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Archive for the ‘Bone Marrow Stem Cells’ Category

BONE MARROW/STEM CELL DONOR DRIVE – Crowley Post-Signal

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BONE MARROW/STEM CELL DONOR DRIVE – Crowley Post-Signal

Right to try, right to buy, right to test – Washington Post

By Sally Satel By Sally Satel February 21 at 8:04 PM

(Dr. Sally Satel, who has guest-blogged here before, was kind enough to write up this item on a topic that has long interested me; Im delighted to pass it along: -EV)

In 2007, Eugene Volokh, the host of this site, published an essay in the Harvard Law Reviewtitled Medical Self-Defense, Prohibited Experimental Therapies, and Payment for Organs in which he argued that the government should need a very good reason to prevent sick people from saving their own lives.

That insight impels the Right to Try movement, which seeks to give terminally ill patients the right to try drugs that show promise but not have received FDA approval and which has received sympathetic hearings from President Trump and Vice President Pence. One of the leaders of Right to Try reform, the libertarian Goldwater Institute, said it best: We just fundamentally do not believe that you should have to apply to the government for permission to try to save your own life.

That principle has vital implications for patients needing bone marrow and kidney transplants.

Each year, 2,000 to 3,000 individuals with leukemia and other forms of bone marrow disease die while waiting to receive another persons bone marrow cells. Its not that strangers are indifferent to their plight, but that suitable biological matches are hard to find. And even when a match is found, there is a 1-in-2 chance that the needle-in-a-haystack donor either cant be located by registry personnel or, incomprehensibly, refuses to donate even though he had earlier volunteered to be tested.

We can enlarge the pool of potential donors while increasing the likelihood that compatible donors will follow through if they are paid or if sick patients (or charities acting on their behalf) have the Right to Buy, as I call it.

But there is an obstacle to buying. The 1984 National Organ Transplant Act, or NOTA, bans exchange of valuable consideration that is, anything of material worth for solid organs, such as kidneys and livers, as well as for bone marrow.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, fought the prohibition. It sued the Justice Department on behalf of families afraid their ill loved ones would die because they couldnt get a bone marrow transplant.

In a unanimous 2012 ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected the federal governments argument that obtaining bone-marrow stem cells through a needle in a donors arm violates NOTA. The judges based their decision on the fact that modern bone-marrow procurement, a process known as apheresis, is akin to drawing blood. Indeed, filtered stem cells, they held, are merely components of blood, no different from blood-derived plasma, platelets and clotting factors, all of which are replenished by the body within weeks of a donation. Because its legal to compensate blood donors, its also legal to pay bone marrow donors, the court ruled.

Unfortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services rejected the courts ruling. In 2013, it proposed a rule that would extend the NOTA prohibition to bone marrow stem cells. Under the proposed regulation, anyone who accepted material gain for giving bone-marrow stem cells would be subject to NOTAs penalties, facing imprisonment for up to five years. According to HHS, compensation runs afoul of NOTAs intent to ban commodification of human stem cells and to curb opportunities for coercion and exploitation, encourage altruistic donation and decrease the likelihood of disease transmission.

The solicitor general could have asked the Supreme Court to review the 9th Circuits bone-marrow decision, but he declined. Perhaps he grasped the central folly of HHSs position: How could the agency justify its worry about opportunities for coercion and exploitation and the likelihood of disease transmission when it came to bone marrow cells, yet not apply those same concerns to plasma?

For three years, HHS has been silent on its proposed rule. Meanwhile, people are dying because nonprofits that want to begin paying donors on behalf of needy patients cant move forward until they are assured that the agency cant shut them down. The Institute for Justice is considering a legal challenge over the HHS delay, which is causing needless deaths.

But perhaps the lawsuit can wait. With a new administration that is skeptical of overregulation, HHS Secretary Tom Price could withdraw the proposed rule. Ideally, Congress would thwart future regulatory blockades by amending NOTA to stipulate that marrow stem cells are not organs covered by the act.

Changes to NOTA should also be made for other organs. I feel strongly about this on fundamental grounds of liberty but also because, in 2005, I needed to save my own life. I developed kidney failure but could not find a donor. Thank goodness, an angel, or as some readers know her, Virginia Postrel, heard about my predicament and gave me a kidney. And this summer another living saint, Kimberly Hendrickson, who saw how desperate I was many years ago, offered me one of hers when the first transplant began to fail. Every day, 12 people die because no one wasable to come to their rescue and, had a patient offered money for an organ, both the patient and the donor who accepted the money would face felony charges.

Congress could take the bold step of revising NOTA to permit donors who are willing to save the life of a stranger through kidney donation to receive valuable consideration from governments or nonprofit organizations. Or, lawmakers could take the intermediate step of creating a pilot program allowing doctors to study the effect of such measures, as proposed last May by Rep. Matthew Cartwright (D-Pa.), who introduced the Organ Donor Clarification Act of 2016.

Rather than large sums of cash, potential rewards could include a contribution to the donors retirement fund, an income tax credit or a tuition voucher, lifetime health insurance, a contribution to a charity of the donors choice, or loan forgiveness. Only the government, or a government-designated charity, would be allowed to disburse the rewards. Consequently, all patients, not just those with financial means, could benefit. The funds could potentially come from the savings from stopping dialysis, which costs roughly $80,000 a year per person.

The pilot programs, to be designed by individual medical centers, could also impose a waiting period on prospective donors, thereby cooling any impulsivity. Prospective donors would be fully informed about the risks of surgery and carefully screened for physical and emotional health, as all non-compensated kidney donors are now.

The idea of the government standing between a dying person and his salvation is deeply troubling. I know. We need to at least test better ways to recruit more marrow and kidney donors.

Dr. Sally Satelis a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and editor ofWhen Altruism isnt Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors.

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Right to try, right to buy, right to test – Washington Post

Opinion: Oregon patients should beware of stem cell therapy fraud – Portland Business Journal

Opinion: Oregon patients should beware of stem cell therapy fraud
Portland Business Journal
… to help us understand and treat a range of diseases, injuries and other health-related conditions. For example, one long-established use of blood stem cells is to treat diseases of the blood and regrow bone marrow after certain kinds of cancer

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Opinion: Oregon patients should beware of stem cell therapy fraud – Portland Business Journal

How baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John – Yahoo Sports

TEMPE, Ariz. On the day he hoped would save his elbow, Garrett Richards laid face down on a table with his back exposed. A doctor guided a needle into the iliac crest of his pelvic bone and began to extract bone marrow. Richards was wide awake, the blessing of local anesthesia saving him from physical pain but not the anxiety that crept into his head: Is this really going to work?

Within a few minutes, the harvested marrow was hurried to a centrifuge, spun to separate the good stuff, mixed into a slurry of platelet-rich plasma and readied to inject into Richards damaged right elbow. Rather than the standard tear across his ulnar collateral ligament, Richards ran lengthwise along the middle of his UCL, a rare manifestation of an increasingly commonplace injury that almost always ends with Tommy John surgery. Not in this case. While he could have chosen that route, he wanted to explore first the efficacy of the aforementioned good stuff: stem cells.

Today, Garrett Richards is darting 98-mph fastballs again. I feel as good as I ever have throwing a baseball, he said Monday from Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the Los Angeles Angels, perhaps the most Tommy John-addled team in baseball, expect to break camp with Richards as their opening day starter. The 28-year-old is the latest player to turn to orthobiologics, the class of treatments that includes stem cells and PRP, in hopes of healing an injury. While clinical studies have shown great success with those who use orthobiologics, they are not yet a panacea for the pervasive elbow injuries in baseball for two reasons: They work only on partial ligament tears, like Richards, and medical studies have yet to validate their efficacy independent of other treatments run concurrently.

The lack of knowledge as to how orthobiologics work inside the body while the proteins in stem cells and platelets are believed to regrow damaged tissue, doctors have yet to isolate best practices for particular injuries speaks to the difficulties in true medical advances. Still, the desire of Richards and others to avoid surgery lends orthobiologics enough credence to warrant further studies.

I truly think this kind of treatment has significant potential, said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a longtime orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles who introduced orthobiologics to Major League Baseball when he injected PRP into the elbow of Dodgers reliever Takashi Saito in 2008. Theres no question biologics are here to stay and biologic manipulation is the frontier of treatment in what were doing. The problem, as I see it, is that the marketing and clinical use has far exceeded the science behind it.

Translation: Once the use of PRP and stem cells found traction in the media, pro athletes and weekend warriors alike sought their use, even if the success stories skewed anecdotal. Bartolo Colon resurrected his career after a stem cell injection in 2010 and is still pitching today at 43. Others did so without the fanfare or publicity. Richards faced a choice after being diagnosed with a partially torn UCL last May: Undergo Tommy John surgery and, at earliest, return following the 2017 All-Star break or follow the advice of Dr. Steve Yoon, a partner of ElAttraches at Kerlan-Jobe, and try to salvage the ligament with stem cells.

Science, bro, Richards said. Im a believer now.

Two weeks before Richards began his treatment, teammate Andrew Heaney had looked to avoid Tommy John via stem cells. Richards figured theyd rehab together every step of the way and be back in time for the fall instructional league. Then at the end of June, a scan showed Heaneys elbow wasnt healing, and he would need reconstructive surgery. Already Tyler Skaggs had taken nearly two years to return from his 2014 surgery, and six weeks after Heaneys, starter Nick Tropeano went down. Like Heaney, he is expected to miss the 2017 season.

It made Richards recovery that much more imperative. His first checkup, six weeks in, showed regrowth in the torn area via ultrasound. By August, he started throwing, and come October, when instructional league was in full bloom, so too was Richards. He didnt hesitate to pump his fastball and rip off one of his spin-heavy breaking balls. As far as pure, raw stuff goes, few in baseball can match Richards.

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He was convinced science was working, bro, though the skepticism about orthobiologics generally remains, and understandably so, in the medical community. In May 2013, a paper published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found 30 of 34 overhand throwers with partial UCL tears who used PRP had returned to their previous level of competition. This was reason for celebration. If a player could avoid the 14-month-plus recovery from the surgery, better for him as well as the team.

Another study arrived in 2016 that didnt cast doubt on the value of orthobiologics so much as offer a different avenue: rest. The 28 players used everything from electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser therapy, massage and other soft-tissue work. And when paired with rest, their return to previous level came in at 84 percent. It was almost exactly as effective as PRP.

This reinforced ElAttraches concern: Neither of those studies had a control group against which to measure, so the numbers, while impressive, could not isolate what helped and what didnt. This chicken-or-egg question struck ElAttrache just the same when Saito returned and went on to pitch five seasons.

Maybe it was the injection, ElAttrache said. Or maybe it was that we shut him down and let him heal.

Garrett Richards is darting 98-mph fastballs again after turning to orthobiologics. (Getty Images)

He doesnt know, and thats an important distinction as orthobiologics grows exponentially. In 2004, voters in California pledged to provide $3 billion for stem-cell research and create the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. It remains a benefactor for an industry trying to find its place in the United States.

Across the world, stem cells have far greater potency. U.S. law prevents doctors from manipulating the cells in any way. They are extracted and put back into patients bodies as is. In Switzerland, for example, doctors will harvest stem cells, manipulate them to promote greater healing capacity and then inject them. At least one star pitcher this offseason sought a stem cell injection in the United States, according to sources, while another veteran traveled halfway across the world to Zurich, seeking the comparative lack of regulations just as Peyton Manning did in 2011 to help heal a neck injury that eventually needed surgery.

The future of orthobiologics domestically doesnt end with the FDA loosening rules on stem cell usage. Doctors see significant promise in stem cells from a babys umbilical cord or a mothers placenta, both of which can be frozen. Already theyre capable of harvesting stem cells from old patients and engineering the cells into an immature state. The possibilities going forward are endless.

For right now, theyre going to play themselves out in Anaheim. The danger zone for re-injury after using orthobiologics tends to fall between April and June, though Richards cant imagine falling prey again. In addition to the 13-week break from throwing he took over the summer, Richards spent 10 more weeks in the offseason letting it heal further.

During his down time, Richards studied his own delivery to find even the slightest inefficiencies. He had three numbers in mind. The first was 85. Thats the percent at which he said hell throw his fastball, though because of improved mechanics he expects it wont hinder his velocity. The second is 100. Thats the pitch limit the Angels will foist on Richards, and hes not one to fight. The third is 200. Thats the number of innings Richards wants to pitch this season. He did it in 2015 and sees no reason he cant again.

If he can throw 85 percent, keep his pitch count below 100 and get those 200 innings, it will play publicly as another validation of orthobiologics. Just the same, if Richards elbow gives out eventually, his association with stem cells could perhaps give those considering it pause. Richards pays no mind to this. He just wants to be great.

So much so, in fact, that its going to cost him. Inside the Angels clubhouse, a chart, labeled 1 through 13, is taped to the side of a locker. Its a list of shame with the price buying lunch for the entire team. Players, coaches, P.R. directors, even manager Mike Scioscia are on there. Next to No. 6, it read: G. Rich Ace. He had made the mistake of saying aloud what he believed to be true: that hes the ace of the Angels.

Fulfilling that depends on plenty of things, none as important as his elbow, and Richards knows that. Hell do everything he can to take care of it, to nurture it, to fight against its natural gift of velocity that puts him at such risk. To make sure that next time hes on a table in the doctors office, its not with his elbow opened up and another season lost.

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How baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John – Yahoo Sports

New stem cell treatment ‘freezes’ multiple sclerosis – Telegraph.co.uk

The disease is caused by the immune system malfunctioning and mistakenly attacking nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

It leads to problems with movement, vision, balance and speech.

The treatment, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT), was given to patients with advanced forms of the disease who had failed to respond to other medications.

A similar approach has been trialed on people with certain forms of cancer, with encouraging early results.

Dr Paolo Muraro, the new study’s lead author, said: “We previously knew this treatment reboots or resets the immune system but we didn’t know how long the benefits lasted.

“In this study, which is the largest long-term follow-up study of this procedure, we’ve shown we can ‘freeze’ a patient’s disease – and stop it from becoming worse, for up to five years.”

The researchers noted, however, that the nature of the treatment, which involves aggressive chemotherapy, carried significant risks.

The chemotherapy deactivates the immune system for a short period of time, which can lead to greater risk of infection – of the 281 patients who received AHSCT, eight died in the 100 days after treatment.

The treatment works by destroying the immune cells responsible for attacking the nervous system.

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New stem cell treatment ‘freezes’ multiple sclerosis – Telegraph.co.uk

Resetting the immune system ‘stops MS in it’s tracks for at least five years’ – The Sun

The condition is caused by the immune system malfunctioning and mistakenly attacking nerves in the brain and spinal cord

A GROUNDBREAKING treatment that resets the immune system could stop the spread of mutliple sclerosis in nearly half of patients, expertssay.

The risky treatment involves wiping the bodies immune system with cancer treatment and rebooting it with a stem cell transplant, but not all patients will be suitable.

Alamy

A stem cell transplant followed by aggressive chemotherapy could reset the immune system and manage the symptoms of MSThe treatment prevents symptoms of the disease worsening for five years in 46 per cent of patients, a study from Imperial College London found.

Multiple sclerosis affects around 100,000 people in the UK, and 2.3 million worldwide.

The condition is caused by the immune system malfunctioning and mistakenly attacking nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

This leads to a range of symptoms including fatigue, problems with arm and leg movement, vision and balance.

There is no cure but certain medications can help slow progression of the disease.

But a stem cell transplant, followed by aggressive chemotherapy, could change that.

Participants in the studyhad advanced forms of the disease and had not responded to any other treatment.

They were given aautologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) A process in which removes healthy stem cells from the body to allow medics to kill the remaining ones.

It aims to stop the immune system from attacking the bodys nerve cells.

The results, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, suggested some patients saw an improvement in their symptoms.

http://www.alamy.com

In the treatment, a patient is given a drug that encourages stem cells to move from the bone marrow into the blood stream, and these cells are then removed from the body.

The patient then receives high-dose chemotherapy that kills any remaining immune cells.

The stem cells are then transfused back into their body to re-grow their immune system.

Previous studies have suggested this resets the immune system, and stops it from attacking the nerve cells.

But medics warn that because thetreatment involves aggressive chemotherapy that inactivates the immune system for a short period of time, some patients died from infections.

Out of the 281 patients who received the treatment in the study, eight died in the 100 days following the treatment.

Older patients, and those with the most severe forms of the disease, were found to have a higher risk of death.

MSis a neurological condition that affects your nerves.

Its caused when your immune system isnt working properly and the coating around your nerves, called myelin, is damaged.

The protective coating helps ensure messages travel smoothly from your nerves to your brain, but when it is damaged the messages become disrupted meaning they can slow down, become distorted or not make it at all.

Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the condition and its symptoms.

The cause is not know and there isnt yet a cure, but research is progressing fast.

Symptoms:

Treatment: According to the MS Society, more than 100,000 people in the UK have MS and symptoms usually start in your 20s and 30s, affecting more women than men.

While there is no known cure for MS, there are several ways to treats its symptoms including medication, diet, exercise and physiotherapy.

The best course of action depends on what symptoms the sufferer has.

Dr Paolo Muraro, lead author of the study, said: We previously knew this treatment reboots or resets the immune system and that it carried risks but we didnt know how long the benefits lasted.

In this study, which is the largest long-term follow-up study of this procedure, weve shown we can freeze a patients disease and stop it from becoming worse, for up to five years.

However, we must take into account that the treatment carries a small risk of death, and this is a disease that is not immediately life-threatening.

Most patients with multiple sclerosis have a type of the disease that has flare-ups, known as relapses, followed by an improvement in symptoms.

Dr Muraro said the number of years this treatment prevented symptoms from worsening wasfar greater than would be expected in untreated patients with severe forms of relapsing MS.

Dr Muraro added: These findings are very promising but crucially we didnt have a placebo group in this study, of patients who didnt receive the treatment.

We urgently need more effective treatments for this devastating condition, and so a large randomised controlled trial of this treatment should be the next step.

Dr Sorrel Bickley, head of biomedical research at the MS Society, said: This study is one of the largest to date looking at AHSCT as a treatment for MS and the findings offer some encouraging insights.

It shows that AHSCT can slow or stop progression for many years, and the treatment is most effective in people with MS who have active inflammation in their brain and spinal cord.

There are more than 100,000 people with MS in the UK, its a challenging and unpredictable condition to live with and thats why the MS Society is funding research like this to further our knowledge and find treatments for everyone.

If anyone with MS is considering AHSCT they should speak to their neurologist as a referral is needed to access this treatment via a trial or on the NHS.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us attips@the-sun.co.ukor call 0207 782 4368

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Resetting the immune system ‘stops MS in it’s tracks for at least five years’ – The Sun

Blast off: Stem cells from Mayo Clinic physician’s lab launch into space – Medical Xpress

February 19, 2017

Consider it one physician’s giant leap for mankind. Today, the latest rocket launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, included a payload of several samples of donated adult stem cells from a research laboratory at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. The launch by SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, is part of NASA’s commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station.

The biological cells come from the laboratory of Abba Zubair, M.D., Ph.D., who says he has eagerly awaited the launch following several delays over the past couple of years. Dr. Zubair, who specializes in cellular treatments for disease and regenerative medicine, hopes to find out how the stem cells hold up in space. He says he’s eager to know whether these special cells, which are derived from the body’s bone marrow, can be more quickly mass-produced in microgravity and used to treat strokes. Microgravity is the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless. The effects of microgravity can be seen when astronauts and objects float in space. Microgravity refers to the condition where gravity seems to be very small.

“At Mayo Clinic, research drives everything we do for patients,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., vice president, Mayo Clinic, and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. “This space cargo carries important material for research that could hold the key for developing future treatments for strokea debilitating health issue. Research such as this accelerates scientific discoveries into breakthrough therapies and critical advances in patient care.”

Dr. Zubair says he has dreamed of this moment all his life, with a passion for space that goes back to his childhood in the northern city of Kano, Nigeria. There, he says he came across a book about the first moon launch and became instantly enthralled. In high school, he recruited other physics students to build a model rocket prototype using corrugated metal and rudimentary materials from the local blacksmith. When it came time to apply for college, however, the school adviser steered him from becoming an astronaut. “He said it may be a long time before Nigeria sends rockets and astronauts into space, so I should consider something more practical,” Dr. Zubair recalls.

With the goal of being useful to patients and helping cure disease, he headed to medical school in Nigeria. His training took him to the University of Sheffield, in Sheffield, England; the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as he specialized in bone marrow transplants and stem cell research. He came to Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus to treat cancer patients and others whose conditions could be helped by regenerative medicineall the while running a research lab that studies adult stem cells.

Dr. Zubair came across a request for research proposals that involved medicine and outer space four years ago. His mother had died of stroke in 1997, and he had been thinking about stem cells as a treatment for stroke-related brain injury. Collaborating with Mayo Clinic neurologists James Meschia, M.D., and William D. Freeman, M.D., he studied mouse models of stroke.

“Stem cells are known to reduce inflammation,” he explains. “We’ve shown that an infusion of stem cells at the site of stroke improves the inflammation and also secretes factors for the regeneration of neurons and blood vessels.”

One big problem is that it may take as many as 200 million cells to treat a human being, and developing vast numbers of stem cells on Earth can take weeks.

“It’s further complicated, because some patients are unable to donate cells for themselves, and, sometimes, there aren’t enough donors who are a good match, as sometimes occurs for minorities,” he says.

Studies in simulators on Earth have shown that adult stem cellsthe undifferentiated cells that exist in the body to replace damaged or dying cellsreproduce quickly and reliably in microgravity. While it’s not known why microgravity works better than a petri dish, some researchers speculate the conditions may be similar to the floating environment of developing cells in the body. With funding from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a nonprofit organization, Dr. Zubair hopes to find that, in space, stem cells can be reproduced safely in large quantities, providing new opportunities for patients.

He’ll gather real-time information about the cells as astronauts conduct experiments measuring molecular changes.

“We’ll be looking to see if there are genes activated in microgravity and analyzing the stages of the cell cycle,” he says.

“We may discover proteins or compounds that are produced that we can synthesize on Earth to encourage stem cell growth without having to go to microgravity.” Over the last three years of planning, he says he’s been tickled to learn about the challenges of space-based research, such as the need for techniques to handle fluids that don’t mix in microgravity.

Most importantly, experiments will continue after the expanded stem cells return to Earth.

“We’ll study them to make sure they’re normal, functional and safe for patients with stroke,” he says. “My work in regenerative medicine has always been intentionally translationalnot just to study what the cells do and what can be done with them but to make a difference for patients. That’s what makes our project unique.”

For the launch, Mayo Clinic is collaborating with the Center for Applied Space Technology (CAST) in Cape Canaveral, and BioServe Space Technologies in Boulder, Colorado. CAST supported Dr. Zubair’s research by providing strategic mission planning, proposal development, spaceflight technical support and served as an interface between the research team and various space activities and agencies. BioServe provided space flight hardware, on orbit research protocol and scheduling interface.

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Blast off: Stem cells from Mayo Clinic physician’s lab launch into space – Medical Xpress

Mayo doc’s stem cell experiment blasts into space – Post-Bulletin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. As a boy growing up in Kano, Nigeria, Dr. Abba Zubair dreamed of going to space.

On Sunday, his work hitched a ride with a private rocket blasting off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a trip to the International Space Station.

Dr. Zubair, an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, prepared a science package involving stem cells as part of a resupply mission to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

“It was my first rocket launch view,” said Dr. Zubair, who was on hand to watch and listen to the deafening sound as his experiment rode into space. “It was incredible.”

The stem cells — specialized cells derived from bone marrow come from Dr. Zubair’s lab. Dr. Zubair, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic, specializes in cellular treatments for disease and regenerative medicine. He hopes to find out how the stem cells hold up in space and if they can be more quickly produced in microgravity.

More specifically, Zubair said, he is hoping the research can help in treatment of patients who have suffered a stroke-related brain injury.

“Stem cells are known to reduce inflammation,” he said in a press release. “We’ve shown that an infusion of stem cells at the site of stroke improves the inflammation and also secretes factors for the regeneration of neurons and blood vessels.”

The problem with such a treatment and studying the treatment is generating enough stem cells for the job. Based on current regenerative medicine studies, patients need at least 100 million stem cells for an effective dose. However, reproducing stem cells can be time consuming since the cells naturally limit their numbers.

“Scalability is a big issue,” Dr. Zubair said. “I’ve been interested in a faster way to make them divide.”

And on earth, everything is impacted by gravity, from how high we grow to our bone size and other physiological traits. “So, how can we use the effect of gravity to impact how the cells divide?” he asked.

Experiments that simulate stem cell growth in microgravity, thus far, have shown cells do grow more quickly than experimental controls, he said. So he began working toward getting an experiment into space. The experiment needed to be designed so the crew onboard the space station could run the experiment with some simple training, and Dr. Zubair will be able to watch the experiment in real time via a video connection. “We’ll get some data as early as next week,” he said.

If all goes well, growing stem cells in space something Dr. Zubair admits sounds like a dream of the distant future might become a reality more quickly than many people think.

“There are some companies interested in floating labs,” he said. “I think the future is bright. There are a lot of possibilities in the area of regenerative medicine.”

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Mayo doc’s stem cell experiment blasts into space – Post-Bulletin

US Kalytera buys Israel medical cannabis firm Talent for over $10m – The Times of Israel


The Times of Israel
US Kalytera buys Israel medical cannabis firm Talent for over $10m
The Times of Israel
Talent is currently studying the use of cannabidiol (CBD) an antioxidant extracted from the cannabis plant to prevent and treat Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD), a life-threatening condition that can occur after stem cell or bone marrow
Kalytera Therapeutics Acquires Israeli Cannabis DrugmakerThe Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

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US Kalytera buys Israel medical cannabis firm Talent for over $10m – The Times of Israel

Giving the Gift of Life ~ National Donor Day – Shoshone News Press

February 18, 2017 at 1:00 am | By Lisa Turpin Special to the News-Press

National Donor Day, observed on Feb. 14, is a great time to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets.

What could show more love on Valentines Day than the act of giving ones body to help another?

Whether you are a living donor of blood products, stem cells, kidney or liver, register with your state as an organ donor, or make the decision for your loved one to be a donor, you are truly giving the gift of life.

Nationally, more than 119,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, including 2,091 children.

That doesnt include the number waiting for a bone marrow (stem cell) matched donor which is much more complicated to find.

Significant progress continues in the advancement of transplantation medicine with goals of lengthening life spans, restoring function, appearance, and quality of life.

But it still takes the generosity of donors and their loved ones to make a transplant possible.

Claudia Swigart of Pinehurst believes the true value of organ donation is the gift of time.

In her case, fifteen years with her husband Wendell that she, their five combined children, thirteen grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren may not have had.

Wendell and his three siblings all had Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), an inherited condition causing cysts to form in the kidney causing damage and kidney failure.

Wendell worked in the mine here in the Valley, shares Claudia.

He found out he had Polycystic Kidney Disease when he was thirty-four and he was careful, he exercised, ate healthy and never smoked. He didnt have any kidney problems until he was sixty-three and had to have open heart surgery.

The surgery was hard on Wendell and his lungs collapsed, he nearly died and it put his kidneys in distress.

He started dialysis after that and was eventually put on the kidney transplant list to receive a transplant at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The dialysis center in Pinehurst had not opened, so Claudia drove Wendell to Coeur dAlene two times a week for three-hour treatments.

Claudia shared, I am so thankful they opened a dialysis center here. Its exhausting enough to be on dialysis without the traveling.

But there is more to this story.

We always liked telling everyone we could about what happened because we knew God had His hand in the plan, explains Claudia.

They normally traveled to Arizona in their camper for the winter.

Wendell would arrange to have dialysis at the center in Arizona instead of Coeur dAlene.

Well, in 2001 we were planning on leaving so Wendell called to remove himself from the transplant list while we were gone. But, when he called to arrange dialysis at the center in Arizona, they were full! said Claudia.

Since Wendell couldnt have dialysis in Arizona, they were forced to stay home which meant he remained on the transplant list.

Just a few weeks later we got the call! Claudia exclaimed.

Wendell was told he had a matched kidney on the way from a donor in Alaska.

Wendell was sixty-five at the time and he asked if there were any younger people waiting for transplants, anyone still raising young kids who needed it more than he did. His doctor knew he was that kind of man and firmly told him that it was Wendells kidney and he was taking it!

Wendells kidney was such a good match he never experienced any problems or symptoms of rejection.

The transplant coordinators said that the Swigarts could write a letter to the donors family in Alaska if they wanted to have communication with them or thank them.

We wrote a letter to the family two months later and Wendell told them he would take real good care of the kidney, Claudia said.

Wendell did take great care of himself but unfortunately fought esophageal cancer unrelated to his kidneys and passed away in March of 2016 at the age of 80.

The donors family never wrote back, so they do not know the identity of the donor, but Claudia and Wendell were glad they sent the thank-you letter.

We went back to Arizona the year after the transplant and didnt have to worry about dialysis any more. We may never have gotten to do that and he sure wouldnt have had the life he had without the generosity of the donor and their family.

Wendell Swigart had 15 extra quality years with his bride and they celebrated their forty-sixth wedding anniversary before his passing.

Statistics say that only three out of 1,000 people who die are candidates for organ donation, and thats if their families agree to donation.

Even if you register as a donor, it is still up to your family to make the final decision.

Making your family aware that you want to be a donor is the most important thing you can do. For more information visit http://www.donatelife.net or http://www.Organize.org.

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Giving the Gift of Life ~ National Donor Day – Shoshone News Press

Bone Marrow – Structure, Function, Disease and More

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This colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) is showing the internal structure of a broken finger bone. Here, the periosteum (outer bone membrane, pink), compact bone (yellow) and bone marrow (red), in the medullary cavity, can be seen. Photo Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Updated July 15, 2016.

Bone marrow is the soft, flexible connective tissue within bone cavities. A component of the lymphatic system, bone marrow functions primarily to produce blood cells and to store fat. Bone marrow is highly vascular, meaning that it is richly supplied with a large number of blood vessels. There are two categories of bone marrow tissue: red marrow and yellow marrow. From birth to early adolescence, the majority of our bone marrow is red marrow.

As we grow and mature, increasing amounts of red marrow is replaced by yellow marrow. On average, bone marrow can generate hundreds of billions of new blood cells every day.

Bone marrow is separated into a vascular section and non-vascular sections. The vascular section contains blood vessels that supply the bone with nutrients and transport blood stem cells and mature blood cells away from the bone and into circulation. The non-vascular sections of the bone marrow are where hematopoiesis or blood cell formation occurs. This area contains immature blood cells, fat cells, white blood cells (macrophages and plasma cells), and thin, branching fibers of reticular connective tissue. While all blood cells are derived from bone marrow, some white blood cells mature in other organs such as the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus gland.

The major function of bone marrow is to generate blood cells. Bone marrow contains two main types of stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells, found in red marrow, are responsible for the production of blood cells.

Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (multipotent stromal cells) produce the non-blood cell components of marrow, including fat, cartilage, fibrous connective tissue (found in tendons and ligaments), stromal cells that support blood formation, and bone cells.

In adults, red marrow is confined mostly to skeletal system bones of the skull, pelvis, spine, ribs, sternum, shoulder blades, and near the point of attachment of the long bones of the arms and legs. Not only does red marrow produce blood cells, but it also helps to remove old cells from circulation. Other organs, such as the spleen and liver, also filter aged and damaged blood cells from the blood. Red marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells that produce two other types of stem cells: myeloid stem cells and lymphoid stem cells. These cells develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. (See, bone marrow stem cells).

Yellow marrow consists primarily of fat cells. It has poor vascular supply and is composed of hematopoietic tissue that has become inactive. Yellow marrow is found in spongy bones and in the shaft of long bones. When blood supply is extremely low, yellow marrow can be converted to red marrow in order to produce more blood cells.

If bone marrow becomes damaged or diseased, it can result in low blood cell production. Bone marrow disease can develop from bone marrow and blood cancers such as leukemia. Radiation exposure, certain kind of infections, and diseases such as aplastic anemia and myelofibrosis can also cause blood and marrow disorders. These diseases compromise the immune system and deprive organs and tissues of the life giving oxygen and nutrients they need. A bone marrow transplant may be done in order to treat blood and marrow diseases. In the process, damaged blood stem cells are replaced by healthy cells obtained form a donor. The healthy stem cells can be obtained from the donor’s blood or bone marrow. Bone marrow is extracted from bones such as the hip or sternum. Stem cells may also be obtained from umbilical cord blood to be used for transplantation.

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Bone Marrow – Structure, Function, Disease and More

Mayo researcher Abba Zubair is sending stem cells for study on the International Space Station – Florida Times-Union

As a boy growing up in Nigeria, Abba Zubair dreamed of becoming an astronaut.

But as he prepared to apply to college, an adviser told him to find a different path.

He said it may be a long time before Nigeria sends rockets and astronauts into space, so I should consider something more practical, Zubair saud.

He decided to become a physician, and is currently the medical and scientific director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. And while hell almost certainly never get to make a journey outside the Earths atmosphere himself, if the weather stays good Saturday hell be sending a payload into space.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch at 10:01 a.m. Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center on a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. Among the cargo it will be carrying are several samples of donated adult stem cells from Zubairs research lab.

Zubair believes adult stem cells, extracted from bone marrow, are the future of regenerative medicine. Currently at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville they are being used in clinical trials to treat knee injuries and transplanted lungs.

But a big problem with using stem cells to treat illnesses is that it may require up to 200 million cells to treat a human being and the cells take a long time to reproduce. Based on studies using simulators on Earth, Zubair believes that the stem cells will more quickly mass produce in microgravity.

Thats the hypothesis hell be testing as the stem cells from his lab spend a month aboard the space station. Astronauts will conduct experiments measuring changes in the cells. They will then be returned on an unmanned rocket and Zubair will continue to study them in his lab.

We want to understand the process by which stem cells divide so we can grow them at a faster rate and also so we can suppress them when treating cancer, he said.

Zubair became interested in the idea of sending stem cells into space four years ago, when he learned of a request for proposals that involved medicine and outer space. Hes been trying to arrange to send stem cells into space for three years.

In May 2015, he sent stem cells to the edge of space as a hot-air balloon carried a capsule filled with cells from his lab to about 100,000 feet then dropped the capsule. The idea was to test how the cells handled re-entry into the Earths atmosphere.

It turned out well, he said. The cells were alive and functioning.

Zubair was supported in that effort as he is being supported in sending cells to the space station by the Center for Applied Spacee Technology. Its chief executive is Larry Harvey, a retired Navy pilot and former astronaut candidate who lives in Orange Park.

While stem cells have myriad potential medical applications, one that particularly interests Zubair is the use of them in treating stroke patients. Its a personal cause to Zubair, whose mother died of a stroke in 1997.

Weve shown that an infusion of stem cells at the site of stroke improves the inflammation and also secretes factors for the regeneration of neurons and blood vessels, he said.

Zubair hasnt entirely given up on his old dream of being an astronaut. Hes applied for the civilian astronaut program. But he doesnt expect that to happen.

Im not sure I made the cut, he said. I just wanted to apply.

And he realizes what a long, strange trip hes made.

I have come so far from Africa to here, he said, and now Im sending stem cells into space.

Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413

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Mayo researcher Abba Zubair is sending stem cells for study on the International Space Station – Florida Times-Union

Stem cells: PTH regulates bone marrow progenitor fate : Nature … – Nature.com

Stem cells: PTH regulates bone marrow progenitor fate : Nature …
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New research published in Cell Metabolism reveals an important mechanism underlying the anabolic effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH) on bone. Mice with …

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Upstate Opens Cord Blood Bank, Only the Second Public Cord Blood Bank in New York and One of Only 32 in the US – Newswise (press release)

Newswise Upstate Medical University opens the Upstate Cord Blood Bank, only the second public cord blood bank in New York and one of only 32 in the US.

The $15 million, 20,000 square foot facility features a state of the art processing laboratory and cryogenic storage containers that can store nearly 14,500 units of cord blood. The building is located on Upstates Community Campus, 4910 Broad Road in Syracuse, home to Upstates obstetric services. The cord blood bank opened Feb. 9.

The bank will collect, test, process, store and distribute umbilical cord blood donated by families throughout central and northern New York to be used by those in need of life-saving medical treatments and for medical research.

The bank is currently accepting cord blood donations from families who give birth at Upstates Community Campus. Cord blood donations will be accepted from families who give birth at Syracuse’s Crouse Hospital and St. Josephs Hospital Health Center as early as summer 2017. Agreements with other area hospitals will be forthcoming.

Umbilical cord blood is blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after childbirth. Cord blood that is not donated is discarded as medical waste. It is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells that have the potential of being used in the treatment of dozens of diseases, like blood cancers and bone marrow diseases such as sickle cell anemia.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco played a key role in securing the $15 million funding for the building, enabling Syracuse to have one of only two public cord blood banks in New York and one of only 32 in the United States.

The Upstate Cord Blood Bank responds directly to the mission of our academic medical center, said Upstate President Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP. It is a community resource that will improve the health of individuals here, throughout our region and beyond. Whether the cord blood is used for transplantation or research, we are providing hope of better health and new treatments.

Laraque-Arena said she was grateful for the support of New York State Sen. John DeFrancisco. I applaud Senator DeFranciscos efforts to move this project forward and to enable Upstate to be at the forefront of this impactful initiative, Laraque-Arena said.

The Upstate Cord Blood Bank is a project near and dear to my heart, said DeFrancisco. Its a project that has been a long time coming, and I am absolutely ecstatic that the public bank is now open and receiving donations of umbilical cord blood. I look forward to witnessing the many cures that will result from having the use of cord blood available right here in Upstate.

Upstates Robert Corona, DO, MBA, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology, said the Upstate Cord Blood Bank would put to good use what is often referred to as medical waste.The blood from the umbilical cord and placenta, cord blood, contains hematopoietic stem cells that have potential to treat many diseases including cancer, genetic disorders and blood disorders, he said. What was once medical waste becomes a source of life saving cells and a significant contribution to the field of regenerative medicine. Stem cells show great potential in treating all sorts of neurologic disorders including metabolic disorders, spastic cerebral palsy and autism. We are truly fortunate to have a new Cord Blood Bank in our community as a cutting-edge patient care and research resource.

Nicholas Greco, PhD, executive director and tissue bank director of the Upstate Cord Blood Bank, said the use of cord blood in treatment for various diseases has expanded. Historically, cord blood from public banks in transplantation has focused on the safety and use in regenerating dysfunctional or damaged bone marrow. But, within the last decade, family banks have focused on using cord blood- and cord tissue-derived stem cells to replace or regenerate human cells, tissue or organs, to restore or establish normal function (regenerative medicine). These emerging uses, extend patient options for treatment and cures.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher applauded the opening of the Upstate Cord Blood Bank. New Yorks ongoing investment in medical research and education provides far reaching benefits for our students and faculty as well as communities not only in New York state but around the globe, Zimpher said. Congratulations to President Laraque-Arena and the entire SUNY Upstate community on the opening of this new facility, which is certain to advance research in a vital field of study, enhance patient care, and provide new educational opportunities for students.

Designation as a public cord blood bank The designation of Upstate Cord Blood Bank as a public blood bank is important in that there is no cost to donate and donated cord blood is available to anyone who needs it. Once donated, the cord blood will be stored in the bank and made available to transplant centers in the United States and throughout the world for patients needing life-saving transplants. The cord blood units will be listed initially on the Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide registry and on the Be The Match registry maintained by the National Marrow Donor Program, which maintains a large listing of cord blood units available for transplant. Those units that are not suitable for transplantation will be made available to researchers, both at Upstate Medical University and around the country.

The Upstate Cord Blood Bank will in the near future open a family cord blood bank that will collect, test, process, store, and distribute a babys umbilical cord blood only for use by families who have a need for future use. An initial fee and annual fee will be charged for collection, processing and storage of umbilical cord blood in the family bank.

The Upstate Cord Blood Bank will operate under strict guidelines and protocols, established by state and federal health organizations, including the state Health Department, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), AABB and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).

As is currently under way at Crouse Hospital and St. Josephs Hospital Health Center, Upstate will work with regional hospitals to develop guidelines and agreements to enable mothers who deliver in these facilities the ability to donate their cord blood for free.

Upstate officials hope the cord blood bank will ultimately receive donations from 10,000 births a year, which would represent 50 percent of the approximately 20,000 births in Central New York annually.

How is cord blood donated Once a mother has delivered her baby and after the umbilical cord is clamped and cut as is done with all deliveries, a medical provider will insert a needle into the umbilical vein that is still attached to the placenta. The process, which takes less than 10 minutes, yields about 3 to 5 ounces of cord blood, which is then sent to the Upstate Cord Blood Bank for testing, processing and storage. There is no pain for the mother or baby nor is their safety compromised during the delivery.

Treatments with cord blood Stem cell transplants from umbilical cord blood, researchers say, may be more suitable for transplants than the more common stem cells taken from bone marrow as treatment for various cancers. Umbilical cord blood has an underdeveloped immune cell system providing less of a chance that the transplanted cells will attack the recipients immune system. Hematopoietic stem cells are capable of forming all different types of blood forming cells in the human body. They are used to treat some cancers, metabolic disorders and immunodeficiency diseases, and bone marrow disorders, such as sickle cell anemia. Cord blood is rich in these hematopoietic stem cells.

Research with cord blood Umbilical cord blood stem cells will be valuable for medical research, in studies seeking to advance new treatments for cancer and using cord blood to treat and cure diseases that are not cancers, that is, in regenerative medicine applications. These latter applications may regenerate new tissues such as heart, muscle, skin, and neuronal tissues. Some Upstate researchers have expressed an interest in working with stem cells from umbilical cord blood. An available supply of cord blood would enhance and expedite research studies on finding new treatments for various diseases.

Upstate Cord Blood Bank credits: Architect: Francis Cauffman, New York, N.Y. Engineer: Buro Happold Engineers, New York, N.Y., Project Management: Pike Construction Company, Rochester, N.Y.; General Contractor: Murnane Building Contractors, East Syracuse, N.Y.

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Upstate Opens Cord Blood Bank, Only the Second Public Cord Blood Bank in New York and One of Only 32 in the US – Newswise (press release)

Nurse asking people to sign up as bone-marrow donors – Kewanee Star Courier

Wyoming resident and pediatric nurse Elizabeth Groter has partnered with DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support), the nonprofit leading the fight against blood cancer, to host a bone marrow registration drive in Toulon Friday. The event will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Stark County High School cafeteria, and will help register potential lifesaving donors. Anyone in good general health who is between 18 and 55 can register. The process involves filling out a simple form, understanding the donation methods and swabbing the inside of each cheek for 30 seconds. There is no charge to register. Donations help DKMS cover the $65 registration processing fee but are not required. Groter is a pediatric nurse at Childrens Hospital of Illinois, and a DKMS representative. She was inspired to host a drive with DKMS after experiencing first-hand how simple it is to be added to the KDMS bone marrow registry. With her job experience, Groter has met countless children battling leukemia and other blood cancers who are in need of bone marrow transplants, and wanted to make a difference by helping to grow the registry to find lifesaving matches for patients. Groters uncle is a leukemia survivor and another source of her inspiration. Becoming a part of the bone marrow registry to be a possible match for someone with blood cancer is so incredibly easy, and Im going to make it even easier for you. By doing something as simple as this, you could possibly change someones life in an instant, said Groter. According to DKMS, 70 percent of people suffering from blood-related illnesses must rely on donors outside their families to save their life. Swabbing your cheek is all it takes to register as a potential donor. Anyone who wishes to register as a potential donor but is unable to attend Fridays drive can register online at http://www.dkms.org. DKMS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating blood cancers like leukemia and other blood-related illnesses. The organization inspires men and woman around to the world to register as bone marrow and blood stem cell donors.

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Nurse asking people to sign up as bone-marrow donors – Kewanee Star Courier

Stem cell technique may aid in bone repair – Bel Marra Health

Home Bone Health Stem cell technique may aid in bone repair

A new method for repairing damaged bones with stem cell and carbon material has been developed by researchers working with the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). The method involves using stem cells from human bone marrow and carbon sheets with photocatalytic properties, and may help to create better treatments for bone injuries like periodontal disease and fractures.

During their study, researchers found that carbon nitride sheets that absorb red light encourage proliferation and growth of bone, as well as osteogenic differentiation. Human bone marrow stem cells have previously been used in the treatment of fractures, as they promote bone regeneration even in patients who have lost large areas of bone because of trauma or disease. The use of carbon nitride sheets alongside the bone marrow stem cells in this study were an attempt to accelerate the regeneration process.

Researchers found that when the carbon nitride was exposed to red light, it absorbed the light and emitted fluorescence, which is already known to expedite bone regeneration. The study also showed proliferation in osteogenic differentiation genes and accelerated bone formation in cells that were cultured in the lab.

This new stem cell research shows that coupling human bone marrow stem cells with carbon nitride could prove to be an effective way to create new bone material in areas that are lacking. With further research, this method could soon be applied to helping to heal bone fractures and wear-and-tear related to diseases like osteoporosis, as well as used to create new joints and teeth.

Related: Improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis with lifestyle changes

Related Reading:

Eat these foods for strong bones

Six tips to improve your bone health

http://news.unist.ac.kr/new-stem-cell-technique-shows-promise-for-bone-repair/

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Stem cell technique may aid in bone repair – Bel Marra Health

Whitstable family make plea for bone marrow donor – Kent Online – Kent Online

Wednesday, February 15 2017

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Home Whitstable News Article

12 February 2017

by Eleanor Perkins

The son of a man who needs a bone marrow transplant has made a desperate plea for people to join a donor register to help find the perfect match.

Yevi Ilangakoon, from Whitstable, was diagnosed with myelofibrosis – a serious bone marrow disorder which disrupts the bodys normal production of blood cells – in 2009.

It affects about one in every 100,000 people and can progress into leukaemia.

Yevi Ilangakoon, who needs a bone marrow transplant, with son Yovaan

Originally from Sri Lanka, Mr Ilangakoon currently manages by using medication but his only cure would be a bone marrow transplant using stem cells.

But since medical professionals have been unable to find a 100% match, his family have launched an appeal encouraging people to sign up as donors online – particularly those in the South Asian community.

His son Yovaan Ilangakoon said: My dads condition has deteriorated significantly and it now has the potential to turn into leukaemia. His life expectancy is now limited.

His only hope is to have a bone marrow transplant using stem cells. The medical team has searched the worldwide registers but has not been able to find a 100% match as yet.

“This is mainly due to the South Asian community being under represented on the bone marrow registers.

I am trying to get as many people on the bone marrow register, particularly those from South Asian origin in order to find a match for him and hundreds of others in similar situations.

Mr Ilangakoon says signing up online is simple and takes less than two minutes. People will then be sent a kit via the post.

He added: All you have to do is swab the inside of your cheek with the cotton bud they send you and send it back to them in the pre-paid envelope. Its that simple.

If you ever become a match for a person who needs a stem cell transplant, donating your stem cells is as simple as donating blood.

We are relying on our faith in Jesus and are confident that soon he will find a match and have a successful transplant and be healed completely.

God has always been faithful to our family.

If you are above 30 years and living in the UK, register here.If you are below 30,register here.

Click here for more news from Whitstable.

Click here for more news from around the county.

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Whitstable family make plea for bone marrow donor – Kent Online – Kent Online

Senior Becomes the Match to donate bone marrow and saves life – Villanovan (subscription)

On Feb. 2, Naomi Ng 16 donated peripheral blood stem cells at an outpatient clinic as part of the Be The Match donor program. She was matched after registering for Be The Match through the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation.

You swab your cheek and you might save someones life, Ng said. Its so easy to register to be a donor that you dont think about the impact.

Ng was informed of the potential match in the fall of 2016 and completed initial blood work. Having graduated in May with a degree in Environmental Studies, she had just begun working for Amtrak in D.C. as senior service planner. She was not contacted again until mid-December, and completed the non-surgical procedure several weeks later.

The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation, a non-profit created in 2010 by the recently retired head football coach. Talley began promoting awareness about bone marrow donation in 1992 by hosting testing opportunities on campus. In 2008, he partnered with Be The Match to form the Get in the Game. Save a Life initiative. The foundation has now enlisted over 78 college football programs to participate in the foundations mission, registering young, healthy college students with the Be the Match registry to increase the chances of finding a bone marrow match for patients diagnosed with blood cancer.

Like many University students Ng registered at one of Talleys on campus testing drives. She swabbed her cheek, filled out the paperwork and doubted that she would ever get a call. I kind of forget that I had registered for it, Ng said. I had hoped obviously, because I wouldnt have registered if I didnt want to do it. Its just such a slim chance.

The donation of peripheral blood stem cells is one of two methods for collecting the blood-forming cells that recipients need. For five days before the procedure, Ng was given injections of filgrastim to increase the number of stem cells in her blood. On the day of the procedure she was connected to a machine via a needle in one arm and her blood was run through the machine and returned to her body through the other arm.

Although the filgrastim injections were painful, Ng described the procedure as pretty non-invasive, saying, I actually slept through the procedure. When I woke up I was like, thats it? I can leave now?

Ngs match is a 66-year old man, but his age and gender are the only things she knows about him. A year after the procedure, Be The Match will help to facilitate contact between the two if desired by donor and recipient.

Its a really emotional experience, Ng said. Ive never met this guy. I dont know his name. I dont know anything about him, but I feel like I have an emotional connection to him now. I dont know yet, but I might have saved his life.

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Senior Becomes the Match to donate bone marrow and saves life – Villanovan (subscription)

Lights, Carbon Nitride, Bone Regeneration! – Asian Scientist Magazine

Growing stem cells on carbon nitride sheets not only activates bone-related genes, but also releases calcium ions when exposed to red light.

Asian Scientist Newsroom | February 15, 2017 | In the Lab

AsianScientist (Feb. 15, 2017) – Light absorbing nanosheets could help bone regrowth, according to a study by researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology published in ACS Nano.

Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) have been successfully used to treat fractures by regenerating lost bone tissue. To increase the area of bone regeneration, scientists have attempted to enhance the function of stem cells using carbon nanotubes, graphenes and nano-oxides.

In the present study, Professors Kim Kwang S. and Suh Pann-Ghill examined the bone regenerative abilities of carbon nitride (C3N4) nanosheets. Firstly, Kim’s team synthesized carbon nitrogen derivatives from melamine compounds. Then, they analyzed the light-absorbing characteristics of C3N4 sheets at a wavelength range of 455-635 nanometers (nm).

They found that the C3N4 sheets emit fluorescence at the wavelength of 635 nm when exposed to red light in a liquid state. The released electrons induced calcium to accumulate in the cytoplasm, thereby speeding up bone regeneration.

Suh’s team then conducted studies investigating biomedical applications of this material. To do so, they cultured stem cells and cancer cells in a medium containing 200 g/ml of C3N4 sheets. The material showed no cytotoxicity after two days of testing, suggesting that it is biocompatible.

They also confirmed that C3N4 sheets induce stem cells to differentiate into osteoblasts to promote mineral formation, turning on osteogenic differentiation marker genes such as ALP, BSP, and OCN. Moreover, Runx2 (Runt-related transcription factor 2), a key transcription factor in osteoblast differentiation was also activated. This gene activation resulted in the increased osteoblast differentiation and accelerated bone formation.

This research has opened up the possibility of developing a new medicine that effectively treats skeletal injuries, such as fractures and osteoporosis, said co-author Professor Seo Young-Kyo. It will be a very useful tool for making artificial joints and teeth with the use of 3D printing.

This is an important milestone in the analysis of biomechanical functions needed for the development of biomaterials, including adjuvants for hard tissues such as damaged bones and teeth.

The research team expects that their findings affirm the potential of C3N4 sheets in developing bone formation and directing hBMSCs toward bone regeneration.

The article can be found at: Tiwari et al. (2016) Accelerated Bone Regeneration by Two-Photon Photoactivated Carbon Nitride Nanosheets.

Source: Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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Lights, Carbon Nitride, Bone Regeneration! – Asian Scientist Magazine

Stem cell registry drive at SAU seeks to connect potential donors with people who need help – Magnoliareporter

When three Southern Arkansas University nursing students started organizing this weeks stem cell registry drive more than three months ago, they were not aware that a member of the Mulerider family is one of more than 1,400 whose life could be saved.

The stem cell/bone marrow registry drive is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday both in the Reynolds Center Rotunda and the SAU Baptist Collegiate Ministry.

For more information, contact Dr. Becky Parnell at (870)235-4365 or at bbparnell@saumag.edu .

The SAU BSN students initially behind the project are Renee Langley, Tabitha Elliott and Courtney Owens. Parnell explained that while attending the Arkansas Student Nurses Association annual meeting in Little Rock, the students were introduced to the need for bone marrow donors. They even registered to be possible donors themselves.

Parnell said they realized this project was a perfect example of how nurses can impact the care of people outside the normal hospitalized patient.

They recognized how many people this could potentially impact and wanted to recruit more people (to register), said Parnell. I have seen the bone marrow process it is truly a life-saving intervention for many people that are devastated by leukemia.

When Parnell began promoting the registry event on campus, it was brought to her attention that Sydney Galway, the daughter of a Magnolia native, 1984 SAU alum and Board of Governors Chair Beth Galway, is suffering with acute myeloid leukemia.

Sydney Galway is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.

When Sydney was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, the doctors told us that Sydneys only cure would come from a bone marrow transplant. The doctors were, and are, confident of the success of her treatment due to the fact that she has a high chance to find a perfect bone marrow donor, said Galway.

Her increased chance of finding a match, Galway explained, is simply because she is a Caucasian female which has one of the highest bone marrow donor rates. She has a 97 percent chance to find a donor.

Of course, the first donor they looked at was her sister. A sibling has only a 25 percent chance to be a match; a parent even less. Sydneys sister was not a match, said Galway.

Donor matches are generally based on race. With todays diverse community, the need for bone marrow donors from minority and mixed race groups is high. An African American patient has only a 66 percent chance to find a match.

The doctors and nurses that I have talked to indicate that the need is huge for African Americans as well as donors from India, said Galway.

She said that the treatment for Sydney, who is a sophomore in college, is now in phase 3. Her next step is a bone marrow transplant.

We hope to have a perfect match for her and pray that the donor will be willing to do all that is necessary for providing the blood or bone marrow needed for the transplant, said Galway.

The drive is being sponsored by SAUs Department of Nursing and University Health Services. Junior and senior BSN students will also be assisting in the bone marrow drive as a professional development activity.

Becoming a member of a stem cell/bone marrow registry only requires that you provide a swab of the cells inside your cheek. To register is a painless and fast way to possibly save a life.

The rest is here:
Stem cell registry drive at SAU seeks to connect potential donors with people who need help – Magnoliareporter

Lion-hearted fighter beats the odds – The Straits Times

Ten-year-old Boon Kye Feng prances around the living room in furry purple pants that match the lion’s head he is wearing.

He lifts the head and moves it from side to side to a beat only he can hear.

Even when the little lion gets thirsty, he drinks water through the opening in the head.

Seeing him at play, it may be difficult for strangers to tell that he has spent almost half his life battling leukaemia.

His family fought it along with him, gifting two transplants – cord blood from his baby sister and stem cells from his mother – to keep him alive.

MIRACLE BOY

I believe Kye Feng is a ‘miracle’. We have all learnt a lot from him, not only in the science of managing the disease and the doctor-patient relationship, but also in his love of life, and his fearlessness and resilience, despite the years of pain and suffering.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR TAN POH LIN, from the paediatric haematology- oncology division of NUH.

Despite the intensive treatment, his parents said he had remained positive and playful.

It had started in late 2011 when Kye Feng developed spots and bruises which his parents thought were sandfly bites.

When the spots appeared a second time, his mother, Mrs Celine Boon, decided to take him for a check-up.

Doctors found that his white blood cell count was very high and told the family he could have leukaemia (cancer of the blood).

It was diagnosed as juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML), a rare form of the disease.

But Mrs Boon, 38, was not too surprised.

This was because Kye Feng and his twin brother, Kye Teck, had previously developed juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG), a skin disorder that is usually benign and self-limiting.

They also have an older sister, now 16, who was unaffected.

While reading up on JXG earlier, Mrs Boon had come across a potential link to JMML.

She said: “Still, I had never expected that it would happen to my son. I was quite alarmed.”

JMML is so rare that blood samples had to be sent to Germany to confirm the diagnosis.

Kye Feng began chemotherapy at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) in 2012 to control the condition while waiting for a bone marrow transplant.

Although KKH doctors had not seen a JMML case in about 10 years, they did the transplant as there were few other options.

His father, Mr Roy Boon, 46, said: “It was all trial and error. There’s no exact treatment for JMML.”

Mrs Boon was then pregnant with their fourth child and doctors said the baby girl’s cord blood could be used for the transplant as there is a 25 per cent chance of a match between siblings.

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) is a very rare form of childhood leukaemia. The hallmark symptom of the disease is the increased number of white blood cells known as monocytes.

Normal monocytes protect the body from infections, but those in patients with this leukaemia are cancerous and reproduce uncontrollably. The monocytes may then infiltrate organs such as the liver, spleen, lungs, lymph nodes and even skin.

In Western countries, one in a million children are afflicted with the disease each year. Based on Singapore population statistics last year, there is an average of one case every three years.

For the majority of JMML patients, a haematopoietic – or blood forming – stem cell transplant (HSCT) is the only curative option.

Stem cells are cells that have the potential for self-renewal and differentiation. They can develop into different forms, including white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Such a transplant can help patients develop new and healthy blood cells.

Stem cells can be found in the bone marrow, blood, fat tissue and placenta. They are abundant in the bone marrow but, even so, make up only 1 per cent of all cells there.

They can be “harvested” directly from the bone marrow or from the blood, whether they are from an adult volunteer or from umbilical cord blood.

The bone marrow must be stimulated to coax or force the stem cells into the peripheral blood system, but techniques are well-tested and safe.

After undergoing HSCT, 50 per cent of the patients will go on to become long-term survivors.

Abigail Ng

Source: Associate Professor Tan Poh Lin, senior consultant at the division of paediatric haematology-oncology, National University Hospital.

Thankfully, it was a full match for Kye Feng, who had the transplant and recovered well.

He looked forward to starting Primary 1 with his brother.

But before the March holidays of his first year in school, doctors noticed that the percentage of donor cells in him was beginning to fall, signalling that there could be a problem.

When it became clear that the cancer had returned, Mrs Boon said she broke down and cried.

“I was shocked. There weren’t any physical symptoms. Why did it happen so quickly? It wasn’t even one year after the transplant and things had looked so promising,” she said.

A SECOND CHANCE

The family sought a second opinion from the National University Hospital (NUH) and entered into the care of Associate Professor Tan Poh Lin from the paediatric haematology-oncology division.

While doctors from both hospitals suggested a second transplant for Kye Feng, there was more bad news.

His illness was mutating into mixed-phenotype acute leukaemia, a combination of two forms of cancer.

He also faced a life-threatening infection that caused high fever and bloating.

Besides beginning palliative care to improve his quality of life, the family continued to push for treatment, including natural killer-cell therapy and the removal of Kye Feng’s enlarged spleen in a complicated seven-hour operation.

Even though the test results showed that leukaemic cells remained in his bone marrow, Kye Feng had a second transplant in September 2015, this time using stem cells from his mother.

Doctors usually recommend transplants only when patients register no leukaemic cells.

Mrs Boon said: “If he didn’t have the transplant, he would have only six months more. With the transplant, he would at least have a chance of recovery.

“He was fighting hard. If I didn’t give him the chance, I would never know if he could have survived.”

Kye Feng responded well to his mother’s stem cells.

Dr Tan said: “I believe Kye Feng is a ‘miracle’. We have all learnt a lot from him, not only in the science of managing the disease and the doctor-patient relationship, but also in his love of life, and his fearlessness and resilience, despite the years of pain and suffering.”

The crucial three months after the transplant passed by without issue, but the boy developed a graft versus host disease (GVHD) one year later.

Still, his parents were relieved that it was not a second relapse.

He was put on medication for GVHD and will recover completely.

In the meantime, the family is treasuring the time they can spend together.

Mrs Boon said: “We will relax and go with the flow, as long as Kye Feng is happy.”

Continued here:
Lion-hearted fighter beats the odds – The Straits Times

SNA strives to find bone marrow donors at MU – MU The Parthenon

Saving a life can begin with a simple swab of a cheek.

Marshalls Student Nurses Association is trying to help accomplish this goal through a bone marrow registry drive with Be The Match, a nonprofit organization, Feb. 15 in the Memorial Student Center. Anyone from ages 18 to 44 with no major preexisting diseases are eligible to register.

The main idea is that Be The Match connects critically ill patients with a life-saving bone marrow donor, senior nursing major Molly Arthur said. Most patients do not find a marrow match within their own family, so they have to rely on a complete stranger to donate to them.

The SNA decided to do this drive after meeting several patients through their clinicals at Cabell Huntington Hospital who have the possibility of receiving a bone marrow transplant through the course of their treatment.

I know a little boy who went recently to see if he had any matches to get a transplant, and they had 10 people that were matches for him, senior nursing major Jenna Fields said. If he would need one later on, they would wipe out his immune system and replace it through the bone marrow to fight off the disease.

In order to register, donors will go through a series of questions about their medical history and will have their cheeks swabbed to collect cells, which will take about 10 minutes. According to Be The Match registry, only one in every 430 people go on to donate.

There are three ways to donate: peripheral blood stem cells through an IV, bone marrow through the hip by a surgical procedure and cord blood after giving birth.

They put an IV in, they take the blood out and spin out what they need and everything else goes back into your body. Its just like giving blood, and you potentially save a life, senior nursing major Alison Evans said.

The registry drive is taking place in the Don Morris Room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 15. The SNA has a goal of registering 100 donors.

The more people on the registry, the more likely you are to find a match, Evans said. The goal is to get as many people on the registry as possible to potentially raise someones percentage of finding a match.

Heather Barker can be contacted at [emailprotected]

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SNA strives to find bone marrow donors at MU – MU The Parthenon

5 reasons you should sign up for the bone marrow registry right now – New York Daily News

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 5:00 AM

So, bless your heart, youve already signed up for your states organ donor registry. Now its time to kick your lifesaving quest up a notch and sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program, which helps match potential donors with patients fighting leukemia, lymphoma and other deadly diseases.

Here are five reasons to throw your name in the hat, if you needed some convincing:

You can join in person by stopping by a registration drive or by spending a few minutes on BeTheMatch.org. Either way, youll get a registration kit to provide a cheek swab, which the organization uses to identify tissue type and match with a patient.

People aged 18 to 44 hit the sweet spot, as theyre called upon 90% of the time the younger the donor, the smoother the recovery for both patient and donor, said Lauren Wollny, the New Jersey/New York community engagement representative for the nonprofit Icla Da Silva Foundation. The 45- to 60-year-old crowd can still sign up, albeit for a $100 tax-deductible fee that helps the nonprofit cover costs.

Bradley Cooper urges public to join bone marrow registry

Just 1 in 430 volunteers ever even get a call to begin the donation process.

Once youre identified as a match, youll submit to a blood test, physical exam and pregnancy test, all free of charge. A doctor will then recommend one of two procedures: a nonsurgical peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation (75% of the time), or bone marrow donation (25%), which involves surgery and anesthesia but isnt nearly as horrifying as youve heard.

For PBSC, the most common method, youll receive an injection of the drug filgrastim for five days leading up to the donation. On the big day, youll head to a clinic or blood center to have a needle draw blood from one arm, pass it through a machine that isolates the blood-forming cells, and return the blood to the other arm voila. Depending on the size of both patient and donor, it can take four to eight hours which you might use to reflect on what a terrific thing youre doing for a total stranger.

For bone marrow donation youll head to the OR, where a doctor will siphon liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone with a needle. The anesthesia will keep you numb, and though you may later feel back or hip soreness, fatigue and other side effects, you should be back to your normal routine within a week.

EXCLUSIVE: Bone marrow recipients to meet FDNY donors

33 photos view gallery

This is the one that gets a really bad rap, Wollny told the Daily News. Its not as bad as people make it out to be.

All in all, the average length of the donation process from start to finish is about 20 to 30 hours over a month or two and your own personal case manager will see you through the entire thing.

People are most likely to match with someone of the same ethnic background since the tissue types used for matching are inherited and the registry is starved for donors who are black or African American, Hispanic, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Asian, Alaska native, Native American and multiracial. If one of those describes your ancestry, go be a hero, please.

The Fort Lee, N.J., 12-year-old was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year, undergoing several rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant from her mom before eventually being pronounced cancer-free. But after a relapse in November, Lopez is fighting for her life once again and desperately in need of another bone marrow transplant.

New York tries to increase organ donations to those in need

The Long Island City-based Icla Da Silva Foundation will hold combo registry drive/fundraisers for the tween in New Jersey (Fort Lee and Union City), Georgia, Texas and Florida this Sunday. If youre free and in good health, you should go.

We hope to find Briana a match, and if we find other people a match as well, fantastic, Wollny said. Its so simple to save a life if it was you, wouldnt you want someone to do that for you?

Read more from the original source:
5 reasons you should sign up for the bone marrow registry right now – New York Daily News

Stem cell registry drive at SAU Feb. 14-15 – SAU

When three Southern Arkansas University nursing students started organizing next weeks stem cell registry drive more than three months ago, they were not aware that a member of the Mulerider family is one of more than 1,400 whose life could be saved.

The stem cell/bone marrow registry drive is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on February 14-15 both in the Reynolds Center Rotunda and the SAU Baptist Collegiate Ministry. For more information, contact Dr. Becky Parnell at (870)235-4365 or at bbparnell@saumag.edu.

The SAU BSN students initially behind the project are Renee Langley, Tabitha Elliott and Courtney Owens. Parnell explained that while attending the Arkansas Student Nurses Association annual meeting in Little Rock, the students were introduced to the need for bone marrow donors. They even registered to be possible donors themselves. She said they realized this project was a perfect example of how nurses can impact the care of people outside the normal hospitalized patient.

They recognized how many people this could potentially impact and wanted to recruit more people (to register), said Parnell. I have seen the bone marrow process it is truly a life-saving intervention for many people that are devastated by leukemia.

When Parnell began promoting the registry event on campus, it was brought to her attention that the daughter of Magnolia native, 1984 SAU alum and Board of Governors Chair Beth Galway, Sydney, is suffering with acute myeloid leukemia and in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.

When Sydney was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, the doctors told us that Sydneys only cure would come from a bone marrow transplant. The doctors were, and are, confident of the success of her treatment due to the fact that she has a high chance to find a perfect bone marrow donor, said Galway.

Her increased chance of finding a match, Galway explained, is simply because she is a Caucasian female which has one of the highest bone marrow donor rates. She has a 97% chance to find a donor.

Of course, the first donor they looked at was her sister. A sibling has only a 25% chance to be a match; a parent even less. Sydneys sister was not a match, said Galway.

Donor matches are generally based on race. With todays diverse community, the need for bone marrow donors from minority and mixed race groups is high. An African American patient has only a 66% chance to find a match.

The doctors and nurses that I have talked to indicate that the need is huge for African Americans as well as donors from India, said Galway.

She said that the treatment for Sydney, who is a sophomore in college, is now in phase 3. Her next step is a bone marrow transplant.

We hope to have a perfect match for her and pray that the donor will be willing to do all that is necessary for providing the blood or bone marrow needed for the transplant, said Galway.

The drive is being sponsored by SAUs Department of Nursing and University Health Services. Junior and senior BSN students will also be assisting in the bone marrow drive as a professional development activity.

Becoming a member of a stem cell/bone marrow registry only requires that you provide a swab of the cells inside your cheek. To register is a painless and fast way to possibly save a life.

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Stem cell registry drive at SAU Feb. 14-15 – SAU

OCASCR scientists make progress in TSET-funded adult stem cell research – NewsOK.com

OCASCR scientist Lin Liu at work. Photo provided.

Working together, scientists from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation are advancing adult stem cell research to treat some of todays most devastating diseases.

Under the umbrella of the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research (OCASCR), created with funding from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, these scientists have amassed groundbreaking findings in one of the fastest growing areas of medical research.

We have made exciting progress, said OCASCR scientist Lin Liu, director of the Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases and director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Regenerative Medicine at Oklahoma State University.

We can convert adult stem cells into lung cells using our engineering process in petri dishes, which offers the possibility to repair damaged lung tissues in lung diseases, said Liu, whose research primarily focuses on lung and respiratory biology and diseases.

Using our engineered cells, we can also reverse some pathological features. These studies give us hope for an eventual application of these cells in humans.

Adult stem cells in the body are capable of renewing themselves and becoming various types of cells.

Until recently, stem cell treatments were largely restricted to blood diseases. However, new studies suggest many other types of adult stem cells can be used for medical treatment, and the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research was created to promote this branch of research.

OCASCR scientist Lin Liu and his team discussing their work. Photo provided.

Liu said the discipline provides hope for many ailments.

What most fascinated me in stem cell research is the hope that we may be able to use stem cells from our own body; for example, bone marrow or fat tissues to cure lung diseases, Liu said.

It is impossible to know exactly which diseases will respond to treatments.However, results of early experiments suggest many diseases should benefit from this type of research, including lung, heart, Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases, as well as cancer, diabetes and spinal cord injuries. The field is often referred to as regenerative medicine, because of the potential to create good cells in place of bad ones.

While the application of stem cells can be broad, Liu hopes that his TSET-funded work will help develop treatments for diseases caused by tobacco use.

The goal of my research team is to find cures for lung diseases, Liu said. One such disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the country and cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.

Cigarette smoking is also a risk factor for another fatal lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which has a mean life expectancy of 3 to 5 years after diagnosis, he added.

There is no cure for COPD or IPF. The current treatments of COPD and IPF only reduce symptoms or slow the disease progression.

Using OCASCR/TSET funding, my team is researching the possibility to engineer adult stem cells using small RNA molecules existing in the body to cure COPD, IPF and other lung diseases such as pneumonia caused by flu, Liu said.

This is vital research, considering that more than11 million peoplehave been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have the disease without even knowing it, according to the American Lung Association.

Despite declining smoking rates and increased smokefree environments, tobacco use continues to cause widespread health challenges and scientists will continue working to develop treatments to deal with the consequences of smoking.

We need to educate the public more regarding the harms of cigarette smoking, Liu said. My research may offer future medicines for lung diseases caused by cigarette smoking.

Under the umbrella of the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research (OCASCR), created with funding from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, these scientists have amassed groundbreaking findings in one of the fastest growing areas of medical research. Photo provided.

Liu has been conducting research in the field of lung biology and diseases for more than two decades.

However, his interests in adult stem cell therapy began in 2010 when OCASCR was established through a grant with TSET, which provided funding to Oklahoma researchers for stem cell research.

I probably would have never gotten my feet into stem cell research without OCASCR funding support, he said. OCASCR funding also facilitated the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Program in Regenerative Medicine at OSU.

These days, Liu finds himself fully immersed in the exciting world of adult stem cell research and collaborating with some of Oklahomas best scientific minds.

Dr. Liu and his colleagues are really thriving. It was clear seven years ago that regenerative medicine was a hot topic and we already had excellent scientists in the Oklahoma, said Dr. Paul Kincade, founding scientific director of OCASCR. All they needed was some resources to re-direct and support their efforts. OSU investigators are using instruments and research grants supplied by OCASCR to compete with groups worldwide. TSET can point to their achievements with pride.

The Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research represents collaboration between scientists all across the state, aiming to promote studies by Oklahoma scientists who are working with stem cells present in adult tissues.

The center opened in 2010 and has enhanced adult stem cell research by providing grant funding for researchers, encouraging recruitment of scientists and providing education to the people of Oklahoma.

We are fortunate that the collaboration at the Oklahoma Center for Adult Stem Cell Research is yielding such positive results, said John Woods, TSET executive director. This research is leading to ground breaking discoveries and attracting new researchers to the field. TSET is proud to fund that investments for Oklahomans.

Funding research is a major focus for TSET and it comes with benefits reaching beyond the lab. For every $1 TSET has invested at OCASCR, scientists have been able to attract an additional $4 for research at Oklahoma institutions, TSET officials said.

TSET also supports medical research conducted by the Stephenson Cancer Center and the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center.

For more information, visit http://www.ocascr.org.

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OCASCR scientists make progress in TSET-funded adult stem cell research – NewsOK.com

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