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BioLineRx Announces Regulatory Submission of Phase 3 Registrational Study for BL-8040 in Stem Cell Mobilization – Markets Insider

TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) (TASE:BLRX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and immunology, announced today the filing of regulatory submissions required to commence a randomized, controlled Phase 3 registrational trial of BL-8040 for the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells for autologous transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma. The trial, named GENESIS, is expected to commence by the end of 2017, following receipt of regulatory approvals.

The Phase 3 GENESIS trial is aimed at evaluating the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the combination treatment of BL-8040 and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor(G-CSF), as compared to the control arm of placebo and G-CSF. The trial will be conducted in two parts: The first part, designed to validate the optimal dosing of BL-8040, is a lead-in, open-label, multi-center study that will include 10-30 patients, in order to assess the efficacy and safety of treatment with BL-8040 and G-CSF. This part will be followed by a randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center study in approximately 180 patients. The primary endpoint will be the proportion of subjects mobilizing 6.0 x 106CD34+ cells/kg with up to 2 apheresis sessions in preparation for autologous transplantation after a single administration of BL-8040 and G-CSF, as compared to placebo and G-CSF.

Philip Serlin, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx, stated, "We are excited to move forward with BL-8040 into a Phase 3 registration study. We have previously reported positive results supporting BL-8040 as a one-day dosing and up-to-two-day collection regimen for rapid mobilization of stem cells. This represents a significant improvement over the current treatment, which requires four-to-eight daily injections of G-CSF and one-to-four apheresis sessions. We therefore hope that this Phase 3 trial will further support these results and help improve the standard of care for multiple myeloma patients."

"In parallel, we are continuing to expand the potential of our robust BL-8040 oncology platform, by advancing multiple clinical studies for additional indications that are ongoing or expected to commence during 2017. These include a large, randomized, controlled Phase 2b study in AML, as well as several Phase 2 combination studies with immune checkpoint inhibitors in solid tumors and hematological malignancies," added Mr. Serlin.

About BL-8040

BL-8040 is a short peptide for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, solid tumors, and stem cell mobilization. It functions as a high-affinity antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor that is directly involved in tumor progression, angiogenesis, metastasis and cell survival. CXCR4 is over-expressed in more than 70% of human cancers and its expression often correlates with disease severity. In a number of clinical and pre-clinical studies, BL-8040 has shown robust mobilization of cancer cells from the bone marrow, thereby sensitizing these cells to chemo- and bio-based anti-cancer therapy, as well as a direct anti-cancer effect by inducing cell death (apoptosis). In addition, BL-8040 has also demonstrated robust stem-cell mobilization, including the mobilization of colony-forming cells, T, B and NK cells. BL-8040 was licensed by BioLineRx from Biokine Therapeutics and was previously developed under the name BKT-140.

About Stem Cell Mobilization

High-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplantation has become an established treatment modality for a variety of hematologic malignancies, including multiple myeloma, as well as various forms of lymphoma and leukemia. Stem cells are mobilized from the bone marrow using granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), harvested from the peripheral blood by apheresis, and infused to the patient after chemotherapy. This type of treatment often replaces the use of traditional bone marrow transplantation, because the stem cells are easier to collect and the treatment allows for a quicker recovery time and fewer complications.

About BioLineRx

BioLineRx is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and immunology. The Company in-licenses novel compounds, develops them through pre-clinical and/or clinical stages, and then partners with pharmaceutical companies for advanced clinical development and/or commercialization.

BioLineRx's leading therapeutic candidates are: BL-8040, a cancer therapy platform, which has successfully completed a Phase 2a study for relapsed/refractory AML, is in the midst of a Phase 2b study as an AML consolidation treatment and is expected to initiate a Phase 3 study in stem cell mobilization for autologous transplantation; and AGI-134, an immunotherapy treatment in development for multiple solid tumors, which is expected to initiate a first-in-man study in the first half of 2018. In addition, BioLineRx has a strategic collaboration with Novartis for the co-development of selected Israeli-sourced novel drug candidates; a collaboration agreement with MSD (known as Merck in the US and Canada), on the basis of which the Company has initiated a Phase 2a study in pancreatic cancer using the combination of BL-8040 and Merck's KEYTRUDA; and a collaboration agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to investigate the combination of BL-8040 and Genentech's Tecentriq (Atezolizumab) in several Phase 1b/2 studies for multiple solid tumor indications and AML.

For additional information on BioLineRx, please visit the Company's website atwww.biolinerx.com, where you can review the Company's SEC filings, press releases, announcements and events. BioLineRx industry updates are also regularly updated onFacebook,Twitter, andLinkedIn.

Various statements in this release concerning BioLineRx's future expectations constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include words such as "may," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," and "intends," and describe opinions about future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of BioLineRx to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these risks are: changes in relationships with collaborators; the impact of competitive products and technological changes; risks relating to the development of new products; and the ability to implement technological improvements. These and other factors are more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of BioLineRx's most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 23, 2017. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent BioLineRx's views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. BioLineRx does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.

Contacts:PCG AdvisoryVivian CervantesInvestor Relations+1-212-554-5482rel="nofollow">vivian@pcgadvisory.com

or

Tsipi HaitovskyPublic Relations+972-52-989892rel="nofollow">tsipihai5@gmail.com

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SOURCE BioLineRx Ltd.

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BioLineRx Announces Regulatory Submission of Phase 3 Registrational Study for BL-8040 in Stem Cell Mobilization - Markets Insider

Vitamin C Can Suppress Leukemia By Regulating Blood Cell Production – IFLScience

There is truth in the old proverb about apple consumption and medical appointments. Insufficient vitamin C can contribute to leukemia. This observed relationship has now been shown to operate through the regulatory role the vitamin plays in the operation of bone marrow stem cells.

These days messages touting a single ingredient as being capable of curing all ills are more likely to peddleturmeric or cannabis, but a few decades ago it was vitamin C that was hailedas preventing everything from theflu to cancer if you took enough. As exaggerated as most of these claims were, it's certainly true that ascorbate, as it is also known, is vital to our health, sometimes in ways that are still unexplained.

We have known for a while that people with lower levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) are at increased cancer risk, but we havent fully understood why, said Dr Sean Morrison of University of Texas Southwestern. Stem cells clearly played a part, but are so rare in any individual tissue that it is impossible to collect the millions usually used for metabolic analysis. Moreover, most mammals make their own ascorbate, but humans cannot, impeding the use of animal models.

Morrison and his co-authors of a paper published in Nature had to develop new techniques to measure metabolite usage in populations as small as 10,000 stem cells to address the first problem. On applying these techniques the authors discovered each type of blood-forming cell has a distinctive signature to its metabolite consumption. They tackled the second problem using mice that lack ascorbate-producing enzymes.

When given a low vitamin C diet these mice had more, and more active, bone marrow stem cells, increasing blood cell production at the price of higher rates of leukemia. The vitamin C concentration was related to levels of the enzyme Tet2, which regulates blood production. Without enough Tet2, the stem cells behaved like an overheating engine, turning out blood cells at a great rate until they turned cancerous. Something similar is observed when mutations reduce Tet2 production.

The first clinical application of the discovery is for patients with clonal hematopoiesis, a condition that often involves reduced Tet2 production and leukemia. Our results suggest patients with clonal hematopoiesis and a Tet2 mutation should be particularly careful to get 100 percent of their daily vitamin C requirement, Morrison said. These patients... need to maximize the residual Tet2 tumor-suppressor activity to protect themselves from cancer.

Since stem cells are much sparser in the rest of the body than in bone marrow it will be even more challenging to extend the research to other cancers.

The ideal dose of vitamin C remains to be established, although a paper, coincidentally published last week, may indicate benefits beyond current recommendations.

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Vitamin C Can Suppress Leukemia By Regulating Blood Cell Production - IFLScience

Vitamin C may help genes to kill blood cancer stem cells – ETHealthworld.com

Representational image

Washington D.C. : A study has recently revealed that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

According to researchers, certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia.

The new study found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

Corresponding study author Benjamin G. Neel said, "We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies."

The results suggested that changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 percent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

The study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

The findings indicated that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

"Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA," said first study author Luisa Cimmino.

"For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer," Cimmino added.

The findings appear in journal Cell.

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Vitamin C may help genes to kill blood cancer stem cells - ETHealthworld.com

Striking a cord: Is it worth saving stem cells? Yes, if you plan to share – Hindustan Times

New parents are beginning to bank their babys cord blood cells in the hope that they can be used to treat serious diseases later on in the childs life.

Many of them have been told that the cells can already be used to treat about 80 blood and immunological conditions. So they fork out thousands a year for the service.

What they are not told is that the tiny amounts saved at birth would not be sufficient to treat a serious condition in an adult.

Stem cells are currently being used to treat

In the future, they are expected to help in the treatment of

Globally, around 50,000 cases of cancer have been treated with stem cells from cord blood, but banking is not a feasible solution because the amount preserved is not enough for bone marrow transplants in adults, says Dr Dharama Choudhary, bone-marrow transplant specialist at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

For example, if one child has leukemia and has a newborn sibling, instead of using the cord blood doctors would rather wait for a couple of years and use the bone marrow of the younger child for transplant, adds Dr IC Verma, senior consultant of medical genetics and genomics at Delhis Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Even if you have enough, using cord blood cells is more costly and the recovery period is longer, Dr Choudhary adds.

FROM SOLO TO POOL

How umbilical cord stem cells are saved

Currently, cord blood is preserved in less than 1% of deliveries in urban centres, with the number being a higher 2% in private tertiary-care hospitals. The percentage is higher in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune, although we have not been able to ascertain the reason, says Upamannyue Roy Choudhury, CEO of CordLife India, a private cord blood bank.

The idea of public registries run by charitable organisations never really took off. That registry was meant so that anyone could purchase stem cells from a shared bank, but it has only about 5,000 units of cord blood banked across India. Private banks have about 500,000, says Mayur Abhaya, executive director at Life Cell International, one such private bank.

To help more people get treated using stem cells from cord blood, private banks should now promote sharing within their own pool, doctors add. We have underutilised assets, so pools would benefit people who have not banked cord blood, says Abhaya.

His company charges an initial fee of Rs 17,000 for the processing of banked cord blood and then Rs 4,000 a year for banking it. We have now started a sharing system where, for the same amount, the baby, its parents and both sets of grandparents can draw cord blood too from the shared pool at no extra cost, he says.

Life Cell estimates that even with the sharing of saved cord blood, utilisation would be only around 10%, because of the low incidence of the conditions that cord blood can be used to treat.

In the four months since starting the community pool, 99% of new customers have opted for the sharing model. We are now going back to older customers and trying to bring them into this pool as well, Abhaya says.

FRACTIONAL BENEFITS

Case study: Family matters

On average, only about 0.004% to 0.005% of people who store cord blood end up using it for their own treatment, says Dr Choudhary of BLK.

In addition to the problem of too little cord blood being harvested for treatment of serious diseases in adults, there is the issue of incorrect storage. Storage is not done correctly in many Indian banks. The cord blood is cryopreserved, and when it is thawed, the number of viable cells drops drastically, Dr Choudhary says.

Public cord blood banking, though, has a future. Storing cord blood in a public banking system, where it may be used by others in need, is more feasible, says Dr IC Verma. It will take another couple of decades before people will be able to meaningfully use their own cord blood.

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Striking a cord: Is it worth saving stem cells? Yes, if you plan to share - Hindustan Times

Forever Labs preserves young stem cells to prevent your older self … – TechCrunch

Forever Labs, a startup in Y Combinators latest batch, is preserving adult stem cells with the aim to help you live longer and healthier.

Stem cells have the potential to become any type of cell needed in the body. Its very helpful to have younger stem cells from your own body on hand should you ever need some type of medical intervention, like a bone marrow transplant as the risk of rejection is greatly reduced when the cells are yours.

Mark Katakowski spent the last 15 years studying stem cells. What he found is that not only do we have less of them the older we get, but they also lose their function as we age.So, he and his co-founders Edward Cibor and Steve Clausnitzer started looking at how to bank them while they were young.

Clausnitzer banked his cells two years ago at the age of 38. So, while he is biologically now age 40, his cells remain the age in which they were harvested or as he calls it, stem cell time travel.

Steven Clausnitzer with his 38-year-old banked stem cells.

Stem cell banking isnt new. In fact, a lot of parents are now opting to store their babys stem cells through cord blood banking. But thats for newborns. For adults, its not so common, and theres a lot of snake oil out there, Clausnitzer cautions.

There are places offering stem cell therapy and Botox, he said.

Forever Labs is backed by a team of Ivy League-trained scientists with decades of experience between them. Jason Camm, chief medical officer for Thiel Capital, is also one of the companys medical advisors however, the startup is quick to point out it is not associated with Thiel Capital.

The process involves using a patented device to collect the cells. Forever Labs can then grow and bank your cells for $2,500, plus another $250 for storage per year (or a flat fee of $7,000 for life).

The startup is FDA-approved to bank these cells and is offering the service in seven states. What it does not have FDA approval for is the modification of those cells for rejuvenation therapy.

Katakowski refers to what the company is doing as longevity as a service, with the goal being to eventually take your banked cells and modify them to reverse the biological clock.

But that may take a few years. There are hundreds of clinical trials looking at stem cell uses right now. Forever Labs has also proposed its own clinical trial to take your stem cells and give them to your older cells.

Youll essentially young-blood effect yourself, Katakowski joked of course, in this case, youd be using your own blood made from your own stem cells, not the blood of random teens.

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Forever Labs preserves young stem cells to prevent your older self ... - TechCrunch

Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota develop ‘robocop’ stem cells to fight cancer – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota say theyre on the brink of a new era in cancer care one in which doctors extract a patients white blood cells, have them genetically engineered in a lab, and put them back to become personalized cancer-fighting machines.

The so-called CAR T cellular therapies are expected to receive federal approval this fall for certain rare blood cancers B-cell forms of lymphoma and leukemia. But scientists at the Minnesota institutions hope thats just the first step that will lead to better treatment of solid tumor cancers as well.

This is really the first approval of a genetically modified product for cancer therapy, said Dr. Jeffrey Miller, deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. If the proof of concept works, he said, we might be on the right track to get away from all of that toxic chemotherapy that people hate.

Participating in industry-funded clinical trials, the Minnesota researchers hoped to determine if patients with leukemia or lymphoma would be more likely to survive if their own stem cells were extracted to grow cancer-fighting T-cells that were then infused back into their bodies.

One analysis, involving trials by Kite Pharmaceuticals at Mayo and other institutions, found a sevenfold increase in lymphoma patients whose cancers disappeared when they received CAR T instead of traditional chemo-based treatment.

I often tell patients that T-cells are like super robocops, said Dr. Yi Lin, a Mayo hematologist in Rochester. Were now directing those cells to really target cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is widely expected this fall to approve CAR T products made by Kite and Novartis, which genetically engineer T-cells to target so-called CD19 proteins found on the surface of leukemia and lymphoma cells.

The side effects can be harsh, because the T-cell infusions trigger an immune system response that can produce fever, weakness, racing heart and kidney problems. Short-term memory and cognitive problems also have occurred. Brain swelling led to five deaths of cancer patients who took part in a CAR T trial by Juno Pharmaceuticals. The trial was shut down as a result.

Lin said brain swelling appeared mostly in adults with leukemia. For now, she expects Kites CAR T therapy to be approved for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and the Novartis therapy to be approved for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. Federal regulations also might restrict CAR T for patients whose cancers survived traditional treatments.

Current practice to treat these cancers generally involves chemotherapy and radiation. Physicians then transplant stem cells, often from donor bone marrow, to regrow the patients immune systems, which are weakened in the process of treatment.

CAR T differs in that patients will receive infusions of their own T-cells, genetically modified, which their bodies will be less likely to reject.

Its individualized medicine, Lin said.

Im on my way

Before he tried CAR T at Mayo as part of a clinical trial, John Renze of Carroll, Iowa, had received two rounds of chemo, two rounds of radiation, and an experimental drug that did nothing to stop the spread of lymphoma.

After you fail about four times, you start to wonder if anything is going to work, the 58-year-old said.

At first, there was no room for him in the Mayo trial which has been a problem nationwide as desperate cancer patients have searched for treatment alternatives. But then he got the call one morning last summer while ordering coffee at his local cafe.

Can you get up here by one? the Mayo official asked.

Im on my way, Renze replied.

Even before federal approval comes through, researchers such as Miller are looking beyond the first-line CAR T therapies, and wondering if the approach can be used on solid tumors. Roughly 80,000 blood cancers occur each year in the U.S. that could be treated with CAR T, but the total number of cancers diagnosed each year is nearly 1.7 million.

The challenge is that solid tumors dont have the same protein targets as blood cancers. And T-cells would have to be more discriminating if infused to eliminate tumors in solid organs, Miller said. If you destroy normal lung tissue (along with lung cancer), thats not going to work, he said.

Mayo researchers are studying whether CAR T can work against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, while U researchers are exploring ways to better control the CAR T-cells after they are infused in cancer patients.

Researchers also are trying to understand whether CAR T produces memory in the immune system, so it knows to react if cancers resurface.

In addition, Miller is studying whether NK cells, which also play a role in the human immune system, can be genetically modified and infused instead of T-cells to target cancer. The body doesnt reject NK cells from donors as much, he said. So NK cells from donor bone marrow or umbilical cord blood could be collected and mass produced to potentially provide faster and cheaper treatments.

Like many breakthrough therapies, CAR T will be expensive, with a price likely to exceed $200,000 per patient. How insurers plan to cover it remains unclear. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is evaluating evidence regarding CAR Ts effectiveness, and will set a coverage policy after it receives FDA approval, said Dr. Glenn Pomerantz, Blue Cross chief medical officer.

A surge for Mayo?

Mayo expects a surge of hundreds of cancer patients per year if CAR T is approved, because it will initially be provided by large medical centers that have experience with the therapy and its side effects. The Rochester hospital is planning to add staff and space dedicated to CAR T.

Miller said the U is developing advice for referring doctors and hospitals statewide, so they know what to do if CAR T patients show up with complex symptoms.

They can be a bit delayed and you cant just keep people in the hospital to see if they develop these things, he said.

Renzes stem cells were taken last July, and his modified T-cells were put back a month later. He lost weight and felt sick for weeks, and had to drive three hours to Mayo for frequent checkups.

But as of last Aug. 31, the cancer had vanished.

Every three months, he returns to Mayo to make sure the cancer hasnt re-emerged. Then he returns to Carroll, where he owns farmland and car dealerships and dotes on his grandchildren.

For people like me that have already failed a bunch of times, youre happy to try anything, he said. I mean, what else would I have done?

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Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota develop 'robocop' stem cells to fight cancer - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Bone Marrow Transplant gives local cancer patient more time with his family – KTBS

ARZ050-051-059>061-070>073-LAZ001>006-010>014-017>022-OKZ077-TXZ097-112-126-137-138-150>153-165>167-201300-/O.CON.KSHV.HT.Y.0009.000000T0000Z-170821T0000Z/Sevier-Howard-Little River-Hempstead-Nevada-Miller-Lafayette-Columbia-Union-Caddo-Bossier-Webster-Claiborne-Lincoln-De Soto-Red River-Bienville-Jackson-Ouachita-Sabine-Natchitoches-Winn-Grant-Caldwell-La Salle-McCurtain-Bowie-Cass-Marion-Gregg-Harrison-Rusk-Panola-Nacogdoches-Shelby-Angelina-San Augustine-Including the cities of De Queen, Nashville, Mineral Springs, Dierks, Ashdown, Hope, Prescott, Texarkana, Stamps, Lewisville, Bradley, Magnolia, El Dorado, Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Springhill, Homer, Haynesville, Ruston, Farmerville, Bernice, Mansfield, Stonewall, Logansport, Coushatta, Martin, Arcadia, Ringgold, Gibsland, Jonesboro, Monroe, Many, Zwolle, Pleasant Hill, Natchitoches, Winnfield, Colfax, Montgomery, Dry Prong, Clarks, Grayson, Columbia, Jena, Midway, Olla, Idabel,Broken Bow, Atlanta, Linden, Hughes Springs, Queen City, Jefferson, Longview, Marshall, Henderson, Carthage, Nacogdoches, Center, Lufkin, San Augustine, Hemphill, and Pineland936 PM CDT Sat Aug 19 2017...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT SUNDAY...* EVENT...High pressure aloft across the area will allow for temperatures to climb into the middle to upper nineties. These temperatures along with low level moisture will produce heat indices of 105 to 109 degrees. * TIMING...Heat indices will be near 105 to 109 in the afternoon and early evening before lowering. * IMPACT...Precautions should be taken to prevent heat related illnesses, including limiting outdoor work activities to the morning before temperatures rise and early evening after the readings lower. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. Whenpossible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning orevening. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditionedenvironments. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion andheat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing whenpossible and drink plenty of water.Heat stroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1.A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures isexpected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humiditywill combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses arepossible. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditionedroom, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives andneighbors.&&$$

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Bone Marrow Transplant gives local cancer patient more time with his family - KTBS

Vitamin C could help genes kill blood cancer stem cells – Economic Times

WASHINGTON D.C: Good news! A study has recently revealed that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

According to researchers, certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia.

The new study found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

Corresponding study author Benjamin G. Neel said, "We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies."

The results suggested that changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 percent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

The study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

The findings indicated that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

"Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA," said first study author Luisa Cimmino.

"For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer," Cimmino added.

The findings appear in journal Cell.

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Vitamin C could help genes kill blood cancer stem cells - Economic Times

Want to live longer? Forever Labs wants to help, using your stem cells – Digital Trends


Digital Trends
Want to live longer? Forever Labs wants to help, using your stem cells
Digital Trends
Using a patented device, Forever Labs collects stem cells from your blood marrow, which the team calls a wellspring for stem cells that replenish your blood, bone, immune system, and other vital tissues. The whole process is said to take around 15 ...

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Want to live longer? Forever Labs wants to help, using your stem cells - Digital Trends

Bone marrow transplants: SMS leads the way – Times of India

Jaipur: Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital is showing the way to treat various types of blood cancer and other blood-related disorders, including aplastic anaemia, myeloma, lymphoma, leukaemia and thalassemia.

Despite the higher risk of infections in ICUs, the hospital has not reported a single mortality. Some 19 patients have undergone autologous bone marrow transplant since 2009 at the hospital. Patients who have done the transplant are vulnerable to infections as they have to stay in post-operative care in ICUs for 14 to 54 days.

While the high dose of chemotherapy put patients at the risk of death, the rejection of graft (bone marrow) remains a major concern for doctors.

Though patients are given immunosuppressive medicines to deal with the risk of rejection, they make patients more immune-compromised which in turn make them more vulnerable to infections.

But despite all these risk factors, the hospital has not witnessed a single death of patients who have undergone autologous bone marrow transplant.

"We maintain high standards and follow protocol of ICUs. We do not allow anyone to enter the ICUs. One attendant with one patient is allowed, but we allow him to enter the ICU only after he changes his clothes completely and follows all norms in ICUs to minimise the risk of infection," said Dr Sandeep Jasuja, head of the department (medical oncology), SMS Medical College.

But still, 36% (7 patients) of these 19 patients contracted bacterial (due to Escherichia coli, enterobacter, pseudomonas), fungal and viral infections. However, the doctors brought the situation under control by providing them antibiotics and other drugs.

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Bone marrow transplants: SMS leads the way - Times of India

Blood cancer: High doses of vitamin C could encourage stem cells … – Express.co.uk

The study suggests it may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die.

Researchers say Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

They explained that certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukaemia.

The new study, published online by the journal Cell. found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

Study corresponding author Professor Benjamin Neel, of the Perlmutter Cancer Centre in the United States, said: "We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies."

He said changes in the genetic code that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 per cent of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), 30 per cent of those with a form of pre-leukaemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 per cent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia.

Such cancers cause anaemia, infection risk, and bleeding as abnormal stem cells multiply in the bone marrow until they interfere with blood cell production, with the number of cases increasing as the population ages.

Prof Neel said the study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the researchers genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

Similar to the naturally occurring effects of TET2 mutations in mice or humans, using molecular biology techniques to turn off TET2 in mice caused abnormal stem cell behaviour.

Prof Neel said, remarkably, the changes were reversed when TET2 expression was restored by a genetic trick.

Previous work had shown that vitamin C could stimulate the activity of TET2 and its relatives TET1 and TET3.

Because only one of the two copies of the TET2 gene in each stem cell is usually affected in TET2-mutant blood diseases, the researchers hypothesised that high doses of vitamin C, which can only be given intravenously, might reverse the effects of TET2 deficiency by turning up the action of the remaining functional gene.

They found that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically.

By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukaemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

Study first author Doctor Luisa Cimmino, of New York University Langone Health, said: "Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukaemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA.

"For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer."

The researchers found that the combination had an enhanced effect on leukaemia stem cells, further shifting them from self-renewal back toward maturity and cell death.

Dr Cimmino said the results also suggest that vitamin C might drive leukaemic stem cells without TET2 mutations toward death, given that it turns up any TET2 activity normally in place.

Corresponding author Professor Iannis Aifantis, also of NYU Langone Health, added: "Our team is working to systematically identify genetic changes that contribute to risk for leukaemia in significant groups of patients.

"This study adds the targeting of abnormal TET2-driven DNA demethylation to our list of potential new treatment approaches."

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Blood cancer: High doses of vitamin C could encourage stem cells ... - Express.co.uk

ExplorationWorks hosts bone marrow drive – KRTV Great Falls News

(HELENA) ExplorationWorks is hosting a Be The Match bone marrow donor drive this week at the Great Northern Town Center.

The drive is meantto support those in need of bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants around the world.

The bone marrow drive isbeing held in conjunction with the ExplorationWorks Kids Kicking Cancer Camp.

The camp is open to childrendirectly affected by cancer.

Campers had the opportunity to make a card for a Be the Match child who is currently undergoing or awaiting treatment.

According to ExplorationWorks Education Director Lauren Rivers, the camp wants kids to connect with the Be The Match kids on levels most children would not understand.

"Knowing someone else is fighting the same fight will hopefully be a healing activity for all of the kids involved, Rivers said.

John Philpott of Be the Match said that some of the Be The Match kids children are still waiting for a match.

There are still thousands of patients every year who have to hear their doctor say theres no match for you, Philpott said. One Montanan [donation] can mean the difference for one patient.

According to Be the Match, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes and someonedies every ten minutesfrom not receiving a transplant.

The Marrow Donor Registry Drive will continue at ExplorationWorks from 10a.m. to 5p.m. on Friday, August 18 and from 12:30 p.m. to 3p.m. on Saturday, August 19.

Registration takes around 10 minutes to complete and only involves some paper work and a few cheek swabs.

You must be between the ages 18-44 in order to register.

For more information about bone marrow donation and how to register, click here.

See more here:
ExplorationWorks hosts bone marrow drive - KRTV Great Falls News

Bone marrow drive held at ExplorationWorks – KTVH

HELENA ExplorationWorks is hosting the Be The Match bone marrow donor drive this week at the Great Northern Town Center.

The drive is intended to support those in need of bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants around the world. Its being held in conjunction with ExplorationWorks Kids Kicking Cancer Camp.

The camp is open to children who are directly affected by cancer in their lives. Campers had the opportunity to make a card for Be the Match child who is currently undergoing or awaiting treatment.

Our hope is that the kids attending our camp will be able to connect with the Be The Match kids on a level most other children wouldnt understand. Knowing someone else is fighting the same fight will hopefully be a healing activity for all of the kids involved, said ExplorationWorks Education Director Lauren Rivers.

John Philpott of Be the Match said that sadly, some of the Be The Match kids children are still waiting to be matched with a donor.

There are still thousands of patients every year who have to hear their doctor say theres no match for you, said Phillpott, One Montanan [donation] can mean the difference for one patient.

According to Be the Match, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes and every 10 minutes someone dies from not receiving a transplant.

The Marrow Donor Registry Drive will continue at ExplorationWorks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Registration takes around 10 minutes to complete and only involves some paper work and a few cheek swabs. You must be between the ages of 18 and 44 in order to register.

For more information about bone marrow donation and how to register click here.

See more here:
Bone marrow drive held at ExplorationWorks - KTVH

Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die – Medical Xpress

Ball-and-stick model of the L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) molecule, C6H8O6, as found in the crystal structure. Credit: public domain

Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, and published online August 17 in the journal Cell.

Certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia, say the authors. The new study found that vitamin C activated TET2 function in mice engineered to be deficient in the enzyme.

"We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies," says corresponding study author Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center.

Changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 percent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Such cancers cause anemia, infection risk, and bleeding as abnormal stem cells multiply in the bone marrow until they interfere with blood cell production, with the number of cases increasing as the population ages.

Along with these diseases, new tests suggest that about 2.5 percent of all U.S. cancer patients - or about 42,500 new patients each year - may develop TET2 mutations, including some with lymphomas and solid tumors, say the authors.

Cell Death Switch

The study results revolve around the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid "letters" that comprise the DNA code in genes. Every cell type has the same genes, but each gets different instructions to turn on only those needed in a given cellular context.

These "epigenetic" regulatory mechanisms include DNA methylation, the attachment of a small molecule termed a methyl group to cytosine bases that shuts down the action of a gene containing them.

The video will load shortly.

The back- and-forth attachment and removal of methyl groups also fine-tunes gene expression in stem cells, which can mature, specialize and multiply to become muscle, bone, nerve, or other cell types. This happens as the body first forms, but the bone marrow also keeps pools of stem cells on hand into adulthood, ready to become replacement cells as needed. In leukemia, signals that normally tell a blood stem cell to mature malfunction, leaving it to endlessly multiply and "self-renew" instead of producing normal white blood cells needed to fight infection.

The enzyme studied in this report, Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (TET2), enables a change in the molecular structure (oxidation) of methyl groups that is needed for them to be removed from cytosines. This "demethylation" turns on genes that direct stem cells to mature, and to start a count-down toward self-destruction as part of normal turnover. This serves as an anti-cancer safety mechanism, one that is disrupted in blood cancer patients with TET2 mutations, says Neel.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the research team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off.

Similar to the naturally occurring effects of TET2 mutations in mice or humans, using molecular biology techniques to turn off TET2 in mice caused abnormal stem cell behavior. Remarkably, these changes were reversed when TET2 expression was restored by a genetic trick. Previous work had shown that vitamin C could stimulate the activity of TET2 and its relatives TET1 and TET3. Because only one of the two copies of the TET2 gene in each stem cell is usually affected in TET2-mutant blood diseases, the authors hypothesized that high doses of vitamin C, which can only be given intravenously, might reverse the effects of TET2 deficiency by turning up the action of the remaining functional gene.

Indeed, they found that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice.

"Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA," says first study author Luisa Cimmino, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone Health. "For this reason, we decided to combine vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer."

Researchers found that the combination had an enhanced effect on leukemia stem cells, further shifting them from self-renewal back toward maturity and cell death. The results also suggest that vitamin C might drive leukemic stem cells without TET2 mutations toward death, says Cimmino, given that it turns up any TET2 activity normally in place.

"Our team is working to systematically identify genetic changes that contribute to risk for leukemia in significant groups of patients," says corresponding author Iannis Aifantis, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone Health. "This study adds the targeting of abnormal TET2-driven DNA demethylation to our list of potential new treatment approaches."

Explore further: A tumor-suppressing gene can be harmful in some cancers

Journal reference: Cell

Provided by: NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine

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Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die - Medical Xpress

Stem cell recipient, donor meet 13 years after transplant – AsiaOne

Until last week, leukemia survivor Fengfeng (not his real name) knew almost nothing about the person who saved his life 13 years ago. Holding a bouquet of flowers, Fengfeng spotted a woman in her 40s. He rushed to her and hugged her. He sensed this was the person he had been waiting for.

Thirteen years ago, Fengfeng was a 15-year-old middle school student in Chongqing. He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer affecting the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow.

He has no siblings, and half-match transplant techniques using a patient's parent as the donor had not matured yet. So the only hope was to find a close match outside the immediate family, the possibility of which was only one in 100,000.

Doctors found details of Han Lu, then a 32-year-old nurse at a Chongqing dental hospital, in the city's databank for China's marrow donor programme.

On a winter day in 2004, Han's stem cells were transplanted into Fengfeng's body, saving his life. It was the first unrelated donor stem cell transplant to treat chronic myeloid leukemia in Chongqing.

"I always had a wish after the transplant," Fengfeng said. "I wanted to say 'thank you' to my donor face to face."

However, like others in the same situation, they remained strangers, though they lived in the same city, as international practice and China's stem cell donation rules prohibit donors and recipients from meeting until at least a year after a successful transplant.

Han had long wished to meet Fengfeng, but the boy's health was not stable, making their meeting impossible until now.

They managed to exchange gifts with the help of the Chongqing Red Cross Society.

Fengfeng bought a necklace and a photography book for Han on a trip to Thailand, while Han turned a red cashmere sweater she owned into 25 knitted roses with red straws for stems as a gift for Fengfeng's 25th birthday.

"Cashmere signifies warmth and the red straws look like blood vessels," said Han, who felt gratified when she learned that Fengfeng survived and has had a happy life.

This year, Fengfeng asked the city's Red Cross to help arrange a meeting with his hero. After obtaining Han's consent, Fengfeng's dream came true.

According to Huang Gangyi, deputy director of the Chongqing databank for China's marrow donor programme, most stem cell recipients are unwilling to go public.

"They don't want others to know that they had the disease," Huang said. "But meetings can help people better understand stem cell transplants and raise awareness about the need for donors.

"Many people have misunderstandings about it, thinking transplants will be harmful to the donor's health."

Last year, China's marrow donor programme had more than 2.3 million potential donors, the Red Cross Society of China said in May. The programme has facilitated more than 6,000 hematopoietic stem cell donations for patients at home and abroad.

Moved by the story of Fengfeng and Han, many people have called Huang in the past week and asked how they can become potential cell stem donors.

Fengfeng had type O blood before the transplant. Eventually, his blood type changed to B, the same as Han's.

"She gave me a second chance at life, and now I have a lifelong friend and a new family member," Fengfeng said.

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Stem cell recipient, donor meet 13 years after transplant - AsiaOne

Vallejo man receives maximum sentence for beating, robbing two women, killing one of them – TheReporter.Com

A Vallejo man accused of brutally beating and robbing two women, killing one of them, will spend the rest of his life in prison

William D. King, 21, who pleaded no contest in July to charges of murder, attempted murder, and first-degree robbery was ordered Thursday in Solano County Superior Court to serve the maximum penalty: a determinate term of 10 years in state prison, plus two life without the possibility of parole sentences.

On Feb. 2, 2016, around 11:15 a.m., King approached Christine Joens from behind as she opened her door after making a transaction at the Wells Fargo bank in the 1700 block of Vallejo. Described as a bear hug by Joens, King held down her arms at her side and then proceeded to strike her 15-18 times with a hammer in her head area before fleeing with the $200 she was holding in her hand at the time.

I didnt see him at all, Joens said Thursday.

Joens was able to crawl back to the door of the bank, and the police were called. She was transported to an area hospital, where she required 37 staples in her head and additional treatment, but survived.

The following day, King beat 63-year-old Cheryl Sherwood with a baseball bat in the Macys parking lot at the Solano Town Center before fleeing with her purse. King had hidden in a nearby staircase before choosing his victim and descending upon Sherwood, according to police.

Sherwood suffered from several skull fractures and contusions to her shoulders, abdomen, knee, and wrist and succumbed to her injuries Feb. 5, 2016.

King was arrested that same day and told police his motive for the vicious attacks were drugs and money.

In what Solano County District attorney Krishna Abrams described as an emotionally filled courtroom, many family members and other loved ones read prepared statements, as well as the defendant, King.

I feel terribly sorry for the pain Ive caused the victims and their families, his said. Every day, I think about the crimes Ive committed and how ashamed I am.

Lee Sherwood, the ex-husband of Cheryl Sherwood, didnt find comfort in Kings statement.

Hes a taker. Cheryl will be remembered as a giver, he said following the sentencing.

In his impact statement he read to the court room, Lee Sherwood mentioned how his ex-wife was a bone marrow and stem cell donor, she gave life to others who without her would have died.

Once the sentencing concluded, outside the courtroom, the families of both victims rejoiced and comforted one another.

For me, its closure, Lee Sherwood said. Now its time to move forward and have her memory live on.

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Im just relieved for the families, Abrams said. And knowing that hes going away forever.

Despite surviving the savage attack that has left her with post traumatic stress disorder, and other negative effects that will likely remain with her for the rest of her life, Joens remains optimistic.

This is all coming to an end finally, she revealed. Now, I just want to move on with my husband and make every day count.

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Vallejo man receives maximum sentence for beating, robbing two women, killing one of them - TheReporter.Com

Vitamin C stops blood cancer in mice – SBS

A US study has shown high dose Vitamin C halts the progression of blood cancer in mice by encouraging "faulty" stem cells in the bone marrow to die.

The findings, published in journal Cell, has raised the possibility of new new combination therapies for leukaemia patients carrying a specific gene mutation known as TET2.

"We're excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies," said Dr Benjamin Neel, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center.

The TET2 gene carries a protein that produces and matures stem cells, a process beneficial to blood cancer patients.

It's estimated TET2 mutations are found in 10 per cent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 per cent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 per cent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Previous research had suggested that TET2 could be activated by high-doses of Vitamin C.

"So we had the idea that high-dose Vitamin C be used as a therapy for some forms of Myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia, particularly those forms who have mutations in this gene called TET2," said Dr Neel.

In the lab, scientists at the Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York added high doses of the Vitamin C to human leukemia cells carrying the TET2 mutations.

"We saw that that stops the growth," said pathologist Dr Iannis Aifantis.

A similar result was produced when tested on genetically engineered mice, according to the study.

It was also found the Vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA, says first study author Luisa Cimmino.

"For this reason, we decided to combine Vitamin C with a PARP inhibitor, a drug type known to cause cancer cell death by blocking the repair of DNA damage, and already approved for treating certain patients with ovarian cancer," she said.

The combination had an enhanced effect on leukemia stem cells, further shifting them from self-renewal back toward maturity and cell death.

Scientists are now trying to apply the findings in clinic, with plans underway for a human clinical trial later this year.

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Vitamin C stops blood cancer in mice - SBS

Stem Cell Transplant Program Celebrates First Year – Newswise (press release)

Newswise The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center began helping New Mexicans with blood disorders a little more than one year ago. Since then, more than 30 New Mexicans have received treatment. Program Director Matthew Fero, MD, FACP, started the program after moving to New Mexico from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Wash.

The UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center program is the states only bone marrow transplant program. It includes a nurse manager, nurse coordinator, a social worker, a pharmacist, infusion nurses, and an inpatient team. Bone marrow transplantation needs a multidisciplinary team because of the complexity in coordinating care, says Fero. The teams Nurse Manager, Maria Limanovich, says the team follows each person from the beginning of bone marrow transplant treatment through completion. According to Fero, the program is growing and is in the process of hiring two more doctors and an advanced practice provider.

The UNM Bone Marrow Transplant program offers treatment choices for people with lymphoma and myeloma and will expand to help people with other blood disorders. Almost 1,000 New Mexicans receive a blood cancer diagnosis each year, according to American Cancer Society estimates.

Fero and his team currently perform autologous transplants. Autologous bone marrow transplantation is the process of taking bone marrow stem cells out of a patient and then infusing them back in after the patient receives high dose therapy, says Fero. This allows us to use treatments that would otherwise harm the bone marrow.

Bone marrow, the soft reddish material that fills the inside of our bones, produces millions of new blood cells each second. These millions of cells come from a tiny number of bone marrow stem cells. These stem cells are special because they can mature into all of the different types of cells in the blood. These are the cells doctors collect for a transplant.

Because bone marrow is a liquid organ, Fero says, it can pass through an IV [intravenous] line. Doctors rarely need to take stem cells directly out of the bone, Fero explains. They use drugs to coax bone marrow stem cells into the bloodstream. From there, the blood travels through an IV line into an apheresis machine that sorts the stem cells out and returns the rest of the blood. The experience is like donating blood at a blood bank.

Once stem cells are safely stored out of the bloodstream, doctors use high-dose chemotherapy to eradicate the remaining cancer. When chemotherapy is out of their system, the patients stem cells are reinfused. The reinfusion process is similar to a blood transfusion. Once reinfused, stem cells find their way back to bone marrow where they begin to grow and make new blood cells.

Autologous bone marrow transplants are standard treatments for lymphoma and myeloma. This treatment works very well against aggressive lymphomas. In this case the goal is to cure the disease, says Fero. Autologous bone marrow transplants extend the lives of people with myeloma and gives them a better quality of life, too. Fero says, Were offering another option for their treatment.

Matthew Fero, MD, FACP, is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, at the UNM School of Medicine. He serves as Director of the Bone Marrow Stem Cell Program at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Fero received his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He completed a medical fellowship in Medical Oncology at University of Washington and a research fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. His research focuses on the molecular bases of cancer and translating new technologies into improved cancer diagnostics and novel therapies.

The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in a 500-mile radius. Its 125 board-certified oncology specialty physicians include cancer surgeons in every specialty (abdominal, thoracic, bone and soft tissue, neurosurgery, genitourinary, gynecology, and head and neck cancers), adult and pediatric hematologists/medical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists. They, along with more than 500 other cancer healthcare professionals (nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, navigators, psychologists and social workers), provided cancer care for nearly 60 percent of the adults and children in New Mexico affected by cancer. They treated 11,249 patients in 84,875 ambulatory clinic visits in addition to in-patient hospitalizations at UNM Hospital. These patients came from every county in the State. More than 12 percent of these patients participated in cancer clinical trials testing new cancer treatments and 35 percent of patients participated in other clinical research studies, including tests of novel cancer prevention strategies and cancer genome sequencing. The 130 cancer research scientists affiliated with the UNMCCC were awarded almost $60 million in federal and private grants and contracts for cancer research projects and published 301 high quality publications. Promoting economic development, they filed more than 30 new patents in FY16, and since 2010, have launched 11 new biotechnology start-up companies. Scientists associated with the UNMCCC Cancer Control & Disparities have conducted more than 60 statewide community-based cancer education, prevention, screening, and behavioral intervention studies involving more than 10,000 New Mexicans. Finally, the physicians, scientists and staff have provided education and training experiences to more than 230 high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowship students in cancer research and cancer health care delivery. Learn more at http://www.cancer.unm.edu.

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Stem Cell Transplant Program Celebrates First Year - Newswise (press release)

Anika (ANIK) Grows in Orthopedic Medicines on Positive Data – Nasdaq

Anika Therapeutics, Inc. ANIK , a global medical technology company, specializing on integrated orthopedics medicines , has made a development with its proprietary hyaluronic acid (HA) technology. The company recently published favorable data on evaluating the usefulness of HYALOFAST, a non-woven biodegradable HA-based scaffold for treatment of cartilage lesions of the knee joint.

The study was based on 40 patients with full thickness cartilage lesions of the knee joint. 20 among them were aged above 45 and the remaining, below the figure. Per the company, all patients were implanted with HYALOFAST, soaked in bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), containing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and prospectively evaluated for four years.

Data from the trial demonstrated that treatment outcomes were equally effective for both the age groups. This is more encouraging for the fact that it is difficult to treat patients above 45 years of age with traditional surgical approaches such as microfracture. Based on the findings, the company claimed that irrespective of a patient's age, HYALOFAST in combination with autologous adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), can be successfully used as a treatment option for cartilage lesions.

With this breakthrough, we expect the market adoption of HYALOFAST to increase significantly, boosting Anika Therapeutics' sales performance. Notably, HYALOFAST is commercially available in more than 15 countries worldwide and has been used in more than 11,000 patients so far. Also, this trial result should advance the company's procedure of regulatory submission of HYALOFAST in the US. Under 'FastTRACK' Phase III trial, it is currently enrolling patients across the U.S. and Europe.

Demand for therapeutics-based treatment in the field of integrated orthopedics medicines and traumatic conditions, is growing in leaps and bounds these days. Per a recent report by Market Research Engine in this regard, global Orthopedic Devices Market will witness a CAGR of 5% from 2016 to 2022 and is projected to reach $47.50 billion by 2022.

Some of the big names in the orthopedic device market with promising growth potential are Stryker Corporation SYK , Smith & Nephew plc SNN and Orthofix International N.V. OFIX .

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Anika (ANIK) Grows in Orthopedic Medicines on Positive Data - Nasdaq

Stem cell therapy may yield positive results for worn-out knees – Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Dear Doctor: I read you can use your own stem cells to rejuvenate worn-out knees. Does this really work?

Dear Reader: Worn out is a good way to term what happens to the knee joint with prolonged use. Lets look at how this happens, starting with cartilage.

The lower portion of the knee joint (at the tibia) contains shock absorbers called menisci made of cartilage. You have one on the inner portion and another on the outer portion of each knee. The upper portion of the knee joint (at the femur) is lined with cartilage as well. All of this cartilage helps protect the bones at the joint but it doesnt heal or regenerate well due to limited blood supply. When severe, worn cartilage leads to arthritis of the knee. In knee X-rays of people older than 60, 37 percent have shown evidence of arthritis of the knees.

The intriguing thing about stem cells is they have the ability to become any type of cell the body needs. The cells used for stem cell injections in the knees are called mesenchymal stem cells, and they can differentiate into bone, fat or cartilage cells. These stem cells can come from the fat cells of your body, from your bone marrow or from the inner lining of your knee joint; theyre then replicated in the laboratory and injected into the knee joint.

In a 2014 study, 55 patients who had surgery for meniscal tears of the knees were separated into three groups, with two of the groups receiving stem cell injections. Researchers found, after six weeks, pain had decreased substantially in the two groups that received stem cell injections and the decrease was even greater at one and two years after the injection.

In a 2017 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers analyzed six studies that used stem cells for osteoarthritis of the knees. In five of the studies, stem cells were given after surgery to the knee; in the other study, stem cells from a donor were administered without surgery. All the studies showed reduced pain and improved knee function. Further, in three of the four trials, MRIs corroborated the cartilage improvements. However, the authors noted, five of the six studies were of such poor methodology that an overall conclusion about the stem cells effectiveness could not be made.

In all these studies, the most common side effect was knee swelling and stiffness, which improved over time.

There may be benefit to stem cell injections for cartilage loss of the knees, but more data is needed, especially in those who arent having surgery of the knee. Id also like to see more data on this type of therapy as a preventive measure for younger patients before their knees are worn out.

Send questions to askthedoctors@mednet.ucla.edu, or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o Media Relations, UCLA Health, 924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA, 90095.

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Stem cell therapy may yield positive results for worn-out knees - Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Twins’ Bartolo Coln: ‘The older I get, the more I want to play.’ – TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

DETROIT Near the open doorway in the Comerica Park visitors clubhouse is a sign warning the curious to stay out of the kitchen. No media, it reads, making its point in all caps. So, its with some irony that a few feet away, Bartolo Coln agrees to a brief one-on-one with a reporter, his first since joining the Minnesota Twins.

Coln has fulfilled his media requirements when he starts, speaking with reporters through Twins interpreter Carlos Font about his performances, but thats where he prefers to leave it. Hes easy to find in the clubhouse, and will say hello and shake your hand, but he also makes it clear that its not going any further which would be fine if he hadnt become an essential part of the Twins playoff chase.

When the Twins signed Coln to a minor league deal on July 7, the primary response was laughter. This is the help the American League Centrals surprise team is getting for the stretch run, a 44-year-old with a 2-8 record and 8.14 earned-run average who had just been given his outright release by the Atlanta Braves?

Well, no ones laughing now.

I think it probably raised a few eyebrows when we brought him in, but hes been valuable, manager Paul Molitor said.

What appears to be happening is another in a string of career resurrections for the right-hander who broke in with the Cleveland Indians in 1997, won a Cy Young Award in 2005 and signed his first free-agent minor league deal with Boston in 2008. Hes no longer throwing hard, but his control remains as sharp as his competitive nature.

The older I get, the more I want to play, he said.

Over his past three starts, Coln is 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 22.1 innings pitched. In his last start, he became the oldest AL pitcher to throw a complete game since Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan did it for Texas in 1992. On Tuesday, hell make the most important start of the season so far in the opener of a three-game series against the first-place Cleveland Indians at Target Field.

That explains the persistence that has kept alive a career that has seemed dead more than once. It was a whopping nine years ago that Coln first signed a minor league deal with a spring training invite, a cheap gambit by the Boston Red Sox. In four seasons from 2006-09, he went 14-21 with a 5.18 ERA with three clubs while battling elbow and shoulder problems. He missed all of 2010.

I thought I was going to be done, he said.

Coln credits 2010 stem-cell treatment fat and bone marrow was re-injected into his elbow and shoulder for saving his arm. Major League Baseball studied the treatment to see if it fell under its performance-enhancing drug policy, but it has since become a popular, if not quite trumpeted, treatment for pitchers hoping to avoid reconstructive surgery.

It has helped me to keep my arm young and keep me going, Coln said.

Coln, however, did fall afoul of MLB when he tested positive for testosterone in August 2012. He was 39, and many suspected he had finally hit the end of the road. Yet, he returned the next season with Oakland and went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA and an AL-best three shutouts.

Last season, he went 15-8 with a 3.34 ERA with the Mets, parlaying the season into a one-year, $12.5 million deal with Atlanta. The Braves are still on the hook for most of that contract, meaning the Twins are getting Coln at a bargain, prorated league minimum roughly $220,000.

He chose the Twins over the Mets after receiving a call from friend and former teammate in Anaheim, Ervin Santana.

The Mets and the Twins were the teams requesting my services, and I was weighing my options, Coln said. Ervin Santana called me and asked me to come and told me how good the organization was, how good the team was. After I started looking at it, and seeing how young their pitching was and how many young kids we had on the team, and I thought its not only an opportunity for me to pitch, but an opportunity to teach other young players how to pitch and how to be big-leaguers.

Its a bonus for the Twins, who have been pleased by the way Coln has quickly bonded with his new teammates.

Ive got a couple guys on my pitching staff that Im praying to God they watch how he attacks the zone and what he does, pitching coach Neil Allen said. He doesnt try to do more, he doesnt try to do less; he stays with who he is, and thats to be consistently in the zone and let the hitter get himself out.

He doesnt try to change a darn thing. He knows who he is. So, Im praying that a lot of the young guys see what he does.

When pressed, Coln reveals little about what keeps him going. Is he addicted to the competition?

I think its more that baseballs all Ive done, its all I know how to do, and knowing that I still like doing it is what keeps me going, he said. I still have fun with it.

Before his mother, Adriana, passed away from breast cancer in 2014, Coln promised her he would keep playing for several more years if he could. But he doesnt seem done yet, not after throwing a complete game. Not with a playoff spot to chase.

Were not making any major rash decisions right now, he said. I made a promise to my mom that I was going to pitch until next year, until Im 45. I want to accomplish that. So, who knows?

If I find the opportunity, and someone gives me a chance, then depending on how things end this year absolutely.

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Twins' Bartolo Coln: 'The older I get, the more I want to play.' - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

Couple renews vows at State Fair after bone marrow donor helps save his life – WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - People at the Indiana State Fair Saturday got to witness something special.

A husband and wife recommitted their lives to one another right at the Fairgrounds.

The couple also shared with the crowd the important reason they made it to this celebration.

Amid all the fun and food and families at the Indiana State Fair, they brought some magic on the midway.

A love story - two decades strong.

"Today is actually our 20th wedding anniversary," said Derek Fakehany.

Derek and his wife, Amy Van Ostrand, renewed their marriage vows at their favorite summer spot.

And in some ways, the place that illustrates their lives recently.

"The last 18 months have been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs," said bridesmaid Sheri Champagne.

The serious test of their original vows.

"It's very easy to be in love when you're 23, getting married, Amy said. But when you're in your mid-40's and looking at your spouse maybe not making it through the end of the week, you're really tested."

In 2015, Derek was diagnosed with blood cancer.

It was a painful, difficult battle back to health that he nearly lost.

But thanks to a simple swab and a stranger's decision to be the match,

Derek found a donor on the national bone marrow registry.

He had his second transplant 200 days ago.

"That is the reason that Derek is here today. A 26-year-old woman who we never met donated her stem cells to my husband not once, but twice over the last year and that's why he's standing here."

Surrounded by the friends and family who cared for him at his lowest point.

On this day, they watched a stronger Derek and Amy renew promises lived for 20 years.

I declare again that Derek and Amy are for a lifetime of days husband and wife," their minister said, concluding the ceremony.

And in the place where they always feel joy.

Amy asked, "Who wants funnel cake?"

The happy couple and their guests dined on fair food and went for a ride on the Ferris wheel.

Celebrating two milestones - Love and Life.

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Couple renews vows at State Fair after bone marrow donor helps save his life - WTHR

Stem cell therapy may help knees – Citizens Voice

Q: I read that you can use your own stem cells to rejuvenate worn-out knees. Does this really work?

A: Worn out is a good way to term what happens to the knee joint with prolonged use. Lets look at how this happens, starting with cartilage.

The lower portion of the knee joint (at the tibia) contains shock absorbers called menisci made of cartilage. You have one on the inner portion and another on the outer portion of each knee. The upper portion of the knee joint (at the femur) is lined with cartilage as well. All of this cartilage helps protect the bones at the joint but it doesnt heal or regenerate well due to limited blood supply. When severe, worn cartilage leads to arthritis of the knee. In knee X-rays of people over age 60, 37 percent have shown evidence of arthritis of the knees.

The intriguing thing about stem cells is that they have the ability to become any type of cell that the body needs. The cells used for stem cell injections in the knees are called mesenchymal stem cells, and they can differentiate into bone, fat or cartilage cells. These stem cells can come from the fat cells of your body, from your bone marrow or from the inner lining of your knee joint; theyre then replicated in the laboratory and injected into the knee joint.

Heres what the research shows so far.

In a 2013 study, 32 patients with meniscal tears of the knee were injected with a combination of stem cells, platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid. The study reported improved symptoms and even MRI evidence of meniscal cartilage regeneration.

In a 2014 study, 55 patients who had surgery for meniscal tears of the knees were separated into three groups, with two of the groups receiving stem cell injections. Researchers found that, after six weeks, pain had decreased substantially in the two groups that received stem cell injections and that the decrease was even greater at one and two years after the injection.

In a 2017 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers analyzed six studies that used stem cells for osteoarthritis of the knees. In five of the studies, stem cells were given after surgery to the knee; in the other study, stem cells from a donor were administered without surgery. All the studies showed reduced pain and improved knee function. Further, in three of the four trials, MRIs corroborated the cartilage improvements.

There may be benefit to stem cell injections for cartilage loss of the knees, but more data are needed. Id also like to see more data on this type of therapy as a preventive measure for younger patients before their knees are worn out.

ASK THE DOCTORS is written by Robert Ashley, M.D., Eve Glazier, M.D., and Elizabeth Ko, M.D. Send questions to askthedoctors@

mednet.ucla.edu, or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o Media Relations, UCLA Health, 924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA, 90095.

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Stem cell therapy may help knees - Citizens Voice

Stem Cell Registry Will Facilitate Finding Donors – Financial Tribune

One of the obstacles on the way of successful stem cell transplant is problems in finding a good match for the recipient.There is only 25% chance that siblings offer one another a human leukocyte antigen match (or simply a tissue type match) while in 75% of cases patients need to find a match from unrelated donors, Dr. Azim Mehrvar, head of MAHAK Specialized Pediatric Cancer Hospital, was quoted by ISNA as saying.Last month, MAHAK opened a stem cell registry to facilitate the search for donors who are a match to blood disorder patients the first of its kind in Iran.The best transplant outcome happens when a patients HLA and the donors HLA closely match. HLA is a protein or marker found on most cells in a body and is used to match with a donor for bone marrow or cord blood transplant.All people between the ages of 18 and 50 can come to the center and register to help children suffering from cancer.The process is easy: Once an applicant is registered, his/her cheek cell sample (buccal swab) is sent for HLA typing, the result of which is stored in the registry. The process takes only a few minutes.In the future if the persons HLA type matches with any patient looking for a match, the donor will be contacted to donate their blood stem cells to potentially save a life, the physician said.After finding a good match, the donor receives a health check-up to make sure he/she is fit and healthy to donate. Then they will be given an injection called GCSF (Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor) every day for 5 days. This is to release stem cells from the bone marrow into the peripheral blood flow.On the fifth day, blood stem cells are collected in a 3-4 hours outpatient procedure called apheresis. The stem cells are then transferred to the hospital to be grafted.Stem cells can be used to treat a variety of disorders including hematopoietic and genetic disorders and even cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for the effects of damage to a developing brain by various causes. It is connected with a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness and movement problems.According to the charitys website (Mahak-charity.org), currently donors can be registered only in Tehran. The budget to maintain the registry has been provided by Bahman Group, an Iran-based auto company under license of Japan carmaker Mazda.Mahak, a non-governmental organization dedicated to helping children, was established in 1991 by Saideh Ghods.The society is funded entirely by donations and has supported 11,505 children suffering from cancer in the past 17 years. The 18,000-square-meter rehab center and hospital in the north of Tehran was completed in 2003 and can house 120 children, each with a family member. The rehab center has diagnostic and treatment wards on par with global standards.

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Stem Cell Registry Will Facilitate Finding Donors - Financial Tribune

Be The Match donor drive to help, honor Bond Clinic physician who needs bone marrow transplant – The Ledger

Bone marrow transplants are used in serious blood disorders, especially cancers, when the needed doses of chemotherapy or radiation would be so high it would damage or destroy the stem cells in the marrow.

WINTER HAVEN For 14 years, Dr. Christopher Miller has been treating patients at Bond Clinic where he specializes in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. Many local people have met him at Bonds diabetes clinic or in nearby Eloise where he volunteers at Angel Cares free clinic.

Organizers of a Be The Match drive are hoping that those who have benefited from his care, including families and friends of patients, will turn out to honor him Saturday by volunteering to be a bone marrow donor.

He received a shocking, out-of-the-blue diagnosis and is in need of a bone marrow match, said Ashley Scanlan, marketing director for Bond Clinic.

Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones where blood cells are produced. Transplants are used in serious blood disorders, especially cancers, when the needed doses of chemotherapy or radiation would be so high it would damage or destroy the stem cells in the marrow.

Be The Match, a national nonprofit organization that is part of the National Marrow Donor Program, is the largest registry matching donors with those in need of a marrow transplant, said Marc Silver, community engagement representative for Be The Match. It also provides support for patients and donors, information for health care professionals and conducts research.

Nearly 70 percent of people needing a marrow transplant do not have a match within their families so the registry was set up to provide a resource for matches.

The event is from 8to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Bond Clinic Main Campus, 500 E. Central Ave., Winter Haven.

Registering to be a donor is a simple process, filling out some paperwork and taking a mouth swab, Scanlan said.

Volunteers should be between 18 and 44 years old, generally in good health and be willing to donate to any patient in the future, Scanlan said.

People are asking why the cutoff is 44, but they have found that age group has the best success in transplants, Scanlan said.

People of other ages are invited to come Saturday and write a note toMiller or make a financial donation, which would go either to the American Cancer Society or to the local Angel Care clinic, she said.

Bobbie Skukowski, an advanced registered nurse practitioner who leads Bonds diabetes clinic, said, Dr. Miller is an excellent physician and an excellent teacher. He was a fellow at Emory University and has taught us all so much; he has brought up the level of diabetes care at Bond Clinic and in the Winter Haven area in general.

"He is very good with his patients and right-on in his care, she said.

If a person is later selected as a potential match, there is no cost to the donor, Scanlan said. And the potential donor can later decide to withdraw from the registry.

The paperwork will ask several questions, including whether the potential donor is willing to donate to any patient in need, willing to donate to a stranger, and willing to donate 20 to 30 hours if found to be a perfect match.

If the potential donor meets the criteria, a mouth swab is taken and later analyzed for a match.

While years ago, being a bone marrow donor was a complicated procedure, now it typically is simple, handled much like a blood donation, Scanlan said.

Over 80 percent of the donations are non-invasive, said Be The Matchs spokesman Silver.

Be The Match literature explains that the donor is given injections of a drug, filgrastim, for five days leading up to the donation to increase the number of stem cells in the blood.

Then, on the day of the donation, the donor goes through a procedure similar to donating blood platelets at a blood center. Blood is taken out of one arm, passed through a machine that collects the blood-forming stem cells, and then the red and white blood cells are returned to the donors other arm through a needle. Typically it takes eight hours.

Donors often have a headache or muscle aches for a few days 22 percent recover within two days, 53 percent within a week, 93 percent within a month, 99 percent within three months and a very few people can take as long as a year to recover, according to Be The Match.

Less than 20 percent of the time, we do a hip aspiration, which is a more complicated procedure and involves having anesthesia in an operating room, Silver said.

Be The Match literature explains that, in those cases, needles are used to withdraw liquid marrow from both sides of the back of the pelvic bone. Typically, the donor stays at the hospital from early morning to late afternoon, or occasionally overnight for observation.

Be The Match helped match 6,200 patients for marrow and cord blood transplants last year and added 472,000 new potential donors to the registry, according to the organization.

Marilyn Meyer can be reached at marilyn.meyer@theledger.com or 863-802-7558. Follow her on Twitter @marilyn_ledger.

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Be The Match donor drive to help, honor Bond Clinic physician who needs bone marrow transplant - The Ledger

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