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Archive for the ‘Bone Marrow Stem Cells’ Category

Regenerative Medicine: The Future of Medicine is Here Miami’s … – Miami’s Community Newspapers

Regenerative medicine is a revolutionary approach to treating many degenerative conditions and includes a variety of different techniques including stem cell therapy. This field joins nearly all disciplines of science and holds the realistic promise of repairing damaged tissue by harnessing the bodys ability to heal itself.

Adult stem cells are found in every part of the body and their primary role is to heal and maintain the tissue in which they reside. Stem cells are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves by cell division. In addition, they have the ability to differentiate into specialized cell types. Adult stem cells can be harvested from a patients own tissue, such as adipose (fat) tissue, muscle, teeth, skin or bone marrow.

One of the most plentiful sources of stem cells in the body is the fat tissue. In fact, approximately 500 times more stem cells can be obtained from fat than bone marrow. Stem cells derived from a patients own fat are referred to as adipose-derived stem cells. The mixed population of cells that can be obtained from fat is called a stromal vascular fraction (SVF). The SVF can easily be isolated from fat tissue in approximately 30-90 minutes in a clinic setting (under local anesthesia) using a mini-lipoaspirate technique. The SVF contains a mixture of cells including adipose-derived stem cells or ADSCs and growth factors and has been depleted of the adipocyte (fat cell) population.

ADSCs are multi-potential and can differentiate into a variety of different types of tissue including but not limited to bone, cartilage, muscle, ligament, tendon and fat. These cells have also been shown to express a variety of different growth factors and signaling molecules (cytokines), which recruit other stem cells to facilitate repair and healing of the affected tissue. ADSCs are very angiogenic in nature and can promote the growth of new blood vessels.

Based on research performed in our FDA registered facilities, stem cell quality and functionality can vary greatly depending on the methods utilized to obtain the cells. It is important to utilize a product that has undergone full characterization to include safety, identity, purity and potency. We have developed a method for harvesting and isolating stem cells from fat for therapeutic use. The use of a cell population that retains the ability to function in vivo will lead to more consistent patient results with long term success.

Adipose stem cells can be obtained from the patient easily, abundantly, and with minimal patient discomfort. Clinical applications for patients can be performed in an office setting safely, legally, and ethically using autologous ADSCs. Current applications include orthopedic conditions (tendon/ligament injuries, osteoarthritis, etc.), degenerative conditions (COPD, diabetes), neurological (MS, Parkinsons, spinal cord injuries, TBI, etc.) and auto-immune (RA, Crohns, colitis, lupus).

Stem cells possess enormous regenerative potential. The potential applications are virtually limitless. Patients can receive cutting edge treatments that are safe, compliant, and effective. Our team has successfully treated over 7000 patients with very few safety concerns reported. One day, stem cell treatments will be the gold standard of care for the treatment of most degenerative diseases. We are extremely encouraged by the positive patient results we are seeing from our physician-based treatments. Our hope is that stem cell therapy will provide relief and an improved quality of life for many patients. The future of medicine is here!

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Regenerative Medicine: The Future of Medicine is Here Miami’s … – Miami’s Community Newspapers

Regenerating the Body With Stem Cells Hype or Hope? – (blog)

When the Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka managed to reprogram adult cells into an embryonic-like state to yield induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), this was supposed to herald a revolution in regenerative medicine. But 10 years after their discovery, a therapeutic breakthrough is still outstanding.

The overall stem cell therapy field has failed today to show a very clear cut clinical benefit, told me Georges Rawadi, VP for Business Development at Celyad. The field now needs some significant success to attract attention.

Even though investors prefer placing their bets on the hot T cell therapies these days, some stem cell technologies such as iPSCs are starting to get traction as big industry players are exploring the territory. Last year, Bayer and Versant threw $225M into the pot to launch BlueRock Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine company that plans to develop iPSC-based therapies. A year before, Fujifilm spent $307M to acquire the iPSC company Cellular Dynamics.

Although a big success story is still lagging behind, recent advances in the field argue that stem cells indeed have the potential to translate into effective therapies for currently intractable diseases. Heres an overview of what biotechs stem cells are up to!

Stem cell treatment is not a new concept hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) were described as early as the 1960s and bone marrow transplants have been used to treat blood cancer for decades.

The reason that we get excited about stem cell therapies comes from our experience with the hematopoietic stem cells. If you want to see what a mature stem cell therapy is like, you only need to look at bone marrow transplantation explained James Peyer, Managing Partner at Apollo Ventures, who has a Ph.D. in stem cell biology.

According to Peyer, the hematopoietic stem cell field is one of the most active areas in the stem cell world right now, mainly fueled by our advances in the gene editing space. Tools like CRISPR and TALEN allow for the genetic modification of a patients own bone marrow stem cells, which can then be expanded and returned to the patient for the correction of a genetic defect.

Last year, regulators gave green light to one of the first therapies of this kind. Strimvelis, developed by GSK, consists of an ex vivo stem cell gene therapy to treat patients with the very rare type of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Using the patients own cells avoids the risk of graft versus host disease (GvHD), which still affects around 30% of people receiving a bone marrow transplant.

Small wonder that the CRISPR companies, CRISPR Therapeutics, Editas, and Intellia are all active in this field, with preclinical programs in a number hematological diseases.

To date, the most prominent stem cells in the clinic are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are moving through more than 300 registered clinical trials for a wide array of diseases. These cells are able to form a variety of tissues including bone, cartilage, muscle or fat, and can be readily harvested from patients or donors for use in autologous or allogeneic therapies.

While MSCs have deluded the biotech scene with good safety profiles in clinical trials, their actual regenerative potential remains controversial, and there have been a great number of clinical failures, which many blame on a lack of demonstrated mechanisms of action.

As Peyer explained, The problem here is that, as opposed to other adult stem cells, the MSC has been unclearly defined. We know roughly what it does but we dont fully understand the molecular mechanisms driving these cells. On top of being unclearly defined, the regenerative powers of MSCs have been massively over-claimed in the past.

Another reason for the lack of clinical benefit has also been attributed to the use of undifferentiated MSCs, as Rawadi explained to me. The Belgian biotech Celyad, which has been pioneering cell therapy in the cardiovascular space, is using bone-marrow derived autologous MSCs and differentiates them into cardiomyocyte precursors to produce new heart muscle in patients with heart failure.

Although the company missed its primary endpoint in a phase III trial last year, Celyad has staked out a patient subpopulation that showed significant improvement. Its technology still has the confidence of the FDA, which just handed out a Fast Track designation and Celyad is now planning a refined Phase III trial.

One of Celyads major competitors, Australian Mesoblast, is forging ahead using allogeneic MSCs with Phase III programs in heart failure, chronic low back pain (CLBP) due to disc degeneration, as well as a range of inflammatory conditions including GvHD and rheumatoid arthritis.

Although the ability of MSCs to regenerate tissues remains questionable, the Mesoblasts approach hinges on a body of evidence showing that MSCs can suppress inflammation and mobilize endogenous repair mechanisms through indirect effects on immune cells.

Indeed, the first-ever approved stem cell therapy, Prochymal, also depends on this mechanism. Prochymal was developed by US-based Osiris Therapeutics and in 2012 received Canadian approval to treat acute GvHD. But after Sanofi opted to shelve its partnership with Osiris prior to FDA approval, the biotech sold out its off-the-shelf stem cell platform to Mesoblast in a $100M deal.

In Belgium, companies like TiGenix and Promethera are also banking on the immunomodulatory properties of MSCs. The companies are developing treatments for patients with Crohns disease and liver diseases, respectively.

The ultimate hope for stem cell therapies has been to regenerate damaged or diseased tissues as found in diabetes, heart failure or blindness. Holostem Terapie Avanzate, a spin-off from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia was the first company to move towards this goal.

Building on 20 long years of research, the biotech has developed Holoclar, the first and only autologous stem cell therapy (apart from bone marrow transplants) to enter the European market. Holoclar is based on limbal stem cells, located in a part of the eye called the limbus, which can be used to restore eyesight in patients that have lost sight due to burn injuries.

Meanwhile, UK-based Reneuron is developing off-the-shelf therapies that aim to restore the cognitive function of patients following a stroke. Backed by no other than Neil Woodford, the company recently raised an impressive 100M to advance its lead therapy to the market.

The biotechs fetal-derived neural stem cell line CTX was able to significantly reduce the disability of post-stroke patients in a Phase II trial and ReNeuron is now planning to push its candidate into pivotal trials.

A major question in the space a decade ago was safety. Today, theres been a lot of trials done that show that safety is not an issue. I think safety is kind of off the table but efficacy is still a question mark. And thats what were trying to deliver now, Olav Helleb, CEO of ReNeuron, told me.

While neural stem cells and other tissue-specific stem cells are able to regenerate the cells of a particular tissue, Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) and their engineered counterparts, iPSCs, are capable of making every cell type in the body, a property known as pluripotency. Pluripotent stem cells can also expand indefinitely in culture and their identification unlocked massive expectations for these cells to transform the regenerative medicine field.

Yet, these cells come with significant challenges associated with the safety of the final preparation. Apart from ethical issues surrounding ESCs, today, a lot of companies have been cautious about using these cells for therapy, because undifferentiated pluripotent cells can drive tumor formation, explained Rawadi. Since ESCs can, in principle, form every cell type, they can lead to the formation of teratomas.

A major reason for the fairly slow progress in the field is based on the difficulties of directing a pluripotent cell to exactly the cell type that is needed for cell therapy. We can readily drive the cells from the undifferentiated state to the differentiated state. However, getting those cells to pause anywhere in the middle of this continuum to yield progenitor cells is incredibly challenging, Peyer explained. Another challenge, he says, is to engraft the cells in the right place to enable them to become fully integrated.

Besides initial hurdles, companies like US-based Asterias or ViaCyte are now running the first Phase I/II trials with ESC-derived cells to treat patients with spinal cord injuries and to restore the beta cells in type I diabetes. So far, the eye has been the the dominant organ for many of the first human clinical trials with pluripotent stem cells, where the cells are assessed in diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to restore the loss of the retinal epithelium.

Deriving retinal epithelium from pluripotent cells is relatively easy and in fact, researchers in Japan are now running the very first clinical trial using donor-derived iPSCs to treat patients with AMD. For reasons of safety and standardization, the trial is based on an allogeneic approach. However, since this doesnt offer an exact genetic match, allogeneic therapies raise the prospect of immune rejection, an issue that has been plaguing the use of ESCs.

But the scientists in Japan have contended that iPSC banks could potentially solve this problem. The team in Japan is currently establishing an iPSC bank, consisting of HLA-characterized cell lines from 5-10 different donors, which should match 3050% of Japans population.

Such haplobanks have the benefits of allogeneic cell therapy, namely cost-effectiveness and standardization, but you still have matching immune systems, Peyer agrees.

For now, this remains a vision for the future, but the potential seems enormous. As Julian Howell, CMO of ReNeuron, told me, iPSCs have still got an awful long way to go. For the iPSC program running in Japan, they recently acknowledged that it took about $1.5M and 6 months to treat each patient. Its a great idea but its still got some way to go before it reaches the scale that could get into the clinic.

Images via nobeastsofierce,Natali_ Mis,vchal/ Shutterstock

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Regenerating the Body With Stem Cells Hype or Hope? – (blog)

Growth Opportunities in Cell Harvesting Systems Market: New Research Report – LANews By Abhishek Budholiya (press release) (blog)

Cell harvesting is a technique of collecting stem cells for regenerate, transplant or repair the damaged organ with healthy functioning ones. Cell harvesting is considered as an important step in biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry that can directly affect the product quality and related downstream processes. Stem cells harvesting helps in treating with diseases namely cancers, blood disorders, immune deficiency diseases and various injuries. This therapy is also beneficial for burn victims which help them in grafting new skin cells as a replacement for damaged ones. Many companies are focusing on regeneration of myocardial tissue by injection of cell graft consist of adult stem cells from the patients for manufacturing regenerating medicines. For the treatment of eye diseases new healthy cells are also be grown. For harvesting bone marrow a companies are manufacturing devices with passive flexible drilling unit and suction mechanism which will help in reducing the invasiveness of bone marrow transplantation. Cell harvesting system helps in reducing the invasiveness of bone marrow aspiration from the iliac bone with less punctures. Moreover, helps in reducing procedure time and contamination by T-cells.

Cell Harvesting Systems Market are witnessing maximum growth owing to increase bone marrow transplantation procedures attributed to high prevalence of blood cancer and anemia. Moreover, improving healthcare expenditure, survival rate after treatment, increasing investment in logistic services, expansion bone marrow transplant registry for heart along with neuronal disorders and growing per capita healthcare expenditure. However, high cost of cumbersome treatment, lack of reimbursement policies, immunological rejection, viable cell density, and identification of stem cells in adult tissues, and complications during cell harvesting and inadequate number of HSCs cells for transplantation is a major barrier to the cell harvesting systems market.

The cell harvesting systems market has been classified on the basis of techniques, application and end user.Based on techniques, the cell harvesting systems market is segmented into the following: Altered Nuclear Transfer, Blastomere Extraction; Based on application, the cell harvesting systems market is segmented into the following: Bone Marrow, Peripheral Blood, Umbilical Cord Blood, Adipose Tissue; Based on end-user, the cell harvesting systems market is segmented into the following: Research Centers, Academics Institutes, Diagnostic Labs, Hospitals

Cell harvesting systems market witnessed substantial growth owing to equipment efficacy and accuracy during stem cells harvest. By application type, bone marrow aspiration is anticipated to hold the major share in the cell harvesting systems market owing to less process error, safe and simple procedure and less side effects. People suffering from Leukemia eligible for bone marrow transplant, is expected to contribute highest share in the global cell harvesting systems market. Cell harvesting systems helps in enhancing proper pigmentation in scar reconstruction which encourage companies for continuous technology advancement in both cell isolation techniques and downstream purification processes.

Depending on geographic region, cell harvesting systems marketis segmented into seven key regions: North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific dominates the cell harvesting systems marketfollowed by Europe, Japan and North America owing to high concentration of bone marrow stem cells harvesting centers and registries along with skilled doctors for the process of harvesting stem cells in these regions. Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa hold huge potential and shows substantial growth in terms of wide acceptance of new technologyowing to awareness among population, increasing healthcare expenditure along with high number of potential candidate for the procedure.

Key players of cell harvesting systems market are PerkinElmer Inc.Tomtec, Bertin Technologies, TERUMO BCT, INC., hynoDent AG, Avita Medical, Argos Technologies, Inc., SP Scienceware, Teleflex Incorporated., Arthrex, Inc., Thomas Scientific, BRAND GMBH

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Growth Opportunities in Cell Harvesting Systems Market: New Research Report – LANews By Abhishek Budholiya (press release) (blog)

New NUH study to test stem cells as treatment for liver disease – TODAYonline

SINGAPORE The use of stem cell treatment to repair liver cirrhosis, or hardening of the liver, will be tested in a clinical trial here involving 46 patients and costing S$2.6 million.

The four-year study, which was launched yesterday, came amid a growing waiting list in Singapore for a liver transplant, which is currently the only cure for patients with end-stage liver cirrhosis.

Conducted by a multi-centre team from several restructured hospitals here, the study is led by the National University Hospital (NUH).

Liver failure is one of the top 20 causes of death in Singapore, but many patients are not suitable for a transplant due to factors such as age and surgical fitness.

Out of every five patients doctors see with end-stage liver disease, only one qualifies for a liver transplant, said Dr Dan Yock Young, principal investigator of the clinical trial and senior consultant at NUHs division of gastroenterology and hepatology.

(A liver transplant) is curative, but it is a complex procedure, and many patients are not suitable for it. For these patients, treatment is limited, but morbidity and mortality rates are high as high as 50 per cent in one year and this is probably worse than many (of the) other terminal illnesses we talk about today, he said.

Animal studies conducted over the last five years have shown that stem cells can reconstruct the micro-environment of a normal liver.

Like how branches are of critical importance in supporting the leaves and fruits of a tree, the endothelial (stem) cells contribute to supporting a nutritious environment for the hepatocyte (liver) cells, Dr Dan explained.

While similar stem-cell studies have been conducted in other centres in Asia, there has been no definitive evidence of the benefits of the treatment for liver patients.

The study will recruit 46 patients aged between 40 and 70 years old, and who are at the terminal stages of chronic liver disease, over three years. It is funded by the National Medical Research Council.

During the clinical trial, patients will be divided into a therapeutic group and a control group.

All patients will receive an injection to stimulate their bone marrow cells as part of the supportive treatment for their liver cirrhosis. However, only patients in the study group will have the stem cells from the bone marrow extracted and deposited directly into their liver for more targeted repair.

Using ones own stem cells will avoid the problem of cell rejection.

The liver tissue will be examined three months later, and an investigation to compare pre- and post-transplant results will be conducted after a year.

Since invasive surgery is not required for stem-cell therapy, the fatality risk is significantly lowered for the patient. However, other risks such as severe bleeding and infections still remain, given the patients weakened condition.

NUH also noted that the stem-cell therapy does not replace liver transplants, and the latter remains the best available treatment for liver cirrhosis.

It is very painful to turn patients away when we cannot offer them a liver transplant, said Dr Dan, adding that this stem cell therapy will serve as an alternative option.

We hope that this is a stepping stone to trials for stem cell candidates, he added.


The number of people on the waiting list for a liver transplant has been growing in recent years. In June last year, it was reported that there were 54 people on the list, more than double the 24 patients in 2011.

Chronic Hepatitis B remains the primary cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which refers to a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. However, obesity has become a contributing factor to the illness as well.

New NUH study to test stem cells as treatment for liver disease – TODAYonline

WVU researchers study leukemia, bone marrow treatments – The Dominion Post

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WVU researchers study leukemia, bone marrow treatments – The Dominion Post

Private clinics’ unproven stem cell treatment is unsafe and unethical – Business Standard

Professional medical organisations have raised concerns about these expensive cell therapies

Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this weeks paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, are exploiting regulatory gaps to sell so-called stem cell treatments without evidence that what they offer is effective or even safe.

Such unregulated direct-to-consumer advertising typically of cells obtained using liposuction-like methods not only places the health of individuals at risk but could also undermine the legitimate development of stem cell-based therapies.

Many academic societies and professional medical organisations have raised concerns about these futile and often expensive cell therapies. Despite this, national regulators have typically been slow or ineffective in curtailing them.

As well as tighter regulations here, international regulators such as the World Health Organisation and the International Council on Harmonisation need to move on ensuring patients desperate for cures arent sold treatments with limited efficacy and unknown safety.

So whats on offer?

Hundreds of stem cell clinics post online claims that they have been able to treat patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. These include osteoarthritis, pain, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and infertility. The websites are high on the rhetoric of science often using various accreditation, awards and other tokens to imply legitimacy but low on proof that they work.

Rather than producing independently verified results, these clinics rely on patient testimonials or unsubstantiated claims of improvement. In so doing these shonky clinics understate the risks to patient health associated with these unproven stem cell-based interventions.

Properly administered informed consent is often overlooked or ignored, so patients can be misled about the likelihood of success. In addition to heavy financial burdens imposed on patients and their families, there is often an opportunity cost because the time wasted in receiving futile stem cells diverts patients away from proven medicines.

The many recent reports of adverse outcomes demonstrate the risks of receiving unproven cell therapies are not trivial. In the USA three women were blinded following experimental stem cell treatment for macular degeneration (a degenerative eye disease that can cause blindness). One man was rendered a quadriplegic following a stem cell intervention for stroke. And a woman whose family sought treatment for her dementia died in Australia.

Other notorious cases involving the deaths of patients include the German government shutting down the X-Cell Centre and the Italian government closing the Stamina Foundation it had previously supported.

Whats approved?

At present, the only recognised stem cell treatments are those utilising blood stem cells isolated from bone marrow, peripheral blood (the cellular components of blood such as red and white blood cells and platelets) or umbilical cord blood.

Hundreds of thousand of lives have been saved over the last half-century in patients with cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma, as well as rare inherited immune and metabolic disorders.

A few types of cancer and autoimmune diseases may also benefit from blood stem cells in the context of chemotherapy. Different stem cells are also successfully used for corneal and skin grafting.

All other applications remain in the preclinical research phase or are just starting to be evaluated in clinical trials.

Often dismissed by for-profit clinics as red tape hampering progress, the rigour of clinical trials allows for the collection of impartial evidence. Such information is usually required before a new drug or medical device is released into the marketplace. Unfortunately, in the case of for-profit stem cell clinics, their marketing has gazumped the scientific evidence.

The action is required on many fronts. Regulators at both an international and national level need to tackle regulatory loopholes and challenge unfounded marketing claims of businesses selling unproven stem cell interventions.

Researchers need to more clearly communicate their findings and the necessary next steps to responsibly take their science from the laboratory to the clinic. And they should acknowledge that this will take time.

Patients and their loved ones must be encouraged to seek advice from a trained reputable health care professional, someone who knows their medical history. They should think twice if someone is offering a treatment outside standards of practice.

The stakes are too high not to have these difficult conversations. If a stem cell treatment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information on recognised stem cell treatments visit the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia and Stem Cells Australia, Choice Australia, EuroStemCell, International Society for Stem Cell Research, and International Society for Cellular Therapy.

Megan Munsie, Deputy Director – Centre for Stem Cell Systems and Head of Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit, Stem Cells Australia, University of Melbourne and John Rasko, Clinical Haematologist and President-Elect, International Society for Cellular Therapy., University of Sydney

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Private clinics’ unproven stem cell treatment is unsafe and unethical – Business Standard

Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Firefighter with recurrent Hodgkin Lymphoma will need bone marrow transplant in future … – KSFY

Firefighter Dustin Luebke puts his life on the line everyday protecting and serving the community. Never did he think his life would be threatened in a different way.

So now in 2017, Im going through it for the third time. So now its again recurring Hodgkins, said Luebke.

It all started in March of 2014. After 12 rounds of chemotherapy and six months in remission, it came back. He needed a stem cell transplant and was able to use his own stem cells.

Shortly after completing a year of chemotherapy after the transplant, it came back for the third time.

Its tough to swallow the first time and the second time. And then with the third time, its frustrating, said Luebke.

This father to three little girls will eventually need a bone marrow transplant.

But with this time, right now Im just doing an immunotherapy and were hoping that brings it back down to a cellular level and I can be on that for as long as until it stops working. So then it would require a stem cell transplant with a donor this time, said Luebke.

Thats where you and I can do our part and become part of the bone marrow registry and potentially be the match and save a life like Luebke’s.

You fill out a short questionnaire. It talks about your health history and some personal questions, like how willing would you be to become a donor and then the swabbing process is really simple. We just swab each of your cheeks for a couple of minutes and then youre done, said Jalisa Spittler, transplant coordinator.

Spittler says 70% of patients who need a donor dont have a match in their family making the bone marrow registry their only hope.

We do have a lot of patients here that are waiting for matches that we just cant find for them. So its really helpful if we can create a diverse list with tons of people from here in South Dakota, said Spittler.

I got three little girls to raise and beautiful wife at home so I gotta stick around for a few more years, said Luebke.

Its pretty tough to realize that now youre relying on someone else where before it was all the medicine and just chemotherapy and now youre relying on somebody else with healthy stem cells to keep you going, said Luebke.

Sometimes it takes months to find a match.

Its taxing on them because they have to take more chemotherapy the longer it takes us to find a match for them. And the more chemotherapy they take, the harder it is on their body to get through the transplant. So its really important that we have a huge number of people to look at first, said Spittler.

Theres many ways that you can help out with people lives. And whether its in a fire, on a medical call and even helping somebody with life itself and furthering their life and making it better so they dont have to do chemotherapy anymore, said Luebke.

Luebke is a hero to this family and the community.

The first step to being someones cure is to join Be the Match Registry.

This Tuesday at the Oyate Community Center in Sioux Falls, there will be a bone marrow registry drive from noon to 7PM. It is put on by Avera, the city of Sioux Falls, and Be the Match. Registering takes less than 15 minutes.

For more information, just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Firefighter with recurrent Hodgkin Lymphoma will need bone marrow transplant in future … – KSFY

How to Grow a Human Hand – Edgy Labs (blog)

Heres an interesting project: somebody has been growing a human hand in a lab and displaying it for the world to see.

We live in a time where the meaning of impossible needs to be updated.

As we make new discoveries, new possibilities open up to us. And if you want a good example of that, just look at how advanced prosthetics have become in the last decade. Soon, you might be able to grow a humanhand like a Chia pet.

Or take a look at Dr. Sergio Canavero, who plans to perform a full-on head transplant later this year.

But that example may be a little extreme.

See, theres something miraculous about giving something vital like a limb or an organ to someone to needs it. In the past, it couldnt be done, but with the future in sight, were slowly changing our minds on that.

So, the future can be full of hope. And when one of us loses a hand, possibly due to someone we have only just learned is our father, we wont have to worry too hard.

Ok, heres a better example of the kind of future Im talking about.

Artist Amy Karle has an interesting new project that combines 3D printing with stem cell research. The idea is to grow a functional human hand, and if it works she wants to make the design free and open source.

And trust me, that will be one weird-yet-cool day for the people who frequent

Karle may be an artist, but shes no amateur. She works with nonprofit groups that design 3D printed prosthetic arms, and she has help from a team of scientists.

The project is called Regenerative Reliquary, and it is being displayed in San Franciscos Pier 9 space while it grows. Or, to be more accurate, while part of it grows.

Karle has designed a 3D printed trellis in CAD which was printed using a cellular growth medium called pegda. Over several weeks, the pegda trellis was grown in a bioreactor on display. The next step will be to grow a cell line on the trellis, something Karle is culturing stem cells for now.

The team is using stem cells extracted from bone marrow, and with any luck, the idea will bear fruit and be released to the public.

I like the sound of an open source prosthetic design, especially considering how much more of an option 3D printing is these days. Lose a limb, and you may one day be able to make a replacement within the comfort of your own garage.

For now, though, were still waiting to see if Karles project will work. According to the artist, Well see if the cells have a mind of their own. I like to step back and let the artwork take over.

Now you know how Karle plans to grow a human hand. Lets rewind a bit, back to where I mentioned Dr. Canavero and his upcoming head transplant.

As crazy as it sounds, if Canaveros plan works science will have taken a big step toward manipulating the central nervous system. And thats really, really important. If scientists can connect a head to a spine, and they can grow a limb in a tank, it follows that they may one day be able to attach that limb as a replacement.

And that doesnt just apply to limbs, either. Scientists have been looking into growing replacement organs for years, just look at this article from way back in 2014.

We may be on the verge of the ability to reproduce and replace parts of the human body. And at this rate, who knows what kind of effect this can have on the survivability rate of human beings in the future.

Im sure well never resurrect the dead or anything, but I think the fictional Dr. Frankenstein would be proud.

Creating replacement body parts is something that has been a mainstay of science fiction, and it isnt crazy any longer to think that it may become a reality. So, like I said earlier, we may need to push the goal posts back on the word impossible.

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How to Grow a Human Hand – Edgy Labs (blog)

Stem cell therapies: medical experts call for strict international rules – The Guardian

Stem cells have long been used to treat blood cancers and some immune diseases. But some doctors are offering stem cell treatments for diseases still under clinical trial. Photograph: Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Medical and legal experts from around the world have united to call for more stringent regulation of stem cell therapies to prevent people pursuing unproven and potentially deadly treatments overseas.

In a perspective piece for the US journal Science Translational Medicine, 15 experts from countries including the UK, the US, Canada, Belgium, Italy and Japan wrote that national efforts alone would not be enough to counter an industry offering unproven treatments to vulnerable patients.

Stem cell-based interventions are classified under diverse and potentially incompatible national regulatory frameworks, the authors wrote.

Approaches for international regulation not only need to develop consistent rules over the commercialisation of medical practices and products but also need to give them teeth by developing cross-border partnerships for compliance.

Stem cells found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood have long been used to successfully treat blood cancers including leukaemia and some immune diseases. But those are among the few proven treatments. Legitimate and ethics-approved clinical trials by academic centres are also occurring, exploring the potential of stem cells to treat a wider range of diseases.

But some doctors are directly offering to the general public stem cell treatments for diseases still under clinical trial or for which no evidence exists and for which the safety and efficacy is as yet unproven.

Deaths as a result of stem cell treatments have already occurred. In 2013 Sheila Drysdale died in a New South Wales nursing home after undergoing an unproven liposuction stem-cell therapy at a western Sydney clinic. Following Drysldales death, her doctor, Ralph Bright, gave a statement to police in which he claimed that stem-cell treatment could improve comorbidities and that stem cells could move from joints to other parts of the body to improve disease in distant sites including lungs and brain, vision, mentation and pain.

In his report into Drysdales death, the coroner Hugh Dillon wrote that he could not say what motivated Dr Bright to perform this unproven, dubious procedure on Sheila Drysdale.

But regardless of his motivation, Dr Brights performance as a medical practitioner was, for the reasons outlined above, poor and resulted in Sheila Drysdales death.

The Medical Council of NSW investigated Bright and placed a number of restrictions on his right to practice. Bright is still authorised to practise stem cell therapy for patients with osteoarthritis or who are taking part in research studies approved by an ethics committee. He is also still allowed to treat patients returning for remaining injections of stored cells.

In 2013 a Queensland woman, Kellie van Meurs, died when she travelled to Russia to undergo stem-cell treatment for a rare neurological disorder. She died of a heart attack as a result.

Australias drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, last year sought feedback on the regulation of autologous stem-cell therapies but is yet to publish those submissions. A TGA spokeswoman said the Administration was still examining the options for changes to the legislation to reflect public and industry views. The TGA currently considers autologous treatments, which involve treating someone with their own tissue or cells, to be a therapeutic good and, therefore, does not regulate them. Stem cells used for medical practice and therapeutic purposes are covered by different regulatory frameworks.

Associate Professor Megan Munsie, a University of Melbourne stem cell scientist and a co-author of the paper, said: The idea that stem cells are magical holds court in the community, along with this idea the advances in treatment are being held up by red tape.

Unethical health practitioners exploited this, she said, along with the vulnerability of patients with difficult-to-treat or incurable conditions.

There is a precedent for international regulation of this industry because regulations already exist around drugs the way they are manufactured, she said.

This could be extended to the regulation to the stem cell and tissue-based therapies. This international stance would then force or encourage stronger local regulations.

There have been successful efforts by scientists to push back against unscrupulous doctors. In Italy scientists and regulators highlighted the unproven yet government-subsidised treatments being offered by the entrepreneur Davide Vannoni and fought to stop him. He was convicted of criminal charges but the sentence was later suspended.

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Stem cell therapies: medical experts call for strict international rules – The Guardian

Artsakh Soldier Saves Life Of Cancer Patient In Iran – Asbarez Armenian News

Sergey with his wife and son

ABMDR salutes young officer and celebrates its 30th life saved through a transplant

LOS ANGELESThe Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) announced that it has facilitated its 30th bone marrow stem cell transplant, thanks to stem cells harvested from a young ABMDR matched donor. The stem cells of the donor, Sergey, who is a 23 year-old army officer serving on the frontline in Artsakh, were utilized to save the life of a cancer patient in Iran.

On July 3, 2017, Sergey became the 30th ABMDR donor to experience the joy of saving the life of someone he had never met, said ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan.

Dr. Sevak Avagyan, Sergey, Dr. Andranik Mshetsyan

In 2012, Sergey had joined the ranks of ABMDRs donor registry during a recruitment drive at the Vazken Sagsyan Military Institute, in Yerevan. Five years later, he was found to be a perfect match for a patient in Iran who was suffering from leukemia and whose only hope for survival was to receive a bone marrow stem cell transplant from a compatible donor. Sergey turned out to be a perfect match for the patient. He was given a day off to leave the frontline to come to ABMDRs Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Yerevan to donate his stem cells and save a patients life.

Accompanied by his young wife and six-month old son, Sergey was greeted by ABMDR staff at the Stem Cell Harvesting Center. The painless, non-invasive harvesting procedure, performed by Dr. Andranik Mshetsyan, lasted approximately four hours. Also present at the procedure were ABMDR Executive Director Dr. Sevak Avagyan and Medical Director Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan.

Sergey, Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan, and Lab Staff Member

At the conclusion of the harvesting, as staff members performed quality-control analyses of the harvested cells and packed them for the special courier who was waiting to transport the precious gift of life to the patient in Iran, Sergey, a hero in the eyes of all, on the frontlines as well as far away from them, joined his young family while someone in Iran was about to get a second chance at life.

Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps Armenians and non-Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, the registry has recruited over 29,000 donors in 42 countries across four continents, identified over 4,190 patients, and facilitated 30 bone marrow transplants. For more information, call (323) 663-3609 or visit

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Artsakh Soldier Saves Life Of Cancer Patient In Iran – Asbarez Armenian News

Bursting the Bubble – Texas Medical Center (press release)

Blanca Romero gave birth to her son, Sebastian, on Feb. 12, 2017, at Houston Methodist Hospital in Katy. At 8 lbs. 9 oz., Sebastian had plump cheeks, big brown eyes and a head full of thick black hair. He was, by all appearances, a perfectly healthy baby boy.

Sebastian was Romeros third child, so she was familiar with the post-delivery drill. She took him to his newborn screening with the pediatrician, but something wasnt quite right with one of his tests. The results showed abnormalities in Sebastians immune system.

It was scary to hear your child has something, but you dont know what it is, Romero said.

Romero and her husband, Emil, met with Sarah Nicholas, M.D., an allergy and immunology specialist at Texas Childrens Hospital, who explained that their son had a rare genetic disorder called severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). The condition is more commonly known as bubble boy disease, named for David Vetter, who suffered from the same illness and was forced to live his short life in a sterile plastic bubble. Born in 1971, Vetter was also treated at Texas Childrens.

Patients with SCID are born missing their T cells, a type of white blood cell that protects the body from foreign invaders by killing viruses and sending instructions to the rest of the immune system. In some SCID cases, patients may be born without their B cells, a white blood cell that produces antibodies, or natural killer (NK) cells, a white blood cell that kills viruses and tumor cells.

Without the bodys natural defense system, Sebastian and other babies with SCID are at high risk for severe and recurrent infections, such as pneumonia.

Even a slight cold could turn deadly, a rash could turn into an infection and turn deadly, Romero said. Anything could kill him.

But there was hope. With chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Sebastian had a good chance of living in the real world.

Although Sebastian didnt need to live in a plastic chamber like Vetter, the environment he required at home created a bubble of social isolation for Romero and her family.

Soon after his diagnosis, Romeros husband and the couples other two children, Abraham, 7, and Kayla, 5, caught colds.

Romeros instincts kicked in. She began formulating a way to keep Sebastian safe from pathogens and people, including his own family. First, she and her husband disinfected theirentire home, buying four air filters to remove dust, pollen, mold and bacteria from the air.

Then, they transformed the master bedroom into living quarters for her and Sebastian. Romero spent her days alone with the baby, venturing outside the room only for brief moments.

My husband would bring food into the bedroom whenever the kids would leave for school and he would leave for work, Romero said. He would Lysol the entire house so that I could go in the living room or the kitchen to get something to eat, and then Id go right back into the room.

Romero notified her childrens school of Sebastians condition. The classrooms where Abraham and Kayla spent most of their time were sanitized daily. The school also let Romero know when any students were sent home with fevers, so that she could decide whetheror not her children should go to school.

Rather than eating lunch in the cafeteria with the rest of his class, Abraham stayed in the classroom with his teacher and one friend.

When the kids returned home from school, they were required to shower immediately to make sure they didnt carry any outside pollutants or germs into the house.

Even then, the master bedroom was off limits. Although Abraham and Kayla were eager to hold and play with their baby brother, they had to stand far from the door. Romero would hold Sebastian up in the air like in Lion King when theyre showing Simba, she said, sothey could see him.

They went from being able to touch and love the baby to not being able to touch him anymore, Romero said. At first, they didnt understand, so they would cry a lot. We had to explain to them that this was life-threatening and he could die.

The kids were isolated from their mother, as well.

I couldnt hug my kids, Romero said. I couldnt kiss them because I have to protect Sebastian as his main caregiver.

Instead, she would give her two oldest children pretend hugs. She would hug herself and they would hug themselves at the same time, as if they were hugging each other.

I feel guilty, Romero said. Everybody tells me not to because Sebastian is the one who needs us the most right now, but I cant help, as a mother, to feel like Im failing my other two children because they also need me.

On May 14, Mothers Day, Blanca and Emil Romero packed their suitcases and drove Sebastian from their home in Katy to Texas Childrens. They settled into a small room with a metal crib for Sebastian and a sofa that converted into a pull-out mattress. For the next month, this would be their second home.

Currently, the only curative option for patients with SCID is a one-two punch of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant using stem cells.

With this treatment, the survival rate at Texas Childrens has been shown to be more than 90 percent for patients with SCID if treated within 3 months of age. Left untreated, however, SCID is almost always fatal from infection within a year of age.

Any time you see your patient go through a difficult procedure you really worry about the risks youre subjecting them to, but SCID is really universally fatal without intervention, Nicholas said. I feel good recommending it to my patients because I know its a lifesaving therapy.

Stem cells are the mother cells of the blood that eventually mature into red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells, explained Caridad Martinez, M.D., Sebastians bone marrowtransplant specialist and associate clinical director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Texas Childrens Cancer and Hematology Centers. Healthy white blood cells canfurther divide into various subtypesincluding lymphocytes, which are the bodys B cells, T cells and NK cells.

Since the lymphocytes arise from stem cells that are located in the bone marrow, the only curative option for SCID patients is basically to replace that sick marrow producing abnormallymphocytes with a normal marrow producing functional lymphocytes, Martinez said.

There are three options for patients who need a bone marrow transplant: a sibling donor, an unrelated marrow donor or a cord blood unit. A sibling donor is the preferred option, but only 25 percent of patients who need a bone marrow transplant will have a matched sibling donor.

Patients without a matched sibling require either a transplant from an unrelated marrow donor or a cord blood unitstem-cell-rich blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth that was donated to a public cord blood bank.

But none of these options worked for Sebastian, who is Hispanic. Minoritiesincluding Hispanics, African Americans and Asiansare underrepresented in the bone marrow transplant registry, making it difficult for babies of those ethnic backgrounds to find a good donor match.

Martinez said it was the first time in her 10 years of transplanting SCID babies that she and her team werent able to find a matched sibling or cord blood unit for transplant.

Without many options left, Martinez decided on a different type of transplant, one that had never been performed on a SCID patient at Texas Childrens: a haploidentical transplant. A haploidentical, or half-match, donor can be a patients mother, father or sibling, as long as they havent been exposed to certain viruses, including cytomegalovirus (CMV), a commonvirus that affects 85 percent of adults.

Once a person is exposed to CMV, the virus remains dormant inside the body and can be reactivated.

Those viruses are like common colds, but when they reactivate in the transplant period it can be a problem, Martinez said.

Fortunately, Romero tested negative for those viruses, making her an ideal haploidentical donor for Sebastian.

Martinez administered a drug called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor to stimulate the production of Romeros stem cells and mobilize them out of the bone marrow to the peripheral blood for extraction. After measuring the amount of cells her body was producing, Martinez and her team discovered that Romero had four to five times the amount of stem cells Sebastian needed for his transplant. Romero called them her super cells.

The extracted stem cells were then sent to a lab for graft engineering and T cell depletion, a purification process that separates unmatched T cells to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

Finally, on the evening of Thursday, May 25, Martinez and her team walked into Sebastians hospital room carrying a small blood bag full of purified stem cells. They hooked up the bag to the IV pole next to Sebastians bed and began administering 78 milliliters of the super cells.

Romero watched as the pink liquid snaked through the tube into Sebastians central line. An hour and 10 minutes later, his body received the final drops of lifesaving stem cells.

But Sebastian wasnt out of the woods yet. He was still experiencing side effects from chemotherapy.

In preparation for the bone marrow transplant, Sebastian underwent 10 days of chemotherapy to suppress any remaining immune response that might reject the donor cells and to clear space in the bone marrow for the new stem cells to grow and expand. Although this is a necessary part of the treatment, it takes a painful toll on the body.

During the chemo days, he looked fine, but now to see the after effects, I cant do anything and nothing soothes him, Romero said. I try to hold him and its horrible. I cant do anything. It sucks. I wish I could just know what hes feeling.

Monday, May 29, was one of their hardest days yet. Emil Romero sat in the pull-out bed, gently holding Sebastian in his arms, while the slack of catheter tubes attached to Sebastians body trailed around them. Sitting next to her husband, Blanca Romero gazed forlornly at her 3-month-old baby boy and listened to his subdued whimpering.

He has learned that, if he cries, it hurts him more, so he whimpers more than he cries, she said. He doesnt babble as much either because it hurts him.

As she caressed Sebastians head, strands of his hair stuck to her hands, a side effect of chemo. Sebastian inched closer to her and started rubbing her face. Could he sense his mothers pain, or was he just practicing his hand-eye coordination?

There are moments when Im pretty okay and then there are moments when I go into the bathroom and just cry it out, Romero said. Its tough to see your child going through this stuff but hes there fighting and were fighting along with him.

A new immune system takes time to grow and be normal, Martinez said.

You need to wait until that immune system is mature enough to be functional and able to fight viruses or respond to vaccines, she added. That usually happens about nine months to a year after the transplant is done.

On Wednesday, June 14, Sebastians doctors delivered some surprising news: His T cell count in his bone marrow was steadily increasing above optimal levels. He was going to be released that afternoon, ahead of schedule.

It was a mix of emotions, Romero said. You get choked up knowing were ready to go home, but at the same time, super scared because youve been in this environment where everybody knows they have to protect him.

But it was wonderful to have the family back together again. Sebastians two older siblings could finally shower their baby brother with affection. They had been waiting patiently and loving Sebastian from a distance, but now, they could hug and kiss him.

This is the closest theyve all been since he was born, Romero said.

Sebastian will continue to stay in isolation at home for at least three months. He was supposed to leave only for clinic visits three times a week to receive blood or platelet transfusions, but because of a fungal infection he contracted, Romero still takes him to the hospital for treatment every day for four to six hours. Its an exhausting routine traveling back and forth from Katy to the hospital, Romero said, but at least theyre home.

Were so thankful that hes been doing so good, she said, her voice a couple octaves higher, as she nuzzled Sebastians neck and cuddled with him on the sofa in their living room.

Over the past four months, Romero and her familys lives took an unexpected turn because of Sebastians SCID diagnosis. But Romero, ever the optimist, said she hopes Sebastians journey will raise more awareness about SCID and inspire others to become bone marrow or cord blood donors.

I know theres a plan and a purpose. I can see that through sharing our story, she said. If you could go, be a match and sign up, do it. You can save a life. Whats better than that? You can be somebodys hero.

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Bursting the Bubble – Texas Medical Center (press release)

Stem cell therapies breaking barriers Features The Guardian … – Guardian (blog)

STEM CELL THERAPIES BREAKING BARRIERSPhysicians all over the world are increasingly employing stem cell therapies for the treatment of chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, neurological disorders, asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, female and male sexual dysfunction, joint pain and autoimmune disease. INSET is Dr. David Ikudayisi, of the Glory Wellness and Regenerative Centre PHOTO CREDIT:

Technology offers groundbreaking new treatment option for chronic diseases to patients Physicians all over the world are increasingly employing stem cell therapies for the treatment of chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, neurological disorders, asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, female and male sexual dysfunction, joint pain and autoimmune disease.

A study published last week in the FASEB Journal showed that a new therapy developed through stem cell technology holds promise as a treatment for chronic asthma.

Also, researchers have successfully patched up damaged hearts to treat heart failure, using the patients own muscle stem cells but another study published last week in journal Circulation found that the treatment could be more harmful than helpful if cardiac stem cells are involved.

In another study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, team of investigators has successfully repaired severe limb fractures in laboratory animals with an innovative technique that cues bone to regrow its own tissue. If found to be safe and effective in humans, the pioneering method of combining ultrasound, stem cell and gene therapies could eventually replace grafting as a way to mend severely broken bones.

Using new gene-editing technology, researchers have rewired mouse stem cells to fight inflammation caused by arthritis and other chronic conditions. According to the study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, such stem cells, known as SMART cells (Stem cells Modified for Autonomous Regenerative Therapy), develop into cartilage cells that produce a biologic anti-inflammatory drug that, ideally, will replace arthritic cartilage and simultaneously protect joints and other tissues from damage that occurs with chronic inflammation.

Scientists have for the first time created a special type of neuron from human stem cells that could potentially repair spinal cord injuries. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Also, early results of a clinical trial suggest that stem cell therapy may be a promising treatment for erectile dysfunction, after the procedure was found to restore sexual function in men with the condition.

Meanwhile, the ANOVA IRM Stem Cell Centre has opened its doors in Frankfurt, Germany offering a groundbreaking new treatment option to patients worldwide.

One of the pioneers of stem cell therapy in Nigeria, Dr. David Ikudayisi, of the Glory Wellness and Regenerative Centre, with clinics in Abuja and Lagos, told The Guardian that there are several thousand clinical trials based on autologous (patients own) Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). He said these type of stem cells are relatively easy to obtain from a patient via bone marrow blood or fat tissue and have been shown to hold vast healing potential.

Ikudayisi is a United States (U.S.) Board Certified Internist with a strong passion for regenerative aesthetic and cosmetic medicine.

Ikudayisi said ASCT and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRPT) are under a new specialty of medicine known as regenerative medicine, which is a specialist segment of medicine that helps people to naturally regenerate and rejuvenate their bodies from the different conditions they may be suffering from without using chemicals or the orthodox medicine we are used to.

ASCT may hold answers to many questions and problems that we doctors believed had no solutions, especially neurological disorders. Adult stem cell therapy with or without PRPT revitalizes and regenerates the body organs and systems; it also reverses and repairs many pending subclinical medical problems before they become apparent, including the diseases that are age-related, Ikudayisi said.

He said that ASCT and PRPT are safe as shown by many published research reports and clinical trials done already. He, however, said this does not guarantee that adverse effects cannot occur if physicians that are not properly trained do the treatment.

The US-trained said ASCT has helped a lot of people all over the world to regain their lives back from debilitating ailments and Nigerians are not left behind. He said there are real people in Nigeria that were either wheelchair bound but now walking freely with occasional use of a cane or using a cane before but now walking without one; diabetes patients are able to have restoration of vision in their eyes, and some feel and look younger.

He said ASCT has helped chronic kidney disease patients in Nigeria that are on haemodialysis to either reduce the frequency of haemodialysis per week or like in a patient that was recommended to have kidney transplant a year ago is now off haemodialysis and off diabetic medications, and remain stable for the last six months.

Ikudayisi said men with erectile dysfunction are now feeling like young men again. He further explained: I would be remiss to mention that the type of treatment protocol, the dosage of stem cells used also play a role in the efficacy of the treatment, and not everyone will respond in the same manner. Most of the patients showed improvements after the first treatment, and the few that needed second treatment went on to see great results after more treatments were done; needless to say that they were elated with the results.

The only groups of patients that will always need more than a couple of transplantation sessions are patients with the neurological disorders. The latest researches and evidence-based studies show the number of treatment session needed to get significant clinical results can decreased by adding Exosomes to the treatment sessions.

Ikudayisi said there are some diseases that conventional treatments have no cure for, but ASCT can reverse the symptoms of those diseases, repair, and regenerate the damaged tissues or organs involved. He explained: In some cases, it significantly slows down the progression of the disorder. For example, it can regenerate the bony joints in arthritis, repair and strengthen partial Rotator cuff tears and avascular necrosis of the hip without surgery, revitalize the sexual organs in men and women, regenerate renal cells in kidney diseases, modulate immune system without use of medications that have very serious side effects in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Crohns disease, etc. Another advantage is its application in neurological disorders like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal cord injury.

Ikudayisi said ASCT can gradually lower diabetic medications dosage and eventually may get the patients off diabetic medications. This is evidenced by stem cells in a hyperglycemic medium differentiating into pancreatic cells; therefore leading to increased development of new blood vessels, secretion of various products of the immune system, and up-regulation of pancreatic transcription factors and vascular growth factor. This aids the pancreas to regenerate and boost its ability to produce insulin. In stroke patients, stem cells activate cells around the suffering brain tissue to catalyze rapid healing and to improve brain function, thereby restoring motor function. Until recently, it was believed that damage to the brain tissue was permanent. This is being challenged by the evidences of re-growth of brain cells and improvements of neurological function documented with the use of adult stem cells, he said.

Ikudayisi said a procedure called P-Shot for Men uses PRPT to resolve challenges relating to erectile dysfunction by regenerating the damaged tissues. It gives treated men the possibility of saving their relationships by increasing stamina, enjoying bigger and harder genitals, and eventually increasing the length and girth. Orgasm-Shot for Women, the regenerative medicine procedure for womens sexual function, leads to increased ability to have orgasm, better arousal from clitoris stimulation, decreased pain during intercourse, tighter vaginal opening, increased sexual desire and natural lubrication, and increased arousal from G-spot stimulation. In addition, because of the O-Shot rejuvenation capabilities, there is help available for women suffering from urinary stress incontinence without the need for invasive surgery, he said.

Ikudayisi said since the stem cells used are autologous, there is no risk of rejection of the stem cell transplant, but as with any procedure, there is a risk of infection, which can be very minimal or non-existent if done under the right conditions. He said adult stem cells transplantation can also be considered by people looking for alternative treatments especially in the areas of diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, female and male sexual dysfunction, joint pain, neurological disorder and autoimmune disease.

The regenerative medicine expert, however, said: Currently, the cost of treatment varies, and it is not for everyone. However, you cant place a price tag on life just as the saying goes that Health is wealth.

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Stem cell therapies breaking barriers Features The Guardian … – Guardian (blog)

Global Cell Therapy Report 2017 – Technologies, Markets and … – PR Newswire (press release)

This report describes and evaluates cell therapy technologies and methods, which have already started to play an important role in the practice of medicine. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is replacing the old fashioned bone marrow transplants. Role of cells in drug discovery is also described. Cell therapy is bound to become a part of medical practice.

Stem cells are discussed in detail in one chapter. Some light is thrown on the current controversy of embryonic sources of stem cells and comparison with adult sources. Other sources of stem cells such as the placenta, cord blood and fat removed by liposuction are also discussed. Stem cells can also be genetically modified prior to transplantation.

Cell therapy technologies overlap with those of gene therapy, cancer vaccines, drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Pharmaceutical applications of stem cells including those in drug discovery are also described. Various types of cells used, methods of preparation and culture, encapsulation and genetic engineering of cells are discussed. Sources of cells, both human and animal (xenotransplantation) are discussed. Methods of delivery of cell therapy range from injections to surgical implantation using special devices.

Cell therapy has applications in a large number of disorders. The most important are diseases of the nervous system and cancer which are the topics for separate chapters. Other applications include cardiac disorders (myocardial infarction and heart failure), diabetes mellitus, diseases of bones and joints, genetic disorders, and wounds of the skin and soft tissues.

Regulatory and ethical issues involving cell therapy are important and are discussed. Current political debate on the use of stem cells from embryonic sources (hESCs) is also presented. Safety is an essential consideration of any new therapy and regulations for cell therapy are those for biological preparations.

The cell-based markets was analyzed for 2016, and projected to 2026. The markets are analyzed according to therapeutic categories, technologies and geographical areas. The largest expansion will be in diseases of the central nervous system, cancer and cardiovascular disorders. Skin and soft tissue repair as well as diabetes mellitus will be other major markets.

The number of companies involved in cell therapy has increased remarkably during the past few years. More than 500 companies have been identified to be involved in cell therapy and 306 of these are profiled in part II of the report along with tabulation of 291 alliances. Of these companies, 170 are involved in stem cells. Profiles of 72 academic institutions in the US involved in cell therapy are also included in part II along with their commercial collaborations. The text is supplemented with 64 Tables and 22 Figures. The bibliography contains 1,200 selected references, which are cited in the text.

Key Topics Covered:

Part I: Technologies, Ethics & Regulations

Executive Summary

1. Introduction to Cell Therapy

2. Cell Therapy Technologies

3. Stem Cells

4. Clinical Applications of Cell Therapy

5. Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disorders

6. Cell Therapy for Cancer

7. Cell Therapy for Neurological Disorders

8. Ethical, Legal and Political Aspects of Cell therapy

9. Safety and Regulatory Aspects of Cell Therapy

Part II: Markets, Companies & Academic Institutions

10. Markets and Future Prospects for Cell Therapy

11. Companies Involved in Cell Therapy

12. Academic Institutions

13. References

For more information about this report visit

Source: Jain PharmaBiotech

Media Contact:

Laura Wood, Senior Manager

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Global Cell Therapy Report 2017 – Technologies, Markets and … – PR Newswire (press release)

Danvers health group offers alternative solution to surgery – Wicked Local North of Boston

Stem cell therapy: the next wave in regenerative medicine?

All it involved was a quick injection no different, really, than a flu shot.

A few weeks later, Bill Ambrose realized hed become significantly less reliant on taking Aleve for knee pain, and he was re-learning how to walk without shuffling his feet.

Surgery, it turned out, might not be necessary after all.

Last November, Ambrose scheduled knee surgery to alleviate discomfort in his knees caused by what orthopedic doctors called true bone-on-bone at the joint. But for one reason or another, he kept missing pre-surgery and the surgery never happened.

The next month, Ambrose met with Dr. Bill Nolan, of Cherry Street Health Group, to discuss advertising space in the Danvers Herald.

For the purpose of full disclosure, Ambrose is an employee of Gatehouse Media Company, and he works in the advertising department for Wicked Local, the local branch of GHM newspapers.

After Nolans ads ran inthe Jan. 5issue of the Herald, Ambrose said he reached out to Nolan again. This time, for himself.

Nolans practice offered a solution to his knee pain an alternative to knee surgery he had never considered before: stem cell therapy.

Essentially, the solutionCherry StreetHealth Group offered was an injection of amniotic fluid into Ambrose’s knee joint. The stem cells and other growth factorsin the fluid would allow for the regeneration of the cartilage at the joint.

I became interested so I decided to go ahead with it, Ambrose said.

He brought in scans to show Nolan, who said, contrary to what orthopedic doctors had told him, he didnt have true bone on bone. There was still a small space between the bones.

I decided to have one leg done and my knee started getting much better, he said.

Satisfied with the results of the first injection, Ambrose decided to get his left knee done in April.

I still experience some pain in [the left knee], but I get up in the morning and theres very little pain at all, he said in an interview a few weeks following the appointment.

The stem cell option

In the U.S., there are three ways that stem cells are used, Nolan said. Theyre either taken from bone marrow, fat cells, or the amniotic membrane of a healthy c-section from a consenting woman.

When stem cellsare injected into the body,they’re expected to increase space at the joint, rebuild cartilage, and ultimately, provide more stability in the joint. As many as 570 businesses across the country advertise some kind of stem cell therapy, according to a 2016 paper.

Stem cell therapy is not necessarily a new discovery, but it is relatively recent in the world of regenerative medicine.Stem cells were first used as much as century ago, first for eye procedures and as filler for the spinal cord, according to Regenexx, which claims to have pioneered orthopedic stem cell treatments in 2005.

Adult stem cells are retrieved directly from the patient, either frombone marrow or fat cells,and concentrated beforeits reinjectedinto the patient’s site of pain.

In the case of amniotic fluid therapy,amniotic fluid, which contains stem cells and other growth factors, is injected into the site. These cellshave been shown to “expand extensively” and show “high renewal capacity,”according to research published in the National Library of Medicine.

We know that as you age, your stem cell count decreases,Nolan said, explaining the benefit of using cells from the amniotic membrane. We know that when we get it from the amniotic membrane, theres a large amount of stem cells that are present. From the amniotic membrane, there are no antibodies or antigens, so its safe for anyone to get.

At Cherry Street Health Group, theproduct usedis produced by General Surgical and distributed by RegenOMedix, according to Nolan.The product, which is called ReGen Anu RHEO, is American Tissue Bank approved and FDA cleared.

RHEO is marketed as “a human tissue allograft derived from placental tissue; amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid.”Its a”powerful combination” of amniotic fluid and mesencymal stem cells, which are known to differentiate into a variety of cell types, according to RegenOMedix.It also contains growth factor proteins andis “rich” in other necessary components for tissue regeneration.

The product is non-steroidal and comes with no side effects, and the company says no adverse events have been recorded using the product.

Nolan said stem cell therapy has been offered as a treatmentat Cherry Street since 2016.

Across the U.S., there are as many as 56 businesses marketing some form of amniotic stem cellsto its consumers, according to the same paper.

At Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, for example, orthopedic surgeon Adam Yanke enrolled one of his patients into an experimental amniotic cell therapy treatment program. The woman, a 65-year-old suffering from osteoarthritis in both knees, told reporters the injections were “by far the most effective pain treatment” she had tried, and so farthat relief has lasted up to a year.

But while the use of amniotic fluid therapyas a regenerative medicine is becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S.,the use of amniotic stemcellsdoesn’t comewithout concern from some within the community.

Dr. Chris Centeno, who specializes in regenerative medicine andthe clinical use of adult stem cells, has blogged numerous times for Regenexx on the “scam” of using amniotic stem cells most recently in sharply worded post on May 22.

“Regrettably, we have an epidemic on our hands that began when sales reps began telling medical providers thattheir dead amniotic and cord tissues had loads of live cells on it,” he wrote.

Nolan said he was familiar with Centeno’s posts.

“A lot of the stem cell stuff is new,” he said. “Some of the products out there … They were doing testing on them and not finding cells.”

Cherry Street Health Group has treatedabout 50patients with this form of regenerative medicine and had significant success, according to Nolan. Although Nolan owns the health group on Cherry Street in Danvers, the stem cell treatments are provided under the medical practice of Dr. Pat Scanlan.

Weve had really, really amazing success, Nolan said. Weve had over 95 percent success of all the patients weve had in the office. Its been a game changer from a practice standpoint.

The “worst thing” that could happen is there might not be any regeneration, he explained.

“You might get pain relief, but no regeneration,” Nolan said. “But from what weve seen, there have been no negative side effects.”

At Cherry Street, knees are the most commonly treated joints, followed by hips, shoulders and the lower back. The cervical spine is the least common.

“I hesitated on the surgery, and I’m gladI did,” Ambrose said. “Even if[the stem cells]don’t do any more than what they’ve done, its been well worth it.”

Patients who do present with true bone on bone, however, are not candidates for this form of therapy, Nolan said.

The cost comparison

At Cherry Street Health Group, the cost of the injection comes toroughly $4,000 per knee, a cost that isn’t covered by insurance. By comparison, health-care providers often charge insurers more than $18,000 for knee replacement surgeries in the Boston area, according to a report by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The report, however, doesn’t account for what the patient actually pays.

Nolan said when other factors of post-op are considered time off of work, rehabilitation time and cost the out-of-pocketcost for surgery compared to stem cell treatment is comparable.

“When you really boil it down, it can be the same or, in a lot of cases, a savings,” he said.

Ambrose said it “boggles his mind” that more people don’t choose this treatment over surgery.

“Why would you spend $40,000 on a car and not want to spend $4,000 on a knee?,” he said.”Its crazy. Yes, its out of pocket. So what? We buy a lot of stuff we dont need, and then for something like this, something that people, if they do it, theyll be glad they did it. Its just hard to convince them to do it.”

In arecent report in STAT news, a health news start up of the Boston Globe, a study of orthopedic procedures in the U.S. suggested an estimated one-third of knee replacement surgeries are inappropriate. More than 640,000 of these surgeries are performed each year, making for a $10 billion dollar industry in knee surgery.

The study said that evidence isn’t limited to just knee surgeries.

“There’s a lot that needs to change when we look at health care in general,”Nolan said. “It’s really no surprise that something like doing this regenerative medicine is going to take time for it to really take off.”

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Danvers health group offers alternative solution to surgery – Wicked Local North of Boston

RegenOrthoSport Facility Launched – Outlook India

it will provide regenexx, a regenerative stem cells procedure to treat orthopedic and sports injuries (Attn.Editors: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with NewsVoir. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same).

It will provide Regenexx, a regenerative stem cells procedure to treat orthopedic and sports injuries

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (NewsVoir)July 5, 2017– Regenexx, the world’s most advanced stem cell procedures for treating orthopedic conditions and sports injuries has entered in Mumbai. This is there second branch in Asia. It would offer two stem cell procedures using imaging and interventional orthopaedic techniques to non-surgically repair and regenerate.The first one is a same-day procedure where stem cells are harvested, isolated and re-implanted on the same day. The second one is blood-derived plasma-rich platelet procedure. They would help athletes and non-athletes overcome early, mild, moderate ortho problems in a way that is devoid of surgery.

Regenexx is the most advanced stem cell and platelet procedures for treating orthopedic injuries, arthritis and other degenerative conditions. These procedures offer non-surgical alternatives to commonly occurring musculoskeletal conditions. Patented Regenexx procedures use precise injections of your own stem cells or blood platelets to help your body’s ability to heal damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, spinal disc and bone. Regenexx Stem Cell Therapy and Platelet Procedures, avoid the need for invasive surgery, in turn eliminating any complications that are typically seen with surgeries.

On this occasion Dr. Venkatesh Movva, MD, Regenexx India says, “The only option till now was total knee replacement. Now with this technology we can heal and regenerate the lost tissues like cartilage, meniscus and ligaments to reverse the arthritis and in turn avoid any major surgery. Patients return to their loved activities in no time. We could also treat conditions like lower back pain, hip arthritis, bulging discs, ankle and shoulder rotator cuff tears with stem cells orthopedics procedure. Majority of these are lifestyle related conditions,”

Regenexx procedures are image guided needle based procedures, so the downtime for recovery is minimal or none. These are truly ambulatory procedures without the need for hospitalization. The procedure process involves harvesting bone marrow stem cells, using our sophisticated lab process to separate cells and precise image guided injections into the target joints in an outpatient setting. Dr. Apurv Mahalle, MGIMS, says, “Regenexx procedures are out-patient procedues and that patients can walk out of the treatment the same day. Physiotherapy team at Regenexx will help patients make the necessary changes to their physical movements so that the procedures are effective.” There is no alternative for arthritis patients but to wait until the joint is bad enough for a replacement and then go through a surgery. Regenexx procedures are going to help these patients get back to the normal routine without the necessity of a replacement surgery.

About Dr. Venkatesh Movva

Dr. Movva has fellowship trained in Sports Medicine & is board certified in pain management. He incorporates his unique training into a minimally invasive non-surgical approach in his practice, providing various cutting-edge treatments. Dr. Venkateshss Movva has introduced the world’s most advanced Regenerative orthopedic stem cell and platelet procedures known as Regenexx. Training Experience:

University of Oklahoma

O Clinical Base at Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center Team Physician

O Tulsa University Basketball and Football Team NCAA I Team Physician

O Oral Roberts University Basketball,Soccer, Volleybal Track and Field Teams NCAA I

Team Physician

O Northeastern State University Football Team NCAA II

Board Certification:

American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM) American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)


American Medical Association (AMA)

Amercan Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) National Acedemy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Amercan Board of Sports Medicine (ABPM) American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) About Regenexx

Regenexx is based out of Colarado, U.S.A is a group of doctors working towards the development of non-surgical procedures for treating orthopaedic injuries, arthritis, meniscus tears and other degenerative conditions. These procedures have been in development for over a decade and Dr. Venkatesh Movva one of the initial group of Regenexx doctor’s has been contributing to the research and development of these procedures. Over 40,000 procedures have been performed using Regenexx regenerative science since 2006.

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RegenOrthoSport Facility Launched – Outlook India

Tests show no signs of cancer for Danville 2-year-old –

Two-year-old Nathan DeAndrea who underwent two stem cell transplants to treat neuroblastoma is free of cancer, according to his mother.

Testing last week that included a CT scan and a full-body scan showed no evidence of cancer, Shannon DeAndrea said during an interview at her home Monday morning.

No more cancer! said Nathans sister, 4-year-old Kailynn.

However, the DeAndreas are awaiting the results of a bone marrow biopsy performed on Nathan last week, Shannon said. Everyone is optimistic.

The doctor said he has never seen a bone marrow biopsy come back positive when everything else is clear, she said.

Results are expected this week, Shannon said.

Nathan was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma on Aug. 23, 2016. He had a tumor in his abdomen that spread to his bone marrow. He had spots on his skull, ribs and spine. He has had several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and two stem cell transplants.

Neuroblastomas are cancers that begin in early nerve cells of the sympathetic nervous system, according to the American Cancer Society.

The scans results brought relief to Shannon and her family.

Its like I could breathe, she said.

As Kailynn put it, We said, hooray!

The next phase of treatment will include strengthening Nathans immune system. He will be in the hospital one week a month for six months, Shannon said.

Its to keep it [the cancer] from coming back, she said.

His immune system is still compromised. The genetic makeup of Nathans tumor put him at a higher risk of relapse, Shannon said.

Nathans first transplant included four or five days of chemo. The new stem cells following the chemo that killed off his old stem cells from the transplant were like a rescue, she said.

Its wiping you out and then giving you your cells back to restart your immune system, DeAndrea said.

A second round of heavy chemo was to try to kill what was left of the cancer and replenish cells, she said.

Nathans stem cell transplants were from his own cells, Shannon said.

Two types of stem cell transplants include autologous, which uses stem cells from the patients own body, and allogeneic using stem cells from another person.

The procedure is used for conditions including multiple myeloma, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and leukemia, and other blood and immune disorders.

Stem cell transplants began in the late 50s/early 60s with the first successful procedure done in an identical twin. However, stem cell transplants were limited until medicines that prevent rejections became available.

The number of procedures increased in the 1980s.

Betsie Letterle, community engagement representative with BeTheMatch in Burlington, North Carolina, said there are more than 14 million bone marrow/stem cell donors in the BeTheMatch registry.

Bone marrow transplants traditionally involved taking the marrow from the back of the donors hip. But since then, weve progressed tremendously, Letterle said.

The newest way is to take stem cells from a vein in the donors arm, Letterle said. The donor receives an injection of medication to help their body manufacture a large amount of stem cells, she said.

Those are taken from the vein, similar to a plasma donation. Letterle said.

Anyone aged 18-44 can join the registry, but commitment is paramount among donors, she said.

Commitment is important because patients depend on us, Letterle said. We dont want anyone whos not really sure they could donate if called.

Only about one in 540 registered donors end up donating, she said. Everyone is an active donor until they turn 61, Letterle said.

Younger donors are healthier and make the most stem cells, she said.

We want to give the patient the optimum opportunity to get the best stem cells they can, she said.

If a donor comes up as a match, they will be asked for about 20-30 hours of their time over several weeks, Letterle said.

We work around the donors schedule, she said.

They get blood work done, and a physical to make sure theyre healthy enough to donate, Letterle said.

The donor never pays for anything, she said.

The doctor determines whether the procedure would be a stem cell or a traditional bone marrow transplant. That depends on the patients or recipients age and condition, Letterle said.

About 80 percent of registered donors are Caucasian, and BeTheMatch is looking for more minority donors, Letterle said. Many minority patients have trouble finding a match, she said.

The recipients blood type becomes whatever blood type the donor has, Letterle said.

Dr. William Clark with the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University will speak about bone marrow and stem cell transplants from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 11 at Ballou Recreation Center. A bone marrow/stem cell donor drive will also be held that day.

For more information on stem cell/bone marrow transplants, call Betsie Letterle at BeTheMatch at (877) 601-1926, ext. 7721.

JohnCrane reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact him atjcrane@registerbee.comor(434) 791-7987.

Tests show no signs of cancer for Danville 2-year-old –

Former Emerald standout eyes next season – Index-Journal

Emerald baseball coach Stanley Moss called current College of Charleston infielder Bradley Dixon one of the better players and kids he’s ever coached.

The former Emerald standout was a slick-fielding shortstop, according to Moss, who was a cornerstone to the Emerald program.

“He was one of my favorites of all time,” Moss said. “He always did what he was asked to do and went above and beyond to try to represent our program.”

Dixon shared the field with current Clemson commit Sheldon Reed, who was a year under him at Emerald. Having the two of them play together was a joy and pleasure to be a part of, Moss said.

“(Dixon) and Sheldon hit in the middle of our lineup the whole time,” Moss said. “They were big producers for us offensively.”

Dixon’s dominant play at Emerald earned him an opportunity to play Division I baseball with the Cougars. Dixon’s senior season at Emerald, College of Charleston made it to a Super Regional which was just the second appearance in the program’s history.

“It’s what you grow up dreaming to do, playing Division I baseball,” Dixon said. “Whenever you get an opportunity to do it, you take it and make the best of it.”

But dreams have sometimes been met with struggles for Dixon. His freshman year in 2015 a week before opening weekend he sprained his MCL, ACL and suffered a bone contusion, forcing him to redshirt.

The following season, though, Dixon’s redshirt freshman campaign, everyone got a glimpse of what he could do on the ball field when he’s healthy.

Dixon started 45 games and was fourth on the team in batting average hitting .273 with a homer. They weren’t the most eye-popping stats, but they proved what he was worth when on the field.

His 2017 season, however, was met with more injuries. Dixon recently had to get stem cells taken from the bone marrow in his hip and injected into the sesamoid bones in both his feet.

All the cartilage had worn down, which meant Dixon didn’t have any protection around his bones. He played through the injury the entire season, hitting just .251.


Moss believes he’ll be a force again once healthy.

“Bradley’s work ethic has always been where you would like to be,” he said. “He’s that kid in the offseason. Obviously if he can get himself completely healthy he’s the kind of kid that can definitely go out and have a big year for College of Charleston.”

The recovery time for his injury is 12 weeks, Dixon said, which means he’ll be ready for the fall.

The team put together an underwhelming year last season, going just 13-11 in the Colonial Athletic Association, 28-31 overall and losing to Northeastern in the conference tournament.

On top of that, College of Charleston’s coach, Matt Heath, was fired on Friday.

Despite the setbacks, Dixon is looking help right the ship.

“I really want to increase some of the numbers I had last year,” Dixon said. “And just do better for my teammates, know my role and do whatever I can to help us win.”

Contact staff writer Julian McWilliams at 864-223-1814 or on Twitter @JulianMack105

Former Emerald standout eyes next season – Index-Journal

Stem Cell Injections: Emerging Option for Joint Pain Relief – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Are you suffering from chronicjoint pain? If so, you may want to ask your doctor whetherstem cellinjections are right for you. If you want to avoid the surgical route of repairing a damaged knee or treating an arthritic shoulder, a stem cell injection may give you the relief you need.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Stem cells are specialtypes of cells with the ability to self-renew or multiply. They have the potential to replicate any cell in your body. In other words, they canbecome a cartilage cell, a muscle cell or a nerve cell, says orthopedic surgeonAnthony Miniaci, MD.

They have a tremendous capacity to differentiate and form different tissues, so thats the thought behind regenerating cartilage, regenerating nerve cells and healing any injured tissues, he says.

The source of stem cells isfound in your own bone marrow orfat or you can also receive stem cells from donor sources, particularlyamniotic sourcessuch as the placenta or the amniotic fluid and lining surrounding a fetus. These cells are not part of the embryo, Dr. Miniaci says.

The number of stem cells that you have and theirquality and activity diminish as you get older, he says. Amniotic stem cells, on the other hand, are from young tissue, so theoretically these are younger, more active cells.

Thetreatment team harvests stem cells from your bone marrow or fat or uses donor cells . Later on, your treatment team injects the cells preciselyinto your joint, ligament or tendon.

Theoretically, the cells will then divide and duplicate themselves and develop into different types of cells depending on the location into which they have been injected. For example, if you have damagedknee cartilage, stem cells placed near the damaged cartilage can develop into new cartilage tissue.

However, for patients with asevere loss of cartilageor no cartilage at all, a stem cell injection is unlikely to createa new joint, Dr. Miniaci says.

Severe loss of cartilage typically leads to bone erosion or bone deformity, so a stem cell injection is highly unlikely to work in terms of reversing those changes, he says.

It can, however, improve your symptoms of pain and swelling.

The earlier you can treat someones joint pain, the better chance this has of working, making it less painful for thepatient, less inflamed, and improve their function, he says.

The main risk from a stem cell injection is in harvesting the stem cells. When taking the cells from your bone marrow, the treatment team inserts a large needle into your pelvis and removes some blood and the cells.

Any time you make incisions or insert sharp instrument into somebodys pelvis, they can have problems such as acquiring an infection, Dr. Miniaci says.

If youre taking the stem cells from fat, you you can remove some out from under the skin, he says. Again, you have a risk for an infection because were making little nicks into the skin to get to the fat.

While the use of stem cell injections to treatjoint painholds much promise, Dr. Miniaci cautions that this treatment option is still very new. Researchers needto study its effectiveness further.

We dont have a lot of data or proof indicating that stem cell injections actually repair the joint, he says.

He explains that if you have cartilage orbone damage, stem cells candifferentiate and produce bone and cartilage and tissues. So, theoretically, they could heal damaged tissue within a muscle, tendon, bone or cartilage.

Thats the theory behind it, but this type of treatment and research is just in its infancy, he says.

We really dont know whats effective, whats not effective, how many cells are necessary, how many actual injections you need and how often, he says. Nobody knows how well it works yet. But we will eventually.

Anecdotally, Dr. Miniaci finds that some patients can have significant improvement in their symptoms with stem cellinjections. But he has not seen any proof yet that they are regrowing or regenerating a joint.

Many people think that theyre going to come in with their arthritic joint and leave with a newer version of their knee joint. That doesnt happen, he says.

What does occur is a biological reaction which makes the environment in their joints a little healthier, which probably makes it less inflamed, and as result, gives them less pain.

Original post:
Stem Cell Injections: Emerging Option for Joint Pain Relief – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Canadian clinics begin offering stem-cell treatments experts call unproven, possibly unsafe – National Post

The arthritis in Maureen Munsies ankles was so intense until barely a year ago, she literally had to crawl on hands and knees to get upstairs.

The pain, she recalls now, took my breath away, and played havoc with the avid hikers favourite pastime.

In desperation, Munsie turned to a Toronto-area clinic that provides a treatment many experts consider still experimental, unproven and of questionable safety.

The 63-year-old says the stem cells she received at Regenervate Medical Injection Therapy 18 months ago were transformational, all but eliminating the debilitating soreness and even allowing her to hike Argentinas Patagonia mountains two months ago.

For me its been a life saver, Munsie says. Ive been able to do it all again I dont have any of that pain, at all.

Canadians drawn to the healing promise of stem cells have for years travelled outside the country to such places as Mexico, China or Arizona, taking part in a dubious form of medical tourism.

But Regenervate is one of a handful of clinics in Canada that have begun offering injections of stem cells, satisfying growing demand but raising questions about whether a medical idea with huge potential is ready for routine patient care.

Especially when those patients can pay thousands of dollars for the service.

Clinics in Ontario and Alberta are treating arthritis, joint injuries, disc problems and even skin conditions with stem cells typically taken from patients fat tissue or bone marrow.

The underlying idea is compelling: stem cells can differentiate or transform into many other types of cell, a unique quality that evidence suggests allows them to grow or regenerate tissue damaged by disease or injury.

Researchers including hundreds in Canada alone are examining stem-cell treatments for everything from ailing hearts to severed spinal cords.

With few exceptions, however, the concept is still being studied in the lab or in human trials; virtually none of the treatments have been definitively proven effective by science or approved by regulators like Health Canada.

The fact that Canadian clinics are now offering stem-cell treatments commercially is concerning on a number of levels, not least because of safety issues, says Ubaka Ogbogu, a health law professor at the University of Alberta.

Three U.S. women were blinded after receiving stem-cell injections in their eyes, while other American patients have developed bony masses or tumours at injection sites, Ogbogu said.

Stem cells have to be controlled to act exactly the way you want them to act, and thats why the research takes time, he said. It is simply wrong for these clinics to take a proof of concept and run with it.

Ogbogu says Health Canada must crack down on the burgeoning industry but says the regulator has so far been conspicuous by its inaction.

Other experts say the procedures provided here typically for joint pain are likely relatively safe, but still warn that care must be taken that the stem cells do not develop into the wrong type of tissue, or at the wrong place.

Alberta Health Services convened a workshop on the issue late last year, concluding there is an urgent need to develop a certification system for cell preparation and delivery to avoid spontaneous transformation of (stem cells) into unwanted tissue.

But one of the pioneers of the service in Canada says theres no empirical evidence that such growths can develop, and suggests the treatments only real risk as with an invasive procedure is infection.

Meanwhile, patients at Regenervate have enjoyed impressive outcomes after paying fees from $750 to $3,900, says Dr. Douglas Stoddard, the clinics medical director.

About 80 per cent report less pain, stiffness and weakness within a few months of getting their stem-cell injection, he said.

I believe medical progress is not just limited to the laboratory and randomized double-blind trials, Stoddard said. A lot of progress starts in the clinic, dealing with patients You see something works, you see something has merit, and then its usually the scientists that seem to catch up later.

The Orthopedic Sport Institute in Collingwood, Ont., the Central Alberta Pain and Rehabilitation Institute and Cleveland Clinic in Toronto all advertise similar stem-cell treatments for orthopedic problems.

Edmontons Regen Clinic says it plans to start doing so this fall.

Ottawas Innovo says it also treats a range of back conditions with injections between the vertebrae, and uses stem cells to alleviate nerve damage.

Orthopedic Sport says its doctor focuses on FDA and Health Canada approved stem-cell injection therapy for patient care.

In fact, no treatment of the sort the clinics here provide has ever been authorized.

Health Canada says the vast majority of stem-cell therapies would constitute a drug and therefore need to be authorized after a clinical trial or new drug submission.

A number of stem-cell trials are underway, but only one treatment Prochymal has been approved, said department spokesman Eric Morrissette. Designed to combat graft-versus-host disease where bone marrow transplants for treating cancer essentially attack the patients body its unlike any of the services the stem-cell providers here offer.

But as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration aggressively pursues the hundreds of clinics in America, Health Canada says only that its committed to addressing complaints it receives.

It will take action based on the risk posed to the general public, said Morrissette, who encouraged people to pass on to the department information about possible non-compliant products.

Stoddard said the injections his clinics provide are made up of minimally manipulated tissue from patients own bodies and any attempt to crack down would be regulation for the sake of regulation.

But academic experts remain skeptical about the effectiveness of the treatments.

Scientific evidence suggests the injections may help alleviate joint pain temporarily, but probably just because of anti-inflammatory secretions from the cells not regeneration, said Dr. David Hart, an orthopedic surgery professor at the University of Calgary who headed the Alberta workshop.

Theres a need for understanding whats going on here and theres a need for regulation, he said.

Most of the clinics say they use a centrifuge to concentrate the stem cells after removing them from patients fat tissue or bone marrow. But its unclear if the clinics even know how many cells they are eventually injecting into patients, says Jeff Biernaskie, a stem-cell scientist at the University of Calgary.

Munsie, on the other hand, has no doubts about the value of her own treatment, even with a $3,000 price tag.

The procedure from extraction of fat tissue in her behind to the injection of cells into her ankles took barely over an hour.

Within three months, the retired massage therapist from north of Toronto says she could walk her dogs again. Last week, she was hiking near Banff.

Im a real believer in it, and the possibility of stem cells, says Munsie. I just think Wow, if we can heal with our own body, its pretty amazing.

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Canadian clinics begin offering stem-cell treatments experts call unproven, possibly unsafe – National Post

Dog owners flock IVRI for pets’ cure – Times of India

BAREILLY: Dog owners from across the country, including Delhi and Gujarat, are turning up with their paralytic pets at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) here for stem cell therapy. Scientists treat a paralyzed dog by transplanting stem cells from healthy dogs. IVRI is the second institute in the country to offer this treatment, after Madras Veterinary College, Chennai.

According to scientists, no research has been conducted to determine the number of dogs who suffer from paralysis every year in India. However, the institute receives at least four cases every week of spinal trauma which causes paralysis in dogs. IVRI recorded 143 cases of posterior paralysis in 2016. These were treated with stem cell therapy and medicines.

“If dogs are treated only with medicines, recovery is witnessed only in a few cases,” said Amarpal (who goes by his first name), head and principal scientist, division of surgery, IVRI. On an average, 17% recovery rate was noted among dogs administered only medicines.

However, the best response was recorded among severely affected dogs when they were treated using stem cells, where almost all the patients responded to treatment to variable extent, said the scientist. “Though we have cases where recovery was 100%, the average recovery rate is about 50%. The experiment proved the efficacy of stem cell therapy in cases of paralysis due to spinal trauma,” said Amarpal. After seven years of research, stem cell therapy was started at IVRI five years ago for clinical purposes on a nominal registration fee of Rs 30.

Due to its success, pet owners from various parts of the country have started visiting the institute.

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Dog owners flock IVRI for pets’ cure – Times of India

Lack of stem cell donations plagues patients – Times of India

Visakhapatnam: Lack of awareness on the importance of becoming a blood stem cell donor is hindering the treatment of people suffering from blood cancer and other fatal blood disorders like thalassemia and aplastic anaemia.

Since the only cure is a blood stem cell transplant, the need of the hour is to sensitise people of the city on the necessity of becoming a potential blood stem cell donor to save lives, experts say.

According to oncologists based in Vizag, the cases of blood cancer are increasing and the treatment options are very few. Moreover, patients with blood cancer are sent to Hyderabad and other centres for treatment as neither there are donors nor equipment for stem cell transplant in the port city.

For a successful transplant, patients suffering from fatal blood disorders need blood stem cells from a healthy and genetically matched donor. Unfortunately, the probability of finding a genetically matched donor is one in 10,000 to one in over a million.

Only about 25 per cent of the patients find a donor from within their family. Rest need to wait for a life-saving donor.

“The chances of finding a match for patients suffering from these fatal blood disorders could only widen if there are more number of donors registered,” says Ravindranath Chava, co-ordinator of a Chennai-based blood stem cell donors registry- DATRI.

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Lack of stem cell donations plagues patients – Times of India

Stem cell therapy to treat paralytic dogs draws pet owners from across country to IVRI – Times of India

Bareilly: Dog owners from across the country, including Delhi and Gujarat, are turning up with their paralytic pets at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) here for stem cell therapy. Scientists treat a paralyzed dog by transplanting stem cells from healthy dogs. IVRI is the second institute in the country to offer this treatment, after Madras Veterinary College, Chennai.

According to scientists, no research has been conducted to determine the number of dogs who suffer from paralysis every year in India. However, the institute receives at least four cases every week of spinal trauma which causes paralysis in dogs. IVRI recorded 143 cases of posterior paralysis in 2016. These were treated with stem cell therapy and medicines.

If dogs are treated only with medicines, recovery is witnessed only in a few cases, said Amarpal (who goes by his first name), head and principal scientist, division of surgery, IVRI. On an average, 17% recovery rate was noted among dogs administered only medicines.

However, the best response was recorded among severely affected dogs when they were treated using stem cells, where almost all the patients responded to treatment to variable extent, said the scientist. Though we have cases where recovery was 100%, the average recovery rate is about 50%. The experiment proved the efficacy of stem cell therapy in cases of paralysis due to spinal trauma, said Amarpal.

The paralytic dog is first administered anesthesia before the stem cells are injected into its spinal cord. It takes only one session for a dog to undergo the therapy and it is discharged the same day.. After this, the owner has to bring his pet for check-ups for two or more times so that vets can monitor how the animal is responding to the treatment and if it is suffering from any reaction, said Amarpal.

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Stem cell therapy to treat paralytic dogs draws pet owners from across country to IVRI – Times of India

Jeff Jacobs: Hall Of Fame Coach Holowaty Fights Illness And Gives Back – Hartford Courant

The calls had been coming for a few years, and Bill Holowaty couldn’t say yes. His baseball spirit was willing. His body wasn’t.

Holowaty won four national championships and 1,404 games before he stepped down in 2013 after 45 years as coach at Eastern Connecticut. Becoming president of the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League seemed perfect for a septuagenarian with baseball in his DNA, baseball in his blood.

The problem was this: Holowaty’s DNA isn’t the same. His blood type isn’t the same.

That’s what happens with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. That’s what happens when your body that had carried you through the third most victories in Division III history no longer could make enough healthy blood cells. In short, Holowaty had bone marrow failure and needed a stem cell transplant last June 23 that changed his DNA and blood type from O to A. Otherwise, he wasn’t going to be around for long.

“I’m celebrating my first birthday,” Holowaty said recently. “June 23, my new birthday.”

Fortunately, Type A loves baseball, too.

So Holowaty said yes this past winter to becoming president of the GHTBL, the amateur wood-bat league now in its 88th year. Over the decades, it is a league that has produced a large number of major leaguers, including 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Bagwell. It also is a league that has had to fight softball, other baseball leagues and the evolution of modern sports interest to keep its place on the map.

The first thing Holowaty did was bring together the managers for a couple of meetings at his house.

“I was extremely impressed with their enthusiasm and their desire to make the league better,” Holowaty said. “I needed that. They motivated me. Look, I’m not going to change the world and make it the best league in the United States, etc. I told them I’ll try to help. I just love to watch baseball and see it played the right way.”

Holowaty, who played basketball at UConn, played for Wally Widholm on the playoff champion Hamilton Standard team in the summer of 1966. His sons played in the GHTBL, too.

“Wally taught me how to win, how to play the game of baseball,” Holowaty said. “Later on, my son came to me and he said, ‘Dad, I played in wood-bat leagues and played all over the place. I had my best experience playing for Gene Johnson this past summer.’ Winning was important, not showing off. I loved that.”

There was no way Holowaty could do this by himself. He surrounded himself with a strong executive committee that includes vice presidents Bill DePascale, Ed Slegeski and former UConn coach Andy Baylock.

“I’ve known Billy forever, since the ’60s,” said Baylock, who played two summers in the GHTBL. “He has had a lot health problems, but this is something he can put his heart into. He called and asked me to be a vice president. I said, ‘Billy, will this make you happy if I join?’ He said yes. I told him, ‘I’ll be with you.’ Gene Johnson, who was such a mainstay in the league, died [in November 2014] and I felt this would be a good way to give back to the league and Gene.”

The two state baseball legends obviously add recognition to the league. Yet it had to be more than that.

There is nothing worse, Holowaty said, than playing on a lousy field. Trinity College has a beautiful new facility. The league secured it for the playoffs. The teams are going to play throughout July 9 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Holowaty, convinced the job of running a team is too big for one guy, wants each team to have a general manager. There were a couple of new teams added this year. There were sponsorships found. Holowaty also wants each team to have a mentor or two. On opening day, Holowaty and Baylock talked to the players about playing the game smart, aggressively, hustling, showing up on time. Little things that can become big things, like coaches wearing protective helmets at first and third base.

They’ve gone to games at various sites.

“Not to be a cop,” Baylock said, “but to try to make sure things look good.”

“We’re not out there second-guessing managers,” Holowaty said. “But a lot of great players have played in the league over nearly 90 years. I don’t want a beer league. Baseball is one of the hardest games to teach and play. We’ve got a good league and want to make it better, a nice, competitive league where the guys enjoy themselves and learn the right way to play.”

Those words came over the phone from Omaha a couple of weekends ago. He was out there for the College World Series. Holowaty is on the board of the American Baseball Coaches Association, its past president. This was a big trip for Holowaty.

“I couldn’t go on an airplane for a year, or go out to eat,” he said. “I had to wear a mask and gloves on the plane. The doctor told me I could go but have to be careful. My daughter [Jennifer] came with me to give my wife [Jan] four days’ vacation.

“My wife has been taking care of me. Thank God for her.”

In 2015, he was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. It was in August of that year that Holowaty, after undergoing knee surgery, was told his blood cell counts had been dropping. He consulted a hematologist. He would have a bone marrow test late in 2015. Holowaty would need a stem cell transplant or else to use his words “I wasn’t going to be around long, maybe a year.” With plans to spend the winter in Florida, he would go to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. There he began his treatment before returning to Connecticut.

A match in Germany, a young man, was found for Holowaty. On June 17, 2016, he went to the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston. For nearly a week he underwent chemotherapy for six hours a day to kill his old blood cells. The stem cells were flown overnight from Germany and the next day, June 23, Holowaty was receiving a transplant.

There would be more chemo. The fight has been hard. His immune system had to start from scratch. He must be ultra-careful to avoid germs, mold, etc., thus the gloves and the mask.

Holowaty went through his problems like he was reading a lineup card. He had pneumonia. A blood vessel broke when he had a lung biopsy. He had some blood clots in his legs and lung that took months to be rid of. His heart went out of rhythm. He had an aneurysm in his stomach. The man always was a tough coach and now, physically, mentally, spiritually, he has been called on to be even tougher.

Jan drives Bill up to Boston once or twice a week.

“They take my blood and see where I am with red and white blood cells,” Holowaty said. “You get new blood. The remaining old blood tries to fight off the new blood.

“You feel good. You want to feel good. You just can’t feel good. You go to bed, get a night’s sleep and wake up tired. I’ll feel great and then last week I had a hard time walking across the room. It’s exhausting. It’s not painful. I’m fighting it. I could never do this alone.”

He has found a source of inspiration in his former ECSU assistant coach Ron Jones.

“Ron has had the same thing,” Holowaty said. “He started calling me up and telling me how to prepare myself, helping me get through this. Here’s the thing he has called me every day since last June. We just talked today. He has had a tough time. Last October, he had pacemaker put in, and he’s doing well now.

“Think about that. He calls me every single day.”

That’s what great baseball guys do. They take care of each other.

Holwaty paused for a second on the phone.

“The Twilight League,” he said softly, “this is my way of giving back to the game I love.”

Read the rest here:
Jeff Jacobs: Hall Of Fame Coach Holowaty Fights Illness And Gives Back – Hartford Courant

Stem Cell Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes – Medical News Bulletin

For over 20 years autologous hematopoietic stem cell treatment (AHSCT) has been a therapy for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus; however, the exact mechanism of action remains unclear. Recent clinical research has also been exploring the use of stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes, another autoimmune disease which affects over 422 million individuals globally.

Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition where little or no insulin is produced by the pancreas. Immune cells attack pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin, leading to inflammation. Insulin is an essential hormone for energy production as it enables the breakdown of sugars to enter the cells and produce energy. The onset of type 1 diabetes occurs when significant inflammation damages beta cells and results in insufficient maintenance of glucose haemostasis (balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain blood glucose levels).

Therapies currently used in type 1 diabetes treatment include insulin administration, blood glucose monitoring and screening for common comorbidities and diabetes-related complications. However, these treatments fail to reduce the damage on a patients immune system. The use of autologous hematopoietic stem cells as a potential type 1 diabetes therapy is based upon the ability of the stem cells to reset the immune system. Autologous hematopoietic stems cells are retrieved from a patients own bone marrow or peripheral blood (blood which circulates the body and contains red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) and after conditioning are injected intravenously.

A recent study by Ye and colleagues published in Stem Cell Research & Therapy (2017) investigated the effects AHSCT had on the immune response in recently diagnosed diabetes type 1 patients. The study included 18 patients (12-35 years old) with type 1 diabetes who had been diagnosed within less than 6 months. Of these 18 participants, 10 received a traditional insulin injection as treatment and eight received AHSCT. An additional 15 patients who matched in age, gender and BMI of these two groups were enrolled as a control group.

To test the effects of the treatment on immune response, patients peripheral blood cells were assessed. Samples were taken before they started treatment and then again 12 months after either the AHSCT or insulin-only therapies were administered.

Before treatment, peripheral blood cell distribution was almost equivalent in the two groups; however, after 12 months a significant difference was observed. The results of this clinical trial showed that patients receiving AHSCT exhibited significantly reduced development and function of Th1 and Th17 cells (types of T cells which cause inflammation in autoimmune diseases), compared to those only receiving the insulin treatment.

The inhibition of T-cell proliferation and function, along with decreased production of cytokines (pivotal chemical messengers which aid an immune response) observed in patients receiving AHSCT treatment suggests there is a strong link between the therapy and effects on the patients immune response. This may explain why AHSCT results in better therapeutic effects when compared with insulin-only traditional therapy.

The authors note that the small number of participants and length of the study are the two main limitations. Future clinical studies should include a larger number of patients and long-term follow up, especially since AHSCT can cause damage to the bone marrow and lead to potentially serious infections.

Progression of type 1 diabetes, as mentioned above, results in unavoidable immune damage from inflammation. This study suggests the combination of therapies including AHSCT treatment and high-dose immunosuppressive drugs may be a potential new therapeutic approach to type 1 diabetes. It is hypothesized that this combination has the ability reset the immune system and increase the recovery capacity of beta cells. Further clinical studies are essential though, to shed more light on the mechanism and use of stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes.

Written By:Lacey Hizartzidis, PhD

See original here:
Stem Cell Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes – Medical News Bulletin

Anger as Scots patients miss out on ‘breakthrough’ stem cell therapy offered by NHS England – Herald Scotland

LUCY Clarke was facing a downhill spiral when she flew to Russia to undergo a cutting edge stem cell transplant.

Two years on she says the procedure not only halted her illness in its tracks, but reversed much of the damage inflicted by multiple sclerosis.

The 41-year-old from Inverness is now backing crowdfunding efforts so that her friend and neighbour, Rona Tynan, can receive the same life-changing operation in Mexico before she becomes too ill to qualify.

Mrs Tynan, 50, has until the end of August to raise the 60,000 needed.

However, both are angry at a cross-border divide which means that a small number of MS patients in England can undergo the treatment for free on the NHS, while in Scotland despite having some of the highest rates of MS in the world the health service has refused patients’ funding and no clinical trials are planned.

Mrs Clarke, a chemistry graduate and acupuncturist, began investigating AHSCT (autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation) in 2014 after her condition progressed from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive MS. At the time her son was three and she feared ending up in a wheelchair.

Although the treatment has been available overseas for decades, it has never been routinely available on the NHS and is considered unproven by many neurologists.

It is also a highly aggressive therapy, using intensive chemotherapy to strip out sufferers faulty immune systems before replenishing it with stem cells harvested from their own bone marrow or donor tissue. Despite the risks, many patients including Mrs Clarke credit it with transforming their lives.

She underwent the procedure in Moscow over a period of four weeks in April and May 2015. She said: From when my son was three to when I had the transplant, my walking had deteriorated, I needed to use a walking stick all the time, I had very poor balance, debilitating fatigue, I had brain fog, I used to slur my words.

“Im left-handed and my left hand was really weak so my writing was bad. Other things would come and go numbness in my legs, tingling, cramps in my calves, sore and painful legs. The majority of them have gone since the transplant.

I noticed quite quick improvements in things like balance. The biggest thing is not really having fatigue, and the brain fog completely went. I stopped slurring my words quite quickly after treatment. I was more alert. I had more concentration, more focus. Within six months the shaking in my left arm had gone. Ive still got drop foot in my right leg and I still use a walking stick, but once youve got to the stage of secondary progressive it all gets a bit scary. Things are going downhill and youre told theres nothing that can be done, so really my goal from treatment was just to halt the progression to know I wasnt getting any worse. Thankfully, and luckily, I have seen lots of benefits.

Eighteen months on, MRI brain scans show no signs of disease progression and while Mrs Clarke stresses that the treatment is neither a magic bullet nor a walk in the park, she is supporting Rona Tynans bid to undergo the same surgery in October.

Mrs Tynan, a retired Metropolitan police sergeant and mother-of-two from Inverness, also has secondary progressive MS. She is already in a wheelchair and fears that unless she undergoes the treatment soon she will become too ill. She said: Im a 7.5 out of 10 on the disease progression scale, where 10 is death. Most clinics stop taking you at seven, but Mexico just raised it to 8.5. Thats brilliant for people like myself, but I cant afford to get any more ill.

So far, Mrs Tynans fundraising page on JustGiving has raised nearly 4000, but she is frustrated that more is not being done to help Scottish patients. In England, clinical trials are ongoing in London and Sheffield but a small number of patients with relapsing-remitting MS can be referred for the treatment off-trial, for free, on the NHS. In Scotland, however, eligible patients have been turned down for NHS funding.

Mrs Tynan said: It seems crazy to me that Brits are going to Chicago and Mexico and Russia for a treatment that in the long-run could save the NHS loads of money. Scotland is one of the worst places in the world for MS yet in England you can get this treatment for free. Why arent we fighting in Scotland to get this?

Mrs Clarke added: Its very unfair. It just seems a no brainer to me why they wouldnt make it available not for all patients but for some. The Scottish Government said referral decisions were “for clinicians”.

A spokesman said: “Whilst the vast majority of healthcare provided by NHS Scotland is delivered in Scotland, NHS boards can commission treatment in other countries on an ad hoc basis, particularly where highly specialised treatment is involved. Decisions to refer patients are for clinicians, based on agreed guidelines, which ensure best practice, equity of access and consistency of treatment for all patients.

“HSCT is not currently widely available anywhere on the NHS, but people from Scotland can participate in trials held in other centres across the UK, where clinically determined appropriate and beneficial.”

Originally posted here:
Anger as Scots patients miss out on ‘breakthrough’ stem cell therapy offered by NHS England – Herald Scotland