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Depletion of naive T cells from stem cell grafts limits chronic graft-versus host disease

June 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cell transplantation is used to treat hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia. Patients that receive donor cells are at risk of developing graft-versus host disease (GVHD). This potentially fatal complication results when naive T cells generated from the graft promote an immune response that attacks the recipient’s tissues. Prophylactic treatment with immunosuppressive drugs is currently used to limit GVHD but does not reliably prevent disease. In mouse models, depletion of naive T cells from the stem cell graft prior to transplant reduces the occurrence and severity of GVHD. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation evaluates GVHD in a small set of patients with leukemia that received stem cell grafts that had been depleted of naïve T cells prior to transplantation. Marie Bleakley and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed that reduction of naïve T cells in the donor graft markedly reduces the occurrence of chronic GVHD disease in patients. There was no reduction in the overall rate of acute GVHD occurrence in these patients. However, acute GVHD in these recipients was generally responsive to corticosteroid therapy. The results of this study support depletion of naïve T cells from stem cell grafts prior to transplantation as a potential treatment option to limit chronic GVHD in patients.

US clinics avoiding government oversight of ‘stem cell’ treatments

May 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Clinics across the United States are advertising stem cell treatments that attempt to take advantage of what they perceive as exceptions in FDA regulations, according to bioethicist Leigh G. Turner, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics and School of Public Health.

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Quality control for adult stem cell treatment

February 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected and cultivated, genetically modified and single cells isolated before being rigorously tested to make sure they meet the highest possible safety criteria. The strategy, which is published online in EMBO Molecular Medicine, is inspired by the approaches the biotechnology industry and regulatory affairs authorities have adopted for medicinal proteins produced from genetically engineered mammalian cells.

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State funding boosts stem cell research in California, other states

February 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When federal funding regulations created limitations on human embryonic stem cell research, several states created their own funding programs. A new study analyzed stem cell funding programs in four states that provided their own funding and found that in both California and Connecticut, state programs have contributed to an increase in the share of publications in the field produced in these states.

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‘Genome editing’ could correct genetic mutations for future generations

December 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Scientists at Indiana University and colleagues at Stanford and the University of Texas have demonstrated a technique for “editing” the genome in sperm-producing adult stem cells, a result with powerful potential for basic research and for gene therapy.

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Research: NFL athletes are seeking unproven stem cell treatments

December 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Some National Football League (NFL) players have been seeking out unproven stem cell therapies to help accelerate recoveries from injuries, according to a new paper from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. While most players seem to receive treatment within the United States, several have traveled abroad for therapies unavailable domestically and may be unaware of the risks involved, the paper found.

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Not all induced pluripotent stem cells are made equal

December 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Scientists at McMaster University have discovered that human stem cells made from adult donor cells “remember” where they came from and that’s what they prefer to become again.

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Nail stem cells prove more versatile than press ons

November 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

There are plenty of body parts that don’t grow back when you lose them. Nails are an exception, and a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reveals some of the reasons why.

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Establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells from Werner syndrome fibroblasts

November 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Associate Professor Akira Shimamoto and Professor Hidetoshi Tahara at the Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Science in Hiroshima University, Professor Koutaro Yokote at the Graduate School of Medicine in Chiba University, Visiting Professor Makoto Goto at the Medical Center East in Tokyo Women’s Medical University, and collaborators including the staff at the Cancer Chemotherapy Center in the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tottori University, and Keio University established induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from the fibroblasts of Werner Syndrome patients. These results were published in PLOS ONE in an article entitled “Reprogramming Suppresses Premature Senescence Phenotypes of Werner Syndrome Cells and Maintains Chromosomal Stability over Long-Term Culture.”

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Production of human motor neurons from stem cells is gaining speed

November 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The motor neurons that innervate muscle fibres are essential for motor activity. Their degeneration in many diseases causes paralysis and often death among patients. Researchers at the Institute for Stem Cell Therapy and Exploration of Monogenic Diseases (I-Stem – Inserm/AFM/UEVE), in collaboration with CNRS and Paris Descartes University, have recently developed a new approach to better control the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells, and thus produce different populations of motor neurons from these cells in only 14 days. This discovery, published in Nature Biotechnology, will make it possible to expand the production process for these neurons, leading to more rapid progress in understanding diseases of the motor system, such as infantile spinal amyotrophy or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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