Tag Archives: bone-marrow

Stem Cells from Bone Marrow Grows New Bone

A research team led by UC Davis Health System scientists has developed a novel technique to enhance bone growth by using a molecule which, when injected into the bloodstream, directs the body’s stem cells to travel to the surface of bones. Once these cells are guided to the bone surface by this molecule, the stem cells differentiate into bone-forming cells and synthesize proteins to enhance bone growth. The study, which was published online today in Nature Medicine, used a mouse model of osteoporosis to demonstrate a unique treatment approach that increases bone density and prevents bone loss associated with aging and estrogen deficiency.

Click here for complete article

Does our DNA determine how well we respond to stem-cell transplantations?

SEATTLE — Jan. 19, 2011 — Do genetic variations in DNA determine the outcome and success in patients who undergo stem-cell transplantation to treat blood cancers and predict complications? The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $4.3 million, four-year grant to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to help find out.

John Hansen, M.D., a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Clinical Research Division and medical director of Clinical Immunogenetics at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, will lead the genome-wide association study of all patients who have been treated with an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) at the Hutchinson Center between 1992 and 2010. Allogeneic stem-cell transplants involve infusing healthy stem cells from the blood or bone marrow of related and unrelated donors into the blood of patients whose blood-cell-producing bone marrow is diseased by leukemia and lymphoma, among other illnesses.

The new study will expand upon earlier research begun in 2006 and will increase the sample size three fold to 5,000 transplants, thus improving the power of identifying the genetic variants associated with HCT outcome.

Among the study’s goals are to identify genetic variations among patients that could account for the risk and severity of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, organ toxicity, opportunistic infection, relapse and overall survival. Genetic variants associated with HCT outcome will be validated as markers for assessing risk prior to patients receiving transplants and to enhance counseling and treatment planning.

Researchers also will use the results to gain insights into disease processes responsible for treatment complications and the rationale for developing novel targeted therapies for preventing and controlling these complications.

Bone-marrow and stem-cell transplantation was developed at the Hutchinson Center as highly successful treatments for blood cancers and some autoimmune diseases. Researchers at the Hutchinson Center and its clinical partner, SCCA, have performed more transplants cumulatively over the years than any other center in the world. In 2010, about 60,000 people worldwide underwent bone- or stem-cell transplants, and by the end of 2011 it is expected that about 1 million people worldwide will have been treated by this life-saving therapy, which was pioneered by the Hutchinson Center’s E. Donnall Thomas, M.D., who in 1990 received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for this advance.

Stem cells used to clear-up clogged arteries

Doctors are using stem cells to create new blood vessels to treat peripheral arterial disease.

Treatments Autologous Stem Cell Transplants

This video details autologous stem cell transplants and offers insightful animations of the procedure.

In an autologous stem cell transplant, you are your own donor. Your peripheral blood stem cells are taken from you, frozen until needed, then given back to you after you have received high doses of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or both, to destroy cancer cells.

“An autologous stem cell transplant removes your bone marrow stem cells so that you can be given larger doses of chemotherapy and radiation. Following therapy, your unharmed stem cells are returned”

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

New stem cell treatment holds promise for cerebral palsy patients

By Deborah Takahara,  KDVR.com

Dominic King and Harrison Spiers have so much in common. Best friends for seven years, they are both in the 5th grade at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School. They both love to ride horses. They both love to go to baseball games. And both were born with Cerebral Palsy.

“It’s (caused) a lack of oxygen before, during, or right after birth,” Dominic’s mom, Christina King explained. “With Dominic, we don’t know what happened.”

Alicia Spiers, Harrison’s mother, says he can’t feed himself, can’t give himself a bath and can’t take himself to the bathroom.

“It’s just like having a newborn in a 10-year-old’s body,” Spiers told us.

The families tried everything from therapy to experimental procedures, but nothing seemed to be helping. Then, last year, Harrison’s parents asked him what he wanted for Christmas. “I want stem cells,” he told them.

His parents knew right where to turn. They had a friend named Jessie Hinkley, a medical student.

“I taught them about a new procedure being done in Germany where they can take stem cells from the bone marrow from that patient and turn them into brain cells, and then go up to the brain and repair sites that were damaged,” Hinkley said.

Harrison’s father said the procedure is not related to the use of embryonic stem cells.

“There’s been a lot of debate on health care, and stem cells. This is not controversial. They are taking it from (Harrison’s) own body and putting it back in his own body. It’s here and now, not maybe 30 years from now,” he said.

But the procedure is not done in the United States, so the boys would have to raise thousands of dollars and travel to Germany. Fortunately, their school and their community stepped up and made it possible.

“It’s amazing. I know we keep saying that word, but truly is,” Alicia Spears. “(We) hear it everyday on the news?people are being laid off, unemployment numbers are up, money is tight. And yet, people in this neighborhood and this community found a way to write checks.”

“It hit me, I started crying in the car and thought this is just unbelievable what people will do,” Christina King said.

The boys took the trip to Germany and had the stem cell treatment done in August. They were back in time to start the school year, and their families say they’ve already started to see the results.

Dominic is starting to read. Harrison is sitting up by himself. Speaking is getting easier. Their parents don’t know how much to credit the stem cell therapy, but they are convinced it has made a difference.

“I see things almost every day: (Harrison’s) fine motor skills get better, just a little bit more everyday,” Alicia Spiers says. “People used to say ‘hi’ to him and you could count to 10 before he would say ‘hi’ back. Now it’s pretty instant.”

Harrison’s father hopes other people with other disabilities can take advantage of the procedure.

“There’s really no limit to what could happen. That’s the part that’s intoxicating.”

Jaw bone created from stem cells

From news.bbc.co.uk

Scientists have created part of the jaw joint in the lab using human adult stem cells.

They say it is the first time a complex, anatomically-sized bone has been accurately created in this way.

It is hoped the technique could be used not only to treat disorders of the specific joint, but more widely to correct problems with other bones too.

The Columbia University study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The bone which has been created in the lab is known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Problems with the joint can be the result of birth defects, arthritis or injury.

Although they are widespread, treatment can be difficult.

The joint has a complex structure which makes it difficult to repair by using grafts from bones elsewhere in the body.

The latest study used human stem cells taken from bone marrow.

These were seeded into a tissue scaffold, formed into the precise shape of the human jaw bone by using digital images from a patient.

The cells were then cultured using a specially-designed bioreactor which was able to infuse the growing tissue with exactly the level of nutrients found during natural bone development.

Big potential
Lead researcher Dr Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic said: “The availability of personalised bone grafts engineered from the patient’s own stem cells would revolutionise the way we currently treat these defects.”

Dr Vunjak-Novakovic said the new technique could also be applied to other bones in the head and neck, including skull bones and cheek bones, which are similarly difficult to graft.

The option to engineer anatomically pieces of human bone in this way could potentially transform the ability to carry out reconstruction work, for instance following serious injury or cancer treatment.

She said: “We thought the jawbone would be the most rigorous test of our technique; if you can make this, you can make any shape.”

She stressed that the joint created in the lab was bone only, and did not include other tissue, such as cartilage. However, the Columbia team is working on a new method for engineering hybrid grafts including bone and cartilage.

Another major challenge for scientists will be to find a way to engineer bone with a blood supply that can be easily connected to the blood supply of the host.

Professor Anthony Hollander, a tissue engineering expert from the University of Bristol who helped produce an artificial windpipe last year, said there was still a lot of work to be done before the new bone could be used on patients.

But he said: “One of the major problems facing scientists in this field is how to engineer a piece of bone with the right dimensions – that is critical for some of these bone defects.

“This is a lovely piece of tissue engineering which has produced bone with a high degree of accuracy in terms of shape.”

ABMDR Opens Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Yerevan

From Asbarez.com

LOS ANGELES—The Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) recently unveiled its Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Yerevan with a grand opening celebration. The much-anticipated event was attended by scores of ABMDR donors, sponsors, patients, physicians, and special guests including VivaCell-MTS general manager Ralph Yirikian, a major supporter of the registry; Archbishop Tatev Sargsyan, who conveyed a special commendation from His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians; ABMDR Advisory Board member Nani Oskanian; a representative from Armenia’s Ministry of Health; and a group of supporters from Los Angeles who had traveled to Armenia to take part in the celebration.

“The opening of the Stem Cell Harvesting Center was an extremely touching experience for every one of us,” said Dr. Sevak Avagyan, executive director of ABMDR Armenia. “While it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many friends, supporters, and colleagues, ultimately the most heartwarming sight was that of our patients and stem cell donors finding common ground in the new facility, where hope awaits those afflicted by life-threatening diseases.” Accordingly, Dr. Avagyan added, the honor of cutting the ribbon of the Stem Cell Harvesting Center was given to Mrs. Varduhi, the ABMDR’s latest bone marrow stem cell donor.

Zara in Post PCR loading (Small)Commenting on the opening of the center, Dr. Frieda Jordan, president of the ABMDR Board of Directors, said, “We’ve been working on this project for the past year, sparing no effort or resource for its realization.” After acquiring the facility, the ABMDR recruited top medical talent and began the arduous process of training personnel and securing medical machinery.

As Dr. Jordan explains, the project was made possible by a number of major corporate and individual donations, as well as grassroots support through the registry’s first-ever telethon, held on April 13 last year. With a total of $850,000 raised, the ABMDR was able to renovate the Stem Cell Harvesting Center site, equip it with state-of-the-art machinery, and continue to train personnel.

In 2006, the ABMDR’s HLA tissue-typing laboratory passed the inspection of the European Federation of Immunogenetics (EFI). In May this year, the laboratory passed the EFI’s second inspection “with flying colors,” paving the way for the future accreditation of the Stem Cell Harvesting Center itself.

The only one of its kind in the region, the ABMDR’s Stem Cell Harvesting Center can store and harvest stem cells provided by healthy bone marrow donors. The stem cells subsequently can be utilized in transplants for patients suffering from life-threatening blood-related diseases such as leukemia and other cancers. “It was absolutely critical to have a stem cell harvesting center in Armenia, since the majority of the ABMDR’s bone marrow stem cell donors are residents of the republic,” Dr. Jordan said. “Having this facility in the country means that local stem cell donors will be spared the often exorbitant expense and inconvenience of traveling abroad to donate their stem cells. The center is equipped with cutting-edge medical machinery that allows our staff to perform not only HLA tissue typing, stem cell harvesting, and cell storage, but autologous transplants as well. These latter procedures can be life-savers for cancer patients, as they restore the integrity and function of bone marrows damaged by chemotherapy.”

Click link above for complete article

Stem cells hold promise in treating retinal degeneration

From Louisville.edu

A team of University of Louisville scientists have discovered that stem cells taken from bone marrow can restore damaged retinal tissue by generating new cells. This is the first known study where stem cells derived from bone marrow have been used to restore the pigmented cell layer just outside the retina or the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

The research moves science a step closer to helping those who suffer from vision loss and blindness due to age-related macular degeneration and hereditary retinal degenerations.

During their experiments, UofL researchers found that bone-marrow derived stem cells (BMSCs) were attracted to damaged RPE, and were able to differentiate or move from less specialized cells into components of RPE.

According to researcher Suzanne Ildstad, “More research is needed to optimize the outcome and potential for repair of damaged retinal pigment epithelium. A combination with up-to-date tissue engineering might be critical for ultimate success.”

UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences researcher Henry Kaplan is now expanding this research in conjunction with the Swine Institute at the University of Missouri. Kaplan says pigs have more optical similarities to humans.

“After learning more about how bone-marrow derived stem cells can help regenerate retinal pigment epithelium in swine, we hope to translate our research into the clinical setting,” Kaplan said.

This research has implications for a number of chronic diseases including congestive heart failure, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, spinal cord injuries, age-related macular degeneration and hereditary retinal degenerations.

Age-related macular degeneration affects 10 percent to 20 percent of people over the age of 65 years old. Hereditary retinal degeneration is another leading cause of blindness and typically involves an onset of night blindness, an early loss of peripheral vision and late loss of central vision.

The study, published recently in the Archives of Ophthalmology, is available online at archopht.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/127/4/563.

A Stem Cell Treatment ‘against AIDS’

From Hindu.com

Scientists claim to have achieved a major breakthrough in the fight against AIDS with a new stem cell treatment which “protects the immune system from HIV that causes the disease”.

According to them, the pioneering technique involves isolating three genes which curb the spread of HIV inside the body, introducing them into human stem cells in a lab and then transplanting the stem cells into a patient’s bone marrow.

“What we are doing is genetically modifying a fraction of the patient’s stem cells with genes that target three diffe -rent aspects of HIV that allow it to get in the immune cells and replicate.

“When those stem cells are transplanted into patients, they create mature immune cells that circulate in the patient and protect against HIV,” ‘The Daily Telegraph’ quoted David DiGiusto of City of Hope Medical Centre in California, where the research was carried out, as saying.

In the first human trial, the scientists transplanted anti-HIV stem cells into five AIDS patients undergoing bone- marrow replacement as part of treatment for a form of cancer known as lymphoma.

Preliminary results showed that small quantities of the transplanted stem cells were able to grow and produce new white blood cells resistant to HIV resulting in an improvement in the patients’ conditions.

Now, they are planning further research to establish whether the treatment could even rid patients of HIV infection altogether.

“It is still an experimental treatment at the moment, but we hope that eventually we will be able to give AIDS pati- ents one transplant and that would then protect them for life.

We have data to show that the resistant cells are persisting in our lymphoma patients,” DiGiusto said.

Revolutionary stem cell therapy boosts body’s ability to heal itself

British researchers hope treatment will help repair heart attack damage or broken bones
By Ian Sample, science correspondent, guardian.co.uk

A stem cell emerging from rat bone marrow. By stimulating the release of stem cells after a heart attack, the healing process could be accelerated. Photograph: Imperial College London

A stem cell emerging from rat bone marrow. By stimulating the release of stem cells after a heart attack, the healing process could be accelerated. Photograph: Imperial College London

A groundbreaking medical treatment that could dramatically enhance the body’s ability to repair itself has been developed by a team of British researchers.

The therapy, which makes the body release a flood of stem cells into the bloodstream, is designed to heal serious tissue damage caused by heart attacks and even repair broken bones. It is expected to enter animal trials later this year and if successful will mark a major step towards the ultimate goal of using patients’ own stem cells to regenerate damaged and diseased organs.
‘This would allow bodies to heal themselves’ Link to this audio

When the body is injured, bone marrow releases stem cells that home in on the damaged area. When they arrive, they start to grow into new tissues, such as heart cells, blood vessels, bone and cartilage.

Scientists already know how to make bone marrow release a type of stem cell that can only make fresh blood cells. The technique is used to collect cells from bone marrow donors to treat people with the blood cancer leukaemia.

Now a team led by Sara Rankin at Imperial College London has discovered a way to stimulate bone marrow to release two other types of stem cell, which between them can repair bone, blood vessels and cartilage. Giving mice a drug called mozobil and a naturally occuring growth factor called VEGF boosted stem cell counts in their bloodstream more than 100-fold.

“This has huge and broad implications. It’s an untapped process,” said Rankin, whose study appears in the US journal Cell Stem Cell. “Suppose a person comes in to hospital having had a heart attack. You give them these drugs and stem cells are quickly released into the blood. We know they will naturally home in on areas of damage, so if you’ve got a broken bone, or you’ve had a heart attack, the stem cells will go there. In response to a heart attack, you’d accelerate the repair process.”