Currents in Stem Cell Medicine 5

Currents in Stem Cell Medicine

October, 18 2011. Vol 1, Ed 5.


News from the ICMS

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Stem Cell Medicine:

The FTC is a large regulatory agency with very broad powers. If you market your services as a physician or offer medical therapies then the FTC can claim jurisdiction. If your ‘marketing’ is in English, it does matter if your clinic or your practice is in Peru, Mexico or China. The FTC is watching and evaluating the claims around stem cell medicine.

The ICMS met with the compliance office of the FTC last week to open a dialogue to provide physician and stem cell therapy providers with information to help them navigate the fine line between patient education and patient recruitment. The simple fact is this: You are subject to Truth in Advertising Laws. And because of the sensational nature of many ‘claims’, the murky regulatory nature about what is legal according to the FDA, and the proliferation of clinics in the US and abroad, our field is under considerable scrutiny. As a field, there are a few basic standards that we should all be working within:

  1. Any claim must be based upon scientific evidence and knowledge that is generally accepted in the field, and
  1. Any claim must be reliable and be shown to consistently reproduce similar results.

Any claim brought before the FTC will be evaluated by experts in the field. The ICMS is working hard to establish our membership as experts to be consulted to evaluate any claim. To do this, we will work collaboratively with the federal government of the USA to develop standards for patient recruitment and appropriate use of medical claims.

If you are currently promoting a therapy on your website, we suggest that you evaluate it to assure that you are in compliance with Truth in Advertising Standards and seek legal counsel if you have any questions.  We will continue to work to provide you with guidelines and standards so that we, as a peer organization, can define the future of cell-based medicine. If you are interested in serving on the committee to help draft these standards, please contact the ICMS.

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Latest Stem Cell News

EU Court Bars Stem Cell Patents When Embryos Destroyed

Europe’s highest court has ruled that stem cells from human embryos cannot be patented, in a case that could have major implications for medicine.

Stem cell discovery could treat problem at the core of MS

Scientists have honed in on the stem cell that may be able to treat the brain problem at the core of multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers at the universities of Rochester and Buffalo have isolated and directed stem cells from the human brain to become oligodendrocytes, which make the crucial fatty myelin that coats neurons and allows them to travel through the brain effectively.

Stem Cell Doctor From Nevada Pleads Not Guilty

Stem cell doctor Ralph Conti pleaded not guilty to charges that he and a man pretending to be a doctor attempted to implant stem cells harvested from human placentas in chronically ill patients.

Scientists Use Rats’ Own Stem Cells to Cure Their Diabetes

Using stem cells that they extracted from the brains of diabetic lab rats, and turning them into insulin-producing pancreatic cells, Japanese scientists may be on the road to a virtual cure for diabetes that comes from people's own brains.

MRI-based technique allows researchers to follow neural stem cells in vivo

Carnegie Mellon University biologists have developed an MRI-based technique that allows researchers to non-invasively follow neural stem cells in vivo.

Stem cell research in Austin

Austin-based St. David’s HealthCare and Temple-based Scott & White Healthcare are investing in and dedicating resources to adult stem cell-related research, as opposed to research using embryonic stem cells.

Scientists from the universities of Southampton and Glasgow have uncovered a new method for culturing adult stem cells which could lead to the creation of revolutionary stem cell therapies for conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the University of Glasgow* shows how a new nanoscale plastic can cheaply and easily solve a problem which has previously made the expansion of stem cells for therapeutic purposes impossible. Harvested cells need to be increased in volume sufficiently enough to kick-start the process of cellular regeneration when they are reintroduced back into the patient but the process is made more difficult by spontaneous stem cell differentiation, where stem cells grown on standard plastic tissue culture surfaces do not expand to create new stem cells but instead create other cells which are of no use in therapy.

$12 million collaborative grant seeks to improve cord blood transplantation for cancer patients 

A $12 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute will help researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and The Methodist Hospital improve outcomes of cord blood transplantation in children and adults with cancer.


Latest Stem Cell Research

Administering human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to prevent and treat experimental arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease and affecting approximately 1% of the population. Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) were recently found to suppress effector T cell and inflammatory responses and, thus, to have beneficial effects in various autoimmune diseases. In this study, we examined whether hASCs could play a protective and/or therapeutic role in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).

Xeno-free proliferation of human bone marrow mesenchymalstem cells

The proliferation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) employing xeno-free materials not containing fetal calf serum (FCS) and porcine trypsin was investigated for the regenerative medicine of cartilage using MSCs. Four sequential subcultivations of MSCs using a medium containing 10% FCS and recombinant trypsin (TrypLESelect™) resulted in cell growth comparable to that with porcine trypsin. There was no apparent difference in the cell growth and morphology between two kinds of MSC stored in liquid nitrogen using 10% FCS plus DMSO or serum-free TC protector™. MSCs were isolated from human bone marrow cells, stored in liquid nitrogen, and sequentially subcultivated four times employing conventional materials that included FCS, porcine trypsin, and DMSO, or xeno-free materials that included serum-free medium (MesenCult-XF™), TC protector™ and TrypLESelect™. Cells in the culture using the xeno-free materials maintained typical fibroblast-like morphology and grew more rapidly than the cells in the culture using the conventional materials, while the cell surface markers of MSCs (CD90 and CD166) were well maintained in both cultures.

Potential of nucleofected human MSCs for insulin secretion.

The goal of this experiment was to generate insulin-producing human mesenchymal stemcells (hMSCs) as a therapeutic source for type I diabetes mellitus, which is caused by insulin deficiency due to the destruction of islet β cells. In various trials for the treatment of type I diabetes, cell-based therapy using adult stem cells is considered to be one of the most useful candidates for the treatment. In this experiment, a non-viral method called nucleofection was used to transfect hMSCs with pEGFP-C2 and furin-cleavable humanpreproinsulin gene (hPPI) to produce insulin-secreting cells as surrogate β cells.

Differentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cellsderived from adipose tissue and bone marrow to sinus node-likecells

Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great promise for the repair of heart defects. Both bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and adipose tissue-derivedstem cells (ASCs) are multipotent and may be induced by 5-azacytidine to differentiate into cardiomyocytes. However, the differentiation potential of human MSCs into sinus node-likecells has not been studied extensively.

Oral Stem Cells Used to Regenerate Bone and Colonize Myocardial Tissue in Animals

In recent research studies from Japan and Israel, scientists used stem cells from deciduous teeth, dental pulp, bone marrow and oral mucosa to regenerate mandibular bone in dogs and to colonize infarcted myocardial tissue in rats. The Japanese researchers reported mature bone formation in adult canine mandibles eight weeks after implanting stem cells that were extracted from the deciduous teeth and dental pulp of canine offspring (puppies).

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Restore Frataxin Expression and Increase Hydrogen Peroxide Scavenging Enzymes in Friedreich Ataxia Fibroblasts

Dramatic advances in recent decades in understanding the genetics of Friedreich ataxia (FRDA)—a GAA triplet expansion causing greatly reduced expression of the mitochondrial protein frataxin—have thus far yielded no therapeutic dividend, since there remain no effective treatments that prevent or even slow the inevitable progressive disability in affected individuals. Clinical interventions that restore frataxin expression are attractive therapeutic approaches, as, in theory, it may be possible to re-establish normal function in frataxin deficient cells if frataxin levels are increased above a specific threshold.

Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Inhibit Inflammation and Preserve Vascular Endothelial Integrity in the Lungs after Hemorrhagic Shock

Hemorrhagic shock (HS) and trauma is currently the leading cause of death in young adults worldwide. Morbidity and mortality after HS and trauma is often the result of multi-organ failure such as acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), conditions with few therapeutic options. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a multipotent stem cell population that has shown therapeutic promise in numerous pre-clinical and clinical models of disease.

Differential gene expression profiling of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells during adipogenic development

Adipogenesis is the developmental process by which mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) differentiate into pre-adipocytes and adipocytes. The aim of the study was to analyze the developmental strategies of human bone marrow MSC developing into adipocytes over a defined time scale. Here we were particularly interested in differentially expressed transcription factors and biochemical pathways.

The relevance of mesenchymal stem cells in vivo for future orthopaedic strategies aimed at fracture repair

The concept of a stem cell first emerged from studies on haematopoiesis where it was demonstrated that a rare clonogenic highly proliferative bone marrow (BM) cell, the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC), could give rise to all of the blood lineage cells. Hot on the heels of this work was the discovery of a second highly clonogenic and proliferative BM stem cell, later dubbed the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) that was capable of giving rise to bone and cartilage and other stromal lineages.

Paracrine Molecules of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche 

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are rare cells residing in the bone marrow (BM; 1 in 104 to 1 in 108 of BM nucleated cells), and they are progenitors that become progressively restricted to several or single lineages. These progenitors yield blood precursors devoted to unilineage differentiation and the production of mature blood cells, including red blood cells, megakaryocytes, myeloid cells (monocyte/macrophage and neutrophil), and lymphocytes [12]. CD34 surface antigen (CD34+) is commonly used as a marker to identify and quantify the population of progenitor cells [3], according to which, sorting HSCs from BM, peripheral blood (PB), and umbilical cord (UC)/placenta blood is relatively simple and practical.Human HSCs are known to exhibit CD34+, Thy1+, CD38lo/−, Ckit−/lo, CD105+, and Lin phenotype. 

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