Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Stem cell transplants cure blindness; Lifestyle can activate healthy gene activity
fierce bioresearcher ^ | 06.16.08

Posted on 06/29/2008 4:58:24 PM PDT by Coleus

iZumi Bio has agreed to license some patents from the J. David Gladstone Institutes as they begin to work together on new adult stem cell technology involved in devising cardiovascular therapies. Report

Stem cell transplants were used to restore the sight of six blind patients at a London hospital. Story

Some 2,500 delegates attended the recent International Society for Stem Cell Research in Philadelphia. And insiders say that the development of induced pluripotent stem cells has clearly energized the entire field. Release

In a new study regarding age-related diseases, researchers identified two key regulatory pathways that control how well adult stem cells repair and replace damaged tissue. They then tweaked how those stem cells reacted to those biochemical signals to revive the ability of muscle tissue in old mice to repair itself nearly as well as the muscle in the mice's much younger counterparts. Release

In an approach that could become a new treatment for the 10 to 20 percent of people whose broken bones fail to heal, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that transplantation of adult stem cells can improve healing of fractures. Release


A research team says that genetic variations in a key protein involved in LDL cholesterol production can play a big role in determining the effectiveness of blockbuster statins like Crestor. Report

California has begun to issue cease-and-desist orders to companies that offer direct-to-consumer gene tests. Story

Dean Ornish and colleagues from UC San Francisco say that new research indicates that healthy lifestyles can activate genes that promote health while suppressing cancerous ones. Article

A University of Southern California study suggests people of Mexican-American descent who have genetic variants of fat gene FTO and Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase had higher triglyceride and lower HDL levels. Release

The changes in heart rate that are potentially fatal in individuals with LQT2 are caused by changes in the electrical activity in the heart because of mutations in the HERG gene. Release

Cancer Research

Researchers are testing a new way to kill cancer cells selectively by attaching cancer-seeking antibodies to tiny carbon tubes that heat up when exposed to near-infrared light. Release

New research shows that viruses altered to kill cancer cells can also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that can spur the return of a tumor. That insight may lead to new combination therapies that can improve the effectiveness of the treatment and reduce the chance of tumor regrowth. Story

Researchers used noninvasive molecular imaging technology to track the location and activity of mesenchymal stem cells in the tumors of living organisms, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting. This ability could lead to major advances in the use of stem cell therapies to treat cancer. Release

Researchers have found new biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. Report

The Roskamp Institute has been awarded the Florida Department of Health and James & Esther King Biomedical Research Program, Small Business Technology Transfer Grant for its advanced cancer research in using a protein found in the brain to stop the growth of lung cancer. Release

TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: adultstemcells; blind; blindness; sight; stemcells; stemcellsresearch

1 posted on 06/29/2008 4:58:25 PM PDT by Coleus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Gladstone Institutes and iZumi Bio ink stem cell deal

The J. David Gladstone Institutes will work with iZumi Bio Inc. on using adult stem cells in cardiovascular treatments.  This research will focus on so-called "induced pluripotent stem cells," which are adult cells that have been "reprogrammed" to function the way the more controversial embryonic stem cells do.  Under this agreement, iZumi will license some Gladstone patents.  Deepak Srivastava, M.D., is director of the Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease. He'll take a seat on iZumi's scientific advisory board as part of the deal.

Thane Kreiner is CEO of iZumi Bio, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Highland Capital Partners. The company started last year and is based in San Francisco. It's moving to larger space in Mountain View next month. Kreiner worked previously at Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX).  Gladstone, led by President Robert Mahley, M.D., is located in Mission Bay in San Francisco.

Stem-cell treatment helps restore eye-sight

Six blind patients have had their eye-sight restored after undergoing pioneering stem cell transplants.

Adult Stem Cells Aid Fracture Healing; UNC Study Lays Groundwork For Potential Treatments

In an approach that could become a new treatment for the 10 to 20 percent of people whose broken bones fail to heal, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that transplantation of adult stem cells can improve healing of fractures.Adult stem cells are specialized cells with the ability to regenerate tissue in response to damage. However, many patients lack sufficient numbers of these cells and thus cannot heal properly. Researchers have used adult stem cells in a few cases to improve fracture healing, but further studies were needed to show that this method was truly effective and safe before it can be pursued as a new treatment.  Now scientists at UNC have provided the scientific foundation for future clinical trials of this approach by demonstrating in animal models that these cells can be used to repair broken bones.  "This finding is critical to patients who lack the proper healing process and to individuals prone to broken bones, such as those with osteoporosis and the rare genetic condition known as brittle bone disease," said Dr. Anna Spagnoli, associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering in the UNC School of Medicine and senior author on the study.

The study, presented June 16 at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in San Francisco by the first author, Froilan Granero-Molto, Ph.D., post-doctoral associate researcher in UNC's pediatrics department, is the first to visualize the action of transplanted adult stem cells as they mend fractures in mice.  During normal fracture healing, stem cells migrate to the site of the break, forming the cartilage and bone needed to fuse the broken bones back together. But in more than 600,000 Americans a year, this process does not occur as it should and these bones stay broken. The result can be long periods of immobilization, pain, bone deformities and even death.  Current therapies, such as multiple surgeries with bone autografts and artificial prosthetic materials, often are not enough to cure these patients.

"Man-made materials do not address the normal bone's function, and recurrent fractures, wear and toxicity are a real problem," Spagnoli said. "There is clearly a need to develop alternative therapies to enhance fracture healing in patients with bone union failure."  Kicking stem cells into repair mode is one of the objectives of a new branch of medicine called regenerative medicine. With a little prodding, stem cells in human bone marrow -- called mesenchymal stem cells -- can turn into bone, cartilage, fat, muscle and blood vessel cells.  "The beauty of regenerative medicine is that we are helping the body improve its innate ability to regenerate healthy tissue on its own, rather than introducing manmade materials to try to patch up a broken bone," Spagnoli said.  Granero-Molto and other colleagues led by Spagnoli demonstrated this approach by transplanting adult stem cells in mice with fractures of the tibia, the long bone of the leg. The cells were taken from the bone marrow of mice that produce luciferase, the same molecule that allows fireflies to glow. In addition to possessing the ability to glow, the cells were engineered to express a molecule called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a potent bone regenerator necessary for bones to grow both in size and strength.

The researchers transplanted the cells through a simple intravenous injection and then placed the mice into a dark box so they could track the glowing stem cells as they migrated within the rodent. They found that these cells were specifically attracted to the fracture site, and that a particular molecule called CXCR4 -- which acts as a homing signal -- was necessary for the migration.  Using a computerized tomography (CT or CAT) scan, the researchers showed that the stem cells not only migrated to the site of the fracture, but also improved healing there by increasing the bone and cartilage that bridged the bone gap. The bone at the fracture site in the treated mice was about three times stronger than that of untreated controls.  If scientists can duplicate the results of this animal study in humans, it may lead to a new treatment for the millions of people who suffer fractures that do not heal properly, Spagnoli said. Once a physician determines that the bone has not healed, they could obtain adult stem cells from the person's bone marrow in a minimally invasive procedure and transplant them at the same time the patient is receiving a bone graft.

Spagnoli said adult stem cells may pose fewer problems than embryonic stem cells, since they are not associated with the ethical controversy that surrounds the latter. Also, they may avoid the problem of rejection by the immune system, since the patient's own cells can be used.  Funding for the study came from the National Institutes of Health.  Other co-authors of the study include Dr. Lara Longobardi, UNC assistant professor of pediatrics, along with the following researchers from Vanderbilt University: Dr. Michael Miga, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Dr. Jared A. Weis, postgraduate fellow in biomedical engineering; Benjamin Landis, medical student; and Lynda O'Rear, research specialist.

2 posted on 06/29/2008 4:58:44 PM PDT by Coleus (Abortion and Physician-assisted Murder (aka-Euthanasia), Don't Democrats just kill ya?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Thank you for this article. I can tell you that lifestyle and stress DOES affect your body cells.

3 posted on 06/29/2008 5:02:31 PM PDT by cyborg (My Mom Lives to Nag Me Another Day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cyborg
I would assume that stress effects your whole body, including your cells. I think Roskamp Institute may have done some research on the matter.
4 posted on 11/15/2010 1:54:10 PM PST by pocketcrockett (Roskamp Institute)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson