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Archive for the ‘Bone Marrow Stem Cells’ Category

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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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

Join Jon Kempin, LA Galaxy Foundation and Gift of Life Marrow Registry for Kick Blood Cancer on August 13 – LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy Foundation has teamed up with Gift of Life Marrow Registry, a club community partner curing blood cancer through marrow and stem cell donation, to co-host Kick Blood Cancer at The Grove in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 13 from 1-4p.m. The event will feature family-friendly games, activities and LA Galaxy appearances in the effort to recruit potential donors to the worldwide marrow registry.

LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jon Kempin, LA Galaxy Star Squad and LA Galaxy mascot Cozmo will be in attendance. Kempin joined LA Galaxy in the off-season and is one of the brightest young talents in the organization, who earned his first MLS shutout earlier this season. He signed his first MLS contract with Sporting Kansas City at the age of 17.

Gift of Life believes every person battling blood cancer deserves a second chance at life and they are determined to make it happen. They are singularly passionate about engaging the public to help get everyone involved in curing blood cancer, whether as a donor, a volunteer or a financial supporter. It all begins with one remarkable person, one life-changing swab and one huge win finding a match and a cure.

For many patients who suffer from leukemia, lymphoma, or other types of blood cancer, transplantation of bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells donated by unrelated volunteers offers the hope of a cure.

WHAT

Kick Blood Cancer

WHEN

Sunday, Aug. 13

1-4 p.m.

WHERE

The Grove

189 The Grove Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Join Jon Kempin, LA Galaxy Foundation and Gift of Life Marrow Registry for Kick Blood Cancer on August 13 - LA Galaxy

Stem Cell Therapy Selectively Targets and Kills Cancerous Tissue – Anti Aging News

Researchers have created a method to kill cancerous tissue without causing the harmful side effects of chemotherapy.

Medical researchers at the University of California, Irvine have created a stem cell-based method to zero in on cancerous tissue. This method kills the cancerous tissue without causing the nasty side effects of chemotherapy. Such side effects are avoided by treating the disease in a more localized manner. The advancement was spearheaded by associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences Weian Zhao. The details of the stem cell therapy were recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

About the new Stem Cell Therapy

Zhao's team programmed stem cells derived from human bone marrow to pinpoint the specific properties of cancerous tissue. They implemented a portion of code to these engineered cells to identify stiff cancerous tissue, lock onto it and implement therapeutics. The researchers safely used this new stem cell therapy in mice to kill metastatic breast cancer that had moved to the lungs. They transplanted these engineered stem cells in order for the teamto pinpoint and settle in the site of the tumor.

Once the stem cells reached the tumor, they released enzymes referred to as cytosine deaminase. The mice were then provided with an inactive chemotherapy known as prodrug 5-flurocytosine. The tumor enzymes stimulated the chemotherapy into action. Zhao stated his team zeroed in on metastatic cancer that occurs when the disease moves to additional parts of the body. Metastatic tumors are especially dangerous. They are responsible for90 percent of all cancer deaths.

Why the new Stem Cell Therapy is Important

Zhao is adamant his stem cell therapy represents an important newparadigm in the context of cancer therapy. Indeed, Zhao has blazed a trail in a new direction that others will likely follow in the years to come. It is possible his new stem cell therapy serves as an alternative and more effective means of treating cancer. This stem cell therapy will serve as an alternative to numerous forms of chemotherapy that typically have nasty side effects. Chemotherapy certainly kills plenty of growing cancer cells yet it can also harm healthy cells. The new type of treatment keys in on metastatic tissue that allows for the avoidance of the undesirable side effects produced by chemotherapy.

Though the published piece describing this stem cell therapy is centered on breast cancer metastases within thelungs, the method will soon be applicable to additional metastases. This is due to the fact that numerous solid tumors are stiffer than regular tissue. The new system does not force scientists to invest time and effort to pinpoint and create a brand new protein or genetic marker for each kind of cancer.

The Next Step

At this point in time, Zhao's team has performed pre-clinical animal studies to show the treatment is effective and safe. They plan to segue to human studies in the coming months and years. Zhao's team is currently expanding to additional types of cells such as cancer tissue-sensing and engineered immune system CAR-T (T cells) to treat metastasizing colon and breast cancers. Their goal is totransform this technology for the treatment of additional diseases ranging from diabetes to fibrosis and beyond.

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IN-DEPTH: Fighting for your life – Leavenworth Times

Julie Gould was heartbroken to learn that there was no cure for diffuse scleroderma, the chronic disease that she was diagnosed with in 2016.

Julie Gould was heartbroken to learn that there was no cure for diffuse scleroderma, the chronic disease that she was diagnosed with in 2016.The life-threatening auto-immune disease affects connective tissue in the body by producing too much collagen and hardening cartilage, tendons and skin.

I was depressed when I received the initial diagnosis, she said. It's difficult to hear that you may be dead in five years time. According to the Scleroderma Foundation, A person newly diagnosed with scleroderma may feel alone and uncertain about where to turn for help. He or she may experience a number of other feelings and emotional reactions from time to time, including initial shock or disbelief, fear, anger, denial, self-blame, guilt, grief, sadness or depression. Family members may have similar feelings.

When Julie first consulted a doctor in 2015, she was concerned that she might have picked up an infectious disease, such as a mosquito-born illness, or as she described it, the worst flu ever, during a vacation to Mexico. But she was told that diabetic neuropathy was causing the pins and needles tingling in her hands and feet.

My hands and feet continued to swell and I thought I had heart failure, said Julie. I went to a cardiologist to see if that was the problem. Those tests and lab work came back normal too.When the pain and swelling became excruciating, she consulted with a rheumatologist. When diabetic neuropathy was ruled out, she was told it could be rheumatoid arthritis. Although the lab tests were within normal limits, her doctor thought the labs werent correlating yet because it was so early in diagnosis. She was given medication and told to come back in six weeks, but saw no alleviation of the pain.

When her rheumatologist told her she might have scleroderma and ordered lab work, those tests too were normal.My physical therapist thought I should go to the Mayo Clinic, said Julie. I got online and requested an appointment. Three months later at the clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, she was diagnosed with diffuse scleroderma but it was a rare type that doesnt test positive in the usual lab test. Her total diagnosis wait had been a year and eight months, and she was more than ready to begin treatment. She was given multiple medications for pain and symptom control.After diagnosis, I got online and started searching for information about scleroderma, said Julie. It was dismal. I had to step away from the computer.Current treatments for the disease are varied, but basically treat the organs being affected. When lung tissue is hardened, patients are tube-fed and given oxygen. Sometimes lung transplants are required. Some patients need gastrointestinal surgery and some have operations to decrease ulcers on their fingers, while some must have their fingers and toes amputated.

Medication for high blood pressure and chemotherapy to suppress the disease are common with the disease and stiff joints and skin can result in patients not being able to stand upright and wheelchair-bound. Physical and occupational therapy is required to save body functions.Julies mother and sister, who is a nurse, also began scouring the internet for treatments. When they read about stem cell transplant they both felt this was the answer to Julies prayers.

Overcome with depression and pain, Julie began taking an antidepressant. With the help of the drug and limitless help and support from her family, the research on transplant gave her much needed hope. When I found out about the transplant, I was scared, said Julie. I feared for my life being taken by this disease.

This disease literally affects every organ system in the body. Transplant offered a chance to stop the disease in its tracks and stop further progression and damage to my body. I had been recently diagnosed, so the doctor said I could wait until I was worse, then have the transplant at a later date. I did not wait. I already had heart, lung, GI, and musculoskeletal systems involved. This approach was proactive, not reactive. It offered me hope.To qualify for stem cell treatment a patient must be sick enough toneed it, but not so sick that they would not benefit from the procedure.

We were able to find many groups to help us learn about scleroderma, she said. Inspire and Facebook were invaluable. There were specific groups for people who had scleroderma. Groups for people who needed a stem cell transplant. Groups for people with scleroderma, who wanted, or who already had a transplant.I started to read all the testimonials. I looked at the NIH website. This was productive research. I was finding out information on how to save my life not on how I was going to die.

After Julie applied for evaluation by Dr. Richard Burt at Northwestern in Chicago, she had scores of tests, including a CT scan of her lungs, MRI of her chest, EKG, sonogram of her heart, heart cath, colonoscopy, EGD, lab work, stress tests, psychological exam, dental exam, and 24-hour urine collection.

After all the anxious waiting during almost two years of doctor visits and tests, Julie was informed that she had passed the evaluation and had been approved for stem cell transplant.I came home to mentally prepare myself, said Julie. I returned to Chicago for the mobilization phase. I received a dose of chemo overnight in the hospital to suppress my immune disease. A week later I then started to give myself injections to produce white blood cells using neupogen. This medication forces the bone marrow to put out extra white blood cells, from which stem cells originate.

After six days of injections, Julie returned to the hospital to have the stem cells removed from her blood for use at a later date. She had to stay in Chicago during this part of treatment in case she had complications from the procedure. The process was similar to dialysis, said Julie. I was at the hospital all day, 12 hours. My own stem cells had been harvested to heal me. After two weeks of rest at home in Leavenworth, Julie returned to Chicago for the transplant. And after five days of more chemo, her stem cells were returned to her body. Now we only had to wait for the transplant to work, said Julie. I stayed in the hospital until the cells engrafted and my immune system started working again. Eight days.I had been in the hospital for 16 days. The transplant is a reboot to your diseased immune system like a reboot to your computer.Julie returned to Leavenworth to rest and recover. My entire family have been tremendously supportive, she said. They offered and provided all of the help that I needed to achieve this treatment.

She is also grateful to the community of Leavenworth for reaching out to help her. They donated money for my out-of-pocket expenses, said Julie. They provided food upon my return from Chicago. I didn't have to cook, nor did my husband for six weeks. Family cleaned my home and watched my children. I was grateful.

Social media also provided support during Julies treatment. She discovered a network of people on Facebook who had already had a transplant, or were waiting to have one. Stem cells are used to treat many auto-immune disorders like multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohns disease, and many others, said Julie. I could pose any question to this forum and receive an answer. I started my own Facebook page to document my medical treatment so that I too could share my information. It has been wonderful to help others who are experiencing what I have been through.

Julie has just returned from her one-year checkup in Chicago and learned that the progression of the disease has stopped. Stem cell transplant has saved my life, said Julie. I am living, not merely existing.Not only has the disease been stopped in its tracks, Julie has seen physical improvements such as full motion in her shoulder, which was frozen from hardened tissue for much of the last few years. Her contracted hands are also more mobile and she has gained 40 degrees movement in some of her fingers.

I have Raynaud's syndrome, said Julie. It has improved. It was a constant struggle to keep my hands and feet warm. The pain in my hands is mostly gone. The all-over joint pain is gone. The fatigue and malaise are gone. I feel good. I feel happy.As she has regained her back strength and dexterity she is now able to enjoy the routine of normal days, like rising from a chair without pain, sleeping and eating well and even doing simple tasks such as opening a jar, which was difficult after her diagnosis.Everyday tasks were difficult, said Julie. Deodorant, flossing, brushing teeth or hair, dressing. All of the daily activities have gotten easier everyday. The pain is mostly gone.My body feels healthy.

Julie has gained much more than flexibility and relief from constant pain during her long medical challenge, and she emphasizes, I learned to not sweat the small stuff. I learned to live every day. I learned to love every day.

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IN-DEPTH: Fighting for your life - Leavenworth Times

Benefit event planned for Palmer man – Grand Island Independent

WORMS A benefit event to assist a Palmer man who is battling MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) is planned for Friday, Aug. 18, at Nitecrawler Bar in Worms.

Army veteran Paul Spencer Curry was diagnosed with MDS in January. MDS is a bone marrow/blood cancer that effects the blood cells and immune system. He has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since February and had a bone marrow/stem cell transplant in July at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

He is required to spend 100 days after the transplant in Omaha. Proceeds from the benefit will be used to help cover medical, lodging and travel expenses for Curry and his wife, Pam.

The benefit event will include a Texas Hold Em poker tournament at 6 p.m., with the top prize being two Husker football tickets.

The event will also include raffle drawings, live and silent auctions and a pulled pork dinner served from 5 to 9 p.m.. Registration for the poker tournament is $20; freewill donations for the meal. Menu includes pulled pork sandwiches, beans, chips, salads and desserts.

The benefit is sponsored by Dannebrog Michelson-Larkowski American Legion and Auxiliary Post 241.

Donations can be dropped off at any Five Points Bank location, payable to Paul Curry cancer benefit, or mailed to 2015 N. Broadwell Ave., Grand Island, NE 68803.

For tickets, auction donations or more information, contact Randy Hansen at (308) 750-0691 or Leanna Obermiller at (308) 380-1515.

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Benefit event planned for Palmer man - Grand Island Independent

India’s Advancells Reports Successful Reversal of MS in Single Patient Using Stem Cell Therapy – Multiple Sclerosis News Today

Advancellssays its stem cell-based therapy completely reversed multiple sclerosis (MS) in an Indian pilot trial with only one MS patient.

The patient, Rahul Gupta, was diagnosed with MS seven years ago and has since suffered multiple relapses. His disease was progressing fast and he was quickly losing his ability to walk. Gupta, who lives in New Zealand, approached Advancells a company based in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that specializes in the use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

After my last relapse, I became determined to look for alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis,Gupta said in a press release. I started looking on the net and found that stem-cell therapy [offers] hope for people suffering with MS [and] that it is safe and would not harm me in any way. I was determined to undergo stem-cell treatment, as my illness was progressing very quickly.

Gupta enrolled inAdvancells adult stem-cell therapy program as the trials single patient. In the procedure carried outin June at a New Delhi clinic doctors isolated stem cells from his bone marrow and re-infused them back into the patientat specific points. Apart from this procedure, Gupta underwent only physiotherapy and a dietary routine.

Straight after the treatment I saw major improvements, he said. I could walk a lot better, could climb stairs which I was unable to do after 2012 and even go on the treadmill.

Dr. Lipi Singh, head of technology at Advancells, said the company is frequently approached by MS patients from around the world who want to participate in its program.

Patient selection is a key criterion for us and Rahul suited the criteria perfectly, Singh said. He is young and still at a moderate level of the disease and in a very positive frame of mind. Patients at this stage are best suited for this kind of treatment and thus we decided to accept him as a pilot case.

Singh now expects to review Guptas response sometime this fall.

It will take approximately three months for us to review changes in the magnetic resonance imaging of the patient, but the drastic changes in symptoms clearly are an indication of the fact that the treatment is working and could become a hope for millions of patients across the world who are suffering from this disease. Singh said.

He added: This is a good start to a lengthy research phase, but it seems that we are on the right track and hopefully we will be able to make a significant contribution in eradicating not only MS but a host of untreatable diseases existing today.

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India's Advancells Reports Successful Reversal of MS in Single Patient Using Stem Cell Therapy - Multiple Sclerosis News Today

Bone Marrow Drive To Benefit Paula Fitzgerald Silvia On Sunday, September 17th – Newport Buzz

Bone Marrow Donors Needed

Paula (Fitzgerald) Silvia of Middletown has been diagnosed with myeloid dysplasia syndrome (MDS), a form of blood cancer where the bone marrow cells do not mature into healthy blood cells. Paula received this devastating news at the end of June. Nothing seemed particularly out of sorts; she was travelling with her family, working, going to the beach and doing all her volunteer activities. Only indications were catching more colds and a little tired but Paulas life was always busy and she does so much for everyone, she should be tired.

Paula has started her first round of chemotherapy. Every four weeks, she has five consecutive days of chemotherapy infusion. However, it is only a temporary treatment. A bone marrow transplant is needed to cure the disease.

A bone marrow registration drive is being held on Sunday, September 17 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Fenner Hall, 15 Fenner Ave, Newport, for this purpose. It is being organized by her family and friends and is in conjunction with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and http://www.BeTheMatch.org, a national bone marrow donor registry.

The first source for bone marrow matches is a sibling or child, if they fall in the age range, but Paulas family members were not a match. More than 35,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with leukemia, anemias, myelodysplastic disorders and other life-threatening diseases requiring treatment with a blood stem cell or bone marrow transplant. About 70 percent of bone marrow transplant recipients must rely on an unrelated donor. Finding a compatible donor is a challenge. The opportunity to register and/or donate will help many patients in need..

Donors must be 18 to 44, and be willing to donate to any patient in need.To join the registry, potential donors must complete paperwork at the drive and have a cheek swab taken. If unable to attend, donors are asked to go towww.bethematch.orgto sign up, or visit any RI Blood Center.

Paula (Fitzgerald) grew up in Newport in the Fifth Ward, attending Newport schools, graduating from Rogers in 1968. Her father, Jim Fitzgerald, was the Dean of Boys at Thompson and football coach and her mother Meg also worked in the school system. She has an older sister, Maureen, and younger siblings, Nancy and Bill. Paula is an outstanding athlete, tennis and golf being her games of recent years. After graduating from college, Paula continued working at Salas until it closed and now works for private catering companies. TR McGrath and Kitchen Companion.

Paula is married to Manny P Silvia, a retired lieutenant in Middletown police department and retired supervisor in DCYF Protective Services. They have two children, Corrine and Greg.

Paula does an amazing amount of volunteering although never wanting any recognition for her efforts. She volunteers for many organizations such as the MLK Community Center, Relay for Life, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Mosaic Club, AARP school programs, and Vasco deGama Society. Shes a communicant of St. Augustins Church.

The news of her diagnosis is a shock, but Paula continues with her active, involved life, giving it her best. She wants to send the message that everyone should be proactive about their health and always follow up on lab work. Paula is now awaiting a bone marrow transplant!

Any questions, please contact Nancy Fitzgerald, nancyfitz53@gmail.com, 401-855-1985. To learn more please contact Dana-Farbers Bone Marrow Donor Program at866-875-3324, email nmdpdonor@dfci.harvard.edu or visit online http://www.bethematch.org

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Bone Marrow Drive To Benefit Paula Fitzgerald Silvia On Sunday, September 17th - Newport Buzz

Fil-Am LAPD officer still in need of bone marrow match – Inquirer.net

Los Angeles Police Officer Matthew Medina. AJPRESS

LOS ANGELES Its been almost five months since Matthew Medina first learned about his rare blood disease and how his Filipino heritage is affecting his chances of being cured.

Earlier this year, the 40-year-old police officer was going about his normal duties as part of the Los Angeles Police Departments (LAPD) Harbor Division gang unit. By his side was his close friend, Dante Pagulayan, also an officer with the department.

The two have known each other since they were about 14 years old in high school and ended up going to Cal State Long Beach together, before eventually joining the LAPD. It was at the college, Pagulayan shared, where Medina met his wife Angelee with whom the latter now has two beautiful daughters.

Matt is one of the funniest guys I know, Pagulayan said about his friend during a recent interview with the Asian Journal. If you want to have a good time, hes going to be your guy.

Currently, Medina remains in quarantine after having been diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare disease that claims 600-900 people in the United States each year, according to the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AA/MDS). The fact that hes Filipino presents a larger challenge.

Finding a donor

Aplastic anemia, or bone marrow failure, is a blood disease in which bone marrow fails to make enough blood cells for the body.

According to AA/MDS, it can affect anyone regardless of race or gender but is diagnosed more often in children, young adults, and older adults. It also appears more often in Asian Americans.

For Medina, the disease seemed to come out of nowhere. Matt was a very precautious guy, said Pagulayan about Medinas health habits. He always took care of himself, took vitamins, went to the doctor He was that kind of guy.

Radiation and chemotherapy, toxic chemical exposure, use of certain drugs, and autoimmune disorders are some factors known to injure bone marrow, thus affecting blood cell reproduction. But for the most part, theres no telling what causes aplastic anemia.

Getting a bone marrow transplant is the only cure for aplastic anemia. However, finding a match is a major obstacle that those diagnosed are forced to face.

In order for a transplant to be successful, both the donor and beneficiary need to share eight human leukocyte antigens (HLA), or cell markers. This explains why more chances of success happen between a donor and receiver of the same ethnic background.

Chances of recovery

For Medina and many others, chances of recovery are greatly reduced simply due to the number of minority-group members registered to be potential bone marrow matches.

Out of the 12 million people registered, only 0.5 percent were Filipino, said Pagulayan. It was quite a surprise.

As of 2016, the number of Asians recorded in Be The Matchs registry made up only six percent of the total registered, shared Ayumi Nagata, Recruitment Manager of Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M).

The lowest percentage came from those who identified as Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander their percentage hovered at 0.1 percent. The largest group at 57 percent with 7.8 million comprise of those who are white.

While transplants between family members have worked, its rarely the case, according to Mixed Marrow, a foundation dedicated to increasing bone marrow and blood cell donors for patients of multi-ethnic descent. Finding a match within the family is only successful 30 percent of the time, leaving 70 percent searching elsewhere.

Nagata has encountered a number of cultural and religious reasons that explain the low number of Asian registrants, but the lack of familiarity and awareness remain the biggest culprits.

Organizations like Mixed Marrow and A3M are working together to disprove these misconceptions by focusing on increasing awareness through outreach within cultural contexts.

One common misconception is that donating marrow is painful. Nagata informed that most procedures are done through nonsurgical Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donations where cells are collected through the blood rather than the bone itself.

Umbilical cord blood is another source, and Be The Match lists a number of hospitals that collect the blood for a public cord blood bank.

Hope for Medina

There are now currently 1,270 ethnically diverse, and 101 Caucasian registrants through Medinas campaign, reported Nagata. With the help of Medinas support group and community, theres hope that the numbers can increase.

Since the start of Medinas match campaign, two others in need of bone marrow transplants were able to find a match.

On June 25, Medina personally posted on his Match4Matt Facebook campaign page, Even if they never find a match for me, I can say that this campaign has been a success since it has already helped save the lives of at least two people (so far).

For Medina, the search continues but he remains optimistic. On his Facebook post, he reported that his blood cell counts have increased and he hopes that the upward trend continues toward remission. I am not out of the woods yet, he added. There is still a long road to recovery ahead, but the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is definitely getting brighter.

But as Pagulayan said, the only way to really revert it is through a bone marrow transplant. Medinas condition can change just as quick as how he found out he had the disease.

To those thinking about registering to be a match, Pagulayan said to think of a loved one and what would happen if you woke up and found out they had the disease.

To join a registry, anyone up to 60 years old can sign up, but donors between ages 18-44 are preferred. There are also medical conditions that may make someone ineligible. The process itself takes less than five minutes, according to Nagata. As Pagulayan put it, It takes less time to swab your cheeks than it takes to fill out the paperwork.

More information on registering can be found on Be the Matchs website. To join Medinas registry, visit http://www.join.bethematch.org/match4mat

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Fil-Am LAPD officer still in need of bone marrow match - Inquirer.net

Test results after stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma can confuse patients and doctors about – Medical Xpress

Dr. Gurmukh Singh, vice chair of clinical affairs for the Department of Pathology and Walter L. Shepeard Chair in Clinical Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Credit: Phil Jones

It's a cancer of the plasma cells, which normally make an array of antibodies that protect us from infection.

With multiple myeloma, the cells start primarily producing instead a singular product, called a monoclonal antibody, or M spike, that leaves patients vulnerable for serious infections, like pneumonia, and can even eat away at their bones.

Sophisticated laboratory tests used to both diagnose the disease then follow treatment response, can send confusing messages to patients and their physicians, particularly after stem cell therapy to try to restore a healthy antibody mix, says Dr. Gurmukh Singh. Singh, vice chair of clinical affairs for the Department of Pathology and Walter L. Shepeard Chair in Clinical Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, is corresponding author of the study highlighting reasons for potential confusion in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research.

The tests, serum protein electrophoresis and serum immunofixation electrophoresis, or SPEP/SIFE, and serum free light chain assay, or SFLCA, separate proteins into groups according to their electrical charge.

The M spike stands out as a distinctive, dense band of color among the layers of protein groups, while typical antibody levels create bands of lighter smears.

But after stem cell therapy, which first destroys cancerous plasma cells then restores healthy ones, follow up profiles often yield a lineup of antibodiescalled an oligoclonal patternthat can look eerily similar to the M spike.

The confusion comes because there again may be a prominent and likely short-lived band of proteins that emerges as the antibody mix begins, ideally, to normalize.

"We want to emphasize that oligoclonal bands should mostly be recognized as a response to treatment and not be mistaken as a recurrence of the original tumor," Singh says.

The key clarifier appears to be the location of the malignant, monoclonal spike when the diagnosis is made compared to the location of new spikes that may show up after stem cell therapy in these oligoclonal bands, says Singh.

"If the original peak was at location A, now the peak is location B, that allows us to determine that it is not the same abnormal, malignant antibody," Singh says, pointing toward different before and after treatment profiles on a patient.

Normally antibodies spread out in a usual sequence in these studies. "If it's in a different location, it's not the same protein," reiterates Singh. "If the location is different, this is just a normal response of recovery of the bone marrow that could be mistaken for recurrence of the disease," Singh says of the oligoclonal bands that can also temporarily show up in response to an infection.

He notes while the prominent bands are typically short-lived following treatment, the recognition that they are non-malignant may occur only in retrospect.

For the study, Singh and his team looked at lab and clinical data on 251 patients with multiple myeloma treated from January 2010 to December 2016; 159 of those patients received autologous stem cell transplants. Each patient had at least three tests, and at least two of the tests were following their transplant.

They found the incidence of oligoclonal patterns was significantly higher in patients who had a stem cell transplant than the patients who had chemotherapy alone: 57.9 percent compared to 8.8 percent. Only five of the 159 patients who received a transplant had an oligoclonal pattern before treatment but 92 had one afterward. More than half of the the oligoconal patterns developed within the first year following a transplant. The earliest pattern was detected at two months - as soon as the first post-transplant tests were doneand a few occurred as long as five years later.

Autologous stem cell therapy is not considered curative for most patients with multiple myeloma. There is no clear cause of the disease but the risk does increase at age 40, Singh says.

Explore further: Excessive tests don't benefit patient, do increase cost in age-related immune disorder

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Test results after stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma can confuse patients and doctors about - Medical Xpress

‘Origami Organs’ Can Potentially Regenerate Tissues – Technology Networks

Northwestern Medicine scientists and engineers have invented a range of bioactive tissue papers made of materials derived from organs that are thin and flexible enough to even fold into an origami bird. The new biomaterials can potentially be used to support natural hormone production in young cancer patients and aid wound healing.

The tissue papers are made from structural proteins excreted by cells that give organs their form and structure. The proteins are combined with a polymer to make the material pliable.

In the study, individual types of tissue papers were made from ovarian, uterine, kidney, liver, muscle or heart proteins obtained by processing pig and cow organs. Each tissue paper had specific cellular properties of the organ from which it was made.

This new class of biomaterials has potential for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as drug discovery and therapeutics, corresponding author Ramille Shah said. Its versatile and surgically friendly.

Shah is an assistant professor of surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine and an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at McCormick School of Engineering. She also is a member of the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology.

For wound healing, Shah thinks the tissue paper could provide support and the cell signaling needed to help regenerate tissue to prevent scarring and accelerate healing.

The tissue papers are made from natural organs or tissues. The cells are removed, leaving the natural structural proteins known as the extracellular matrix that then are dried into a powder and processed into the tissue papers. Each type of paper contains residual biochemicals and protein architecture from its original organ that can stimulate cells to behave in a certain way.

In the lab of reproductive scientist Teresa Woodruff, the tissue paper made from a bovine ovary was used to grow ovarian follicles when they were cultured in vitro. The follicles (eggs and hormone-producing cells) grown on the tissue paper produced hormones necessary for proper function and maturation.

This could provide another option to restore normal hormone function to young cancer patients who often lose their hormone function as a result of chemotherapy and radiation, Woodruff, a study coauthor, said.

A strip of the ovarian paper with the follicles could be implanted under the arm to restore hormone production for cancer patients or even women in menopause.

Woodruff is the director of the Oncofertility Consortium and the Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Feinberg.

In addition, the tissue paper made from various organs separately supported the growth of adult human stem cells. Scientists placed human bone marrow stem cells on the tissue paper, and all the stem cells attached and multiplied over four weeks.

"Thats a good sign that the paper supports human stem cell growth, said first author Adam Jakus, who developed the tissue papers. Its an indicator that once we start using tissue paper in animal models it will be biocompatible.

The tissue papers feel and behave much like standard office paper when they are dry, Jakus said. Jakus simply stacks them in a refrigerator or a freezer. He even playfully folded them into an origami bird.

Even when wet, the tissue papers maintain their mechanical properties and can be rolled, folded, cut and sutured to tissue, he said.

Jakus was a Hartwell postdoctoral fellow in Shahs lab for the study and is now chief technology officer and cofounder of the startup company Dimension Inx, LLC, which was also cofounded by Shah. The company will develop, produce and sell 3-D printable materials primarily for medical applications. The Intellectual Property is owned by Northwestern University and will be licensed to Dimension Inx.

An Accidental Spill Sparked Invention

An accidental spill of 3-D printing ink in Shahs lab by Jakus sparked the invention of the tissue paper. Jakus was attempting to make a 3-D printable ovary ink similar to the other 3-D printable materials he previously developed to repair and regenerate bone, muscle and nerve tissue. When he went to wipe up the spill, the ovary ink had already formed a dry sheet.

When I tried to pick it up, it felt strong, Jakus said. I knew right then I could make large amounts of bioactive materials from other organs. The light bulb went on in my head. I could do this with other organs.

It is really amazing that meat and animal by-products like a kidney, liver, heart and uterus can be transformed into paper-like biomaterials that can potentially regenerate and restore function to tissues and organs, Jakus said. Ill never look at a steak or pork tenderloin the same way again.

Monica Laronda, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Woodruffs lab during the study, also is a coauthor. She is now an assistant professor of pediatrics at Feinberg and a researcher at the Stanley Manne Childrens Research Institute, Ann & Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Laronda and Woodruff also are members of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The research was supported by grant P50 HD076188-02 from the Center for Reproductive Health After Disease of the National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility, Google and the Hartwell Foundation.

This article has been republished frommaterialsprovided byNorthwestern University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference:

Jakus, A. E., Laronda, M. M., Rashedi, A. S., Robinson, C. M., Lee, C., Jordan, S. W., . . . Shah, R. N. (2017). Tissue Papers from Organ-Specific Decellularized Extracellular Matrices. Advanced Functional Materials, 1700992. doi:10.1002/adfm.201700992

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'Origami Organs' Can Potentially Regenerate Tissues - Technology Networks

Compensating Bone Marrow Donors Will Close the Supply Gap and Save Lives. – Niskanen Center (press release) (blog)

August 8, 2017 by Samuel Hammond

The Wall Street Journal editorial board reported yesterday that the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) regulation which sought to ban compensation for blood-forming stem cell donors has been defeated. This represents a small but significant victory for advocates of compensating organ donors a practice that remains outlawed by the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA).

The crux of HRSAs rulemaking was a move to redefine blood-forming stem cells drawn from the bloodstream as an organ, no different from the bone marrow found within the bone, and thus under NOTAs purview. Our friends at the Institute for Justice (IJ) rightly argued for years that such a move was nonsensical and illegal. Blood and plasma are explicitly exempt from NOTAs ban on donor compensation, and as such donations of some subpart of the blood, including stem cells, should also be exempt.

The battle to kill the then-pending regulation heated up late last year, as HRSA neared its deadline to finalize the rule. The Niskanen Center formally joined IJs efforts in November, when we released a report called Bone Marrow Mismatch: How compensating bone marrow donors can end the transplant shortage and save lives. The report highlighted the enormous gap between bone marrow demand and supply under the current regime of voluntary donation, and argued against the applicability of the core ethical concerns advanced by HRSA. Our research and Hill event on the issue culminated in a listening session with HRSA officials, in which we argued that the social cost of enacting the rule was well in excess of $100 million, and thus worthy of delay for a deeper cost-benefit appraisal.

Its unclear what happened next. HRSAs hard December 18 deadline came and went, with a final rule that appeared to have been written but not formally submitted to the Federal Register. Perhaps it was the incoming administration, or the threat of litigation should the rule go through, or our research which provided a clear rationale for postponement. Regardless, the rule entered a strange purgatory, which is where it stayed until HHS formally withdrew the rule last week.

The Niskanen Center has received communications from a federal employee who believes our research was to some degree responsible for the rules ultimate repeal. That said, my research was simply part of a multi-pronged and multi-year effort to oppose the rule, led early on byIJ, the entrepreneur Doug Grant, the economist Mario Macis, and Peter Jaworski, the business ethicist and creator of DonationEthics.com.

The view of the Niskanen Center is that economic rights include the right to receive compensation for organ donations. NOTA therefore deserves a much deeper legal challenge. But in the meantime, lets celebrate the defeat of this regulation as a clear example of what it means to make small steps toward a better world.

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Compensating Bone Marrow Donors Will Close the Supply Gap and Save Lives. - Niskanen Center (press release) (blog)

VistaGen Therapeutics (VTGN) Receives Notice of Allowance For Methods for Producing Blood Cells, Platelets and … – StreetInsider.com

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VistaGen Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTGN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation medicines for depression and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced today that the Company has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for U.S. Patent Application No. 14/359,517 regarding proprietary methods for producing hematopoietic precursor stem cells, which are stem cells that give rise to all of the blood cells and most of the bone marrow cells in the body, with potential to impact both direct and supportive therapy for autoimmune disorders and cancer.

The breakthrough technology covered by the allowed U.S. patent was discovered and developed by distinguished stem cell researcher, Dr. Gordon Keller, Director of the UHN's McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, one of the world's leading centers for stem cell and regenerative medicine research and part of the University Health Network (UHN), Canada's largest research hospital. Dr. Keller is a co-founder of VistaGen and a member of the Company's Scientific Advisory Board. VistaGen holds an exclusive worldwide license from UHN to the stem cell technology covered by the allowed U.S. patent.

"We are pleased to report that the USPTO has allowed another important U.S. patent relating to our stem cell technology platform, stated Shawn Singh, Chief Executive Officer of VistaGen. "Because the technology under this allowed patent involves the stem cells from which all blood cells are derived, it has the potential to reach the lives of millions battling a broad range of life-threatening medical conditions, including cancer, with CAR-T cell applications and foundational technology we believe ultimately will provide approaches for producing bone marrow stem cells for bone marrow transfusions. As we continue to expand the patent portfolio of VistaStem Therapeutics, our stem cell technology-focused subsidiary, we enhance our potential opportunities for additional regenerative medicine transactions similar to our December 2016 sublicense of cardiac stem cell technology to BlueRock Therapeutics, while focusing VistaStem's internal efforts on using stem cell technology for cost-efficient small molecule drug rescue to expand our drug development pipeline."

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VistaGen Therapeutics (VTGN) Receives Notice of Allowance For Methods for Producing Blood Cells, Platelets and ... - StreetInsider.com

Scientists Are Making Actual Origami Out of Body Organ Tissue – ScienceAlert

Everybody likes playing with origami and making little paper animals, but researchers in the US have taken their hobby to a freaky new level.

Scientists have developed a way of making a kind of bioactive "tissue paper" from real body organs, which is thin and flexible enough to fold into origami animals like the charming crane you see above which was probably once a kidney, liver, or perhaps a heart.

While it definitely sounds a bit (okay, a lot) on the gross side, this organ origami isn't quite as gruesome as it sounds. For starters, the team from Northwestern University aren't sourcing their tissue paper from human organs at least, not that we know of.

Instead, the researchers are picking up unwanted pig and cow offal from a local butcher, and putting those discarded off-cuts to good use because this flexible paper-like material could one day be used to heal wounds, or to help supplement hormone production in cancer patients.

Northwestern University

"This new class of biomaterials has potential for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as drug discovery and therapeutics," says one of the team, materials scientist Ramille Shah.

"It's versatile and surgically friendly."

The team stumbled upon the idea for making organ-based paper after a lucky accident during their research on 3D-printed mice ovaries.

A chance spill of the hydrogel-based gelatin ink used to make the ovaries ended up pooling into a dry sheet in the bench lab, and from one strange innovation, another was born.

"When I tried to pick it up, it felt strong," says one of the researchers, Adam Jakus.

"I knew right then I could make large amounts of bioactive materials from other organs. The light bulb went on in my head. I could do this with other organs."

Turning to pig and cow organs, the researchers extracted structural proteins called the extracellular matrix from animal ovaries, uteruses, kidneys, livers, muscles, and hearts.

These proteins, which help to give organs their form, were dried and then combined with a polymer to process them into their new paper-like structure.

In other words, it's a bit like papier-mch with a touch of H. P. Lovecraft thrown in, but what's important is that the paper retains residual biochemicals from its protein-based origins, holding on to cellular properties from the specific organ it comes from.

During tests in the lab, the team was able to grow functional, hormone-secreting ovarian follicles in culture using tissue paper sourced from a cow ovary.

It might only be a lab test using animal organs, but if the same idea could be replicated with human hormone-producing tissue paper implanted under patients' skin, it could be a big step towards treating cancer patients and hormone deficiency generally.

"This could provide another option to restore normal hormone function to young cancer patients who often lose their hormone function as a result of chemotherapy and radiation," explains one of the researchers, Teresa Woodruff.

What could make the tissue paper so easy to apply for medical purposes is its malleability. It feels and folds much like ordinary paper, and can even be frozen for later use.

"Even when wet, the tissue papers maintain their mechanical properties and can be rolled, folded, cut and sutured to tissue," says Jakus.

In addition to hormone treatment applications, the team says the pliable material could augment tissue when wounds are healing, which might be able to speed up recoveries, or prevent scarring from injuries.

Of course, before we even get close to sticking origami organs inside human patients, the next step will be looking into how the paper works in animal models.

But initial signs look promising. When the team put human bone marrow stem cells on the tissue paper, all the stem cells attached and multiplied.

"That's a good sign that the paper supports human stem cell growth," says Jakus.

"It's an indicator that once we start using tissue paper in animal models it will be biocompatible."

To be clear, there's still a lot more research to be done here before we know how viable organ paper really is, but we'll never know unless we try.

And in the meantime, at least one thing's for sure.

"It is really amazing that meat and animal by-products like a kidney, liver, heart and uterus can be transformed into paper-like biomaterials that can potentially regenerate and restore function to tissues and organs," says Jakus.

"I'll never look at a steak or pork tenderloin the same way again."

The findings are reported in Advanced Functional Materials.

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Scientists Are Making Actual Origami Out of Body Organ Tissue - ScienceAlert

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