Crohn’s fistula,” Yu said.

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Research Report

By |April 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Nanomaterial “Sniper” Targets Cancer Stem Cells

Source: Asian Scientist

(BEIJING, China) – While much research has focused on using nanomaterials as drug delivery agents, a new study suggests that they can be directly used as therapeutic agents. The work, published in Nature Communications, describes a nanomaterial that is non-toxic to normal cells but effectively kills cancer stem cells.

Traditional cancer therapies focus on inhibiting bulk cancer cells. Recent oncobiology studies, however, reveal that only a small subpopulation of cancer cells—termed cancer stem cells—are responsible for the bane of cancer recurrence, metastasis, chemotherapeutic and radiotherapeutic resistance.

Professor Zhao Yuliang and his team of researchers from the Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, and the University of Science and Technology of China have found that metallofullerenol nanomaterial Gd@C82(OH)22 possesses highly effective intrinsic inhibitory activity against triple-negative breast cancer stem cells.

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By |April 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Israeli Lab Uses Stem-Cell Derived Astrocytes for ALS in Mice

Source: The Jewish Link • Image: Prof. Michel Revel

(NES-ZIONA, Israel) — A new stem-cell technology with the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is now in development by the Israel Prize laureate responsible for the blockbuster multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Rebif.

Prof. Michel Revel’s company, Kadimastem, recently announced successful results of a preclinical trial in which its lab-produced central nervous system support cells (astrocytes) demonstrated significant motor function and survivability improvement in a mouse model of ALS.

Revel based his approach on scientific evidence that ALS is characterized by malfunctioning astrocytes. Producing and then injecting healthy, functioning astrocytes into a patient’s nervous system seems to provide support for damaged motor neurons, slowing the progression of the disease, improving quality of life and even extending survival. Globally, 90 percent of ALS patients die of respiratory failure within three to five years after the onset of symptoms.

Kadimastem is now in touch with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as regulatory bodies in Israel and Europe, hoping to advance the technology to clinical trials.

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By |April 1st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Premature Aging of Stem Cell Telomeres, Not Inflammation, Linked to Emphysema

Source: John Hopkins Medicine

(BALTIMORE, Maryland) – Lung diseases like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis are common among people with malfunctioning telomeres, the “caps” or ends of chromosomes. Now, researchers from Johns Hopkins say they have discovered what goes wrong and why.

Mary Armanios, MD, an associate professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine., and her colleagues report that some stem cells vital to lung cell oxygenation undergo premature aging — and stop dividing and proliferating — when their telomeres are defective. The stem cells are those in the alveoli, the tiny air exchange sacs where blood takes up oxygen.

In studies of these isolated stem cells and in mice, Armanios’ team discovered that dormant or senescent stem cells send out signals that recruit immune molecules to the lungs and cause the severe inflammation that is also a hallmark of emphysema and related lung diseases.

Until now, Armanios says, researchers and clinicians have thought that “inflammation alone is what drives these lung diseases and have based therapy on anti-inflammatory drugs for the last 30 years.”

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By |March 31st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Researchers Discover New Way To Promote Regeneration of Heart Tissue

Source: Medical Express. Image: Adult cardiomyocyte that has re-entered the cell cycle after expression of miR302-367. Credit: Lab of Ed Morrisey, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

(PHILADELPHIA, Penn.) — The heart tissue of mammals has limited capacity to regenerate after an injury such as a heart attack, in part due to the inability to reactivate a cardiac muscle cell and proliferation program. Recent studies have indicated a low level of cardiac muscle cell (cardiomyocytes) proliferation in adult mammals, but it is insufficient to repair damaged hearts.

A team led by Ed Morrisey, PhD, a professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology and the scientific director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has now shown that a subset of RNA molecules, called microRNAs, is important for cardiomyocyte cell proliferation during development and is sufficient to induce proliferation in cardiomyocytes in the adult heart. MicroRNAs, which do not generate proteins, repress gene expression by binding messenger RNAs, which do generate proteins, and promote their degradation. The findings appear this week in Science Translational Medicine.

The team found that the loss of the microRNA cluster miR302-367 in mice led to decreased cardiomyocyte cell proliferation during development. In contrast, increased expression of the microRNA cluster in adult hearts led to a reactivation of proliferation in the normally non-reproducing adult cardiomyocytes.

This reactivation occurred, in part, through repression of a pathway called Hippo that governs cell proliferation and organ size.

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By |March 18th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stem Cell Therapy for Eyes Gets Approval

Europe has approved the Western world’s first medicine containing stem cells for people who have suffered injuries caused by burns to the eye. Source: Health24

(BRUSSELS, Belgium) — People who have suffered eye injuries caused by solvents, acids, abrasive and chemical agents will have new treatment available.

Europe has approved the Western world’s first medicine containing stem cells to treat a rare condition caused by burns to the eye, marking a milestone in the use of the technology.

Holoclar, from privately held Italian company Chiesi, was given a marketing green light on Friday by the European Commission for treating so-called limbal stem cell deficiency due to physical or chemical burns. Left untreated, the condition can result in blindness.

The stem-cell therapy is a living-tissue product. It resembles a contact lens and is made from a biopsy taken from a small undamaged area of a patient’s cornea and grown in the laboratory using cell culture.

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By |February 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Progress in the Treatment of Osteochondral Defects with Regenerative Medicine

Open Source: ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering

(UNIV. MINHO, Portugal) – In the last few years, great progress has been made to validate tissue engineering strategies in preclinical studies and clinical trials on the regeneration of osteochondral defects.

In the preclinical studies, one of the dominant strategies comprises the development of biomimetic/bioactive scaffolds, which are used alone or incorporated with growth factors and/or stem cells. Many new trends are emerging for modulation of stem cell fate towards osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiations, but bone/cartilage interface regeneration and physical stimulus have been showing great promise.

Besides the matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) procedure, the matrix-associated stem cells implantation (MASI) and layered scaffolds in acellular or cellular strategy are also applied in clinic.

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By |February 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Human Neural Stem Cells Restore Cognitive Functions Impaired by Chemotherapy

Image: Charles Limoli, UCI professor of radiation oncology. Credit: Steven Zylius/UC Irvine

(IRVINE, Calif.) — Human neural stem cell treatments are showing promise for reversing learning and memory deficits after chemotherapy, according to UC Irvine researchers.

In preclinical studies using rodents, they found that stem cells transplanted one week after the completion of a series of chemotherapy sessions restored a range of cognitive functions, as measured one month later using a comprehensive platform of behavioral testing. In contrast, rats not treated with stem cells showed significant learning and memory impairment.

The frequent use of chemotherapy to combat multiple cancers can produce severe cognitive dysfunction, often referred to as “chemobrain,” which can persist and manifest in many ways long after the end of treatments in as many as 75 percent of survivors – a problem of particular concern with pediatric patients.

“Our findings provide the first solid evidence that transplantation of human neural stem cells can be used to reverse chemotherapeutic-induced damage of healthy tissue in the brain,” said Charles Limoli, a UCI professor of radiation oncology.

Study results appear in the Feb. 15 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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By |February 15th, 2015|Neurologic|0 Comments

Stem-Cell Transplants Show Promise for Halting MS Damage

Source: Harvard Medical School / By: Robert H. Shmerling, M.D.

(BOSTON, Mass.) — Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the brain and spinal cord that often leads to disability and early death. It is thought to develop because the immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system. Treatments to suppress the immune system can help. But there’s no known way to prevent MS, and no cure. Current treatments may work poorly, cause troublesome side effects or both.

So it’s worth taking note of news about a treatment for MS that may be more effective than what is available now. A new study compared stem-cell transplants with an older drug, mitoxantrone. All 21 people in the study had severe MS. It was getting worse despite standard treatments to suppress the immune system. Researchers have just published the study results in the journal Neurology.

Nine people had stem cells removed from their bone marrow. Then they had immune-suppressing treatments, and the stem cells were injected again through a vein. The rest of those in the study received similar immune-suppressing drugs, followed by mitoxantrone. People were monitored by a neurologist and by MRI scans over four years. People treated with their own stem cells:

  • Were just as likely to become more disabled as those receiving mitoxantrone.
  • Had far fewer new areas of brain injury related to MS noted on brain scans.
  • Had no new MS-related inflammation in the brain. About 56% of the mitoxantrone-treated patients had new areas of inflammation, as shown on MRI. None of the stem-cell group had these new areas.
  • Had no permanent side effects related to treatment.

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The Study

By |February 12th, 2015|Multiple Sclerosis|0 Comments

Can Stem Cells Repair a Radiation-Damaged Brain? In Rats, Yes.

(NEW YORK, NY)—Scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering and elsewhere are cultivating the art and science of manipulating embryonic stem cells — the immature cells from which all the body’s organs and tissues develop — to form nerve cells, muscle cells, insulin-producing cells, and essentially any cell type of interest.

Investigators have used stem-cell engineering to create nerve cells that might be used to treat Parkinson’s, and have also developed advanced tools for research into melanoma,pancreatic cancer, a rare brain tumor, and other diseases.

Today, in an article published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, an MSK research team reports on another potential use of the technology: as a way to heal radiation-induced brain injury.

The researchers turned stem cells into young central nervous system cells that can mature into oligodendrocytes, which support nerve cells. After exposing rats to brain radiation, they transplanted the engineered oligodendrocytes into the animals’ brains. The cells repaired some of the radiation injury and helped the animals recover a number of brain functions that had been compromised by the treatment.

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By |February 6th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments