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

Researchers Use Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Grow Hair

(LA JOLLA, Ca.) — Researchers from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair in bald mice. The study, published online in PLOS One yesterday, represents the first step toward a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss. In the United States more than 40 million men and 21 million women are affected by hair loss.

The research team developed a protocol that coaxed human pluripotent stem cells to become dermal papilla cells. These are unique cells that regulate hair-follicle formation and growth cycle.

Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham, says the next step is to transplant the cells into humans.

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By |January 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Study Shows Improvements

(Evanston, Ill.) — Treatment with a form of stem cell transplantation in individuals with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis has demonstrated improvements in neurological disability, quality of life, and cognitive function. The new study, which appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, did not show similar positive results for individuals with secondary progressive MS.

Numerous scientific teams have been exploring the use of stem cell transplantation for multiple sclerosis. A form known as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which is the form used in this study and various others, involves giving patients an intravenous infusion of their own (autologous) stem cells that have been harvested from peripheral blood or bone marrow in an effort to reset immune system functioning.

The new study was conducted by Richard Burt, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and his colleagues.

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By |January 26th, 2015|Multiple Sclerosis, Stem Cells|0 Comments