<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=791796650947760&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Store-A-Tooth™ Dental Stem Cell Banking and Product News

Born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Posted by Mark Haigh on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 09:44 AM

Ciaran Finn-Lynch, an Irish boy who was born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide. At age 10, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Many of Macchiarini's patients have been given only months or a few years to live, left with no options or any hope.

“You see a patient and this patient has no other alternatives,” Macchiarini said. “And he will die very, very soon. As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so.”

Though it might sound like science fiction, scientists around the world are actively experimenting with this promising science. Recent accomplishments include Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's announcement that four teenage girls with a rare genetic disorder were implanted with lab-grown vaginas, and at the University of Basel in Switzerland, scientists regrew the nose tissue of older people whose noses had been partially lost to skin cancer.

But while scientists are eagerly working toward being able to grow vital organs like hearts, lungs and kidneys in the lab, it will be years before they are ready to attempt transplanting those in humans.


"As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so."


But Dr. Macchiarini has already taken the science out of the lab. He first made headlines six years ago, in 2008, when he transplanted the world's first lab-made windpipe. It was constructed from a donor trachea that had been stripped of its original cells, leaving it as a skeleton upon which a new trachea could be built with the patient’s own stem cells. The groundbreaking method would allow Macchiarini to bypass two of the major problems associated with donated organs: the risk of rejection and the need to take powerful anti-rejection drugs.

Original article By Linda Caroll

Linda Carroll is a regular contributor to NBC News. She writes about health and science and her work has appeared in The Science Times, Newsday and The Los Angeles Times as well as national magazines including Smart Money and Health. She is coauthor of "The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic" and the recently released "Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry." She lives in rural New Jersey.


Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

A Leap of Faith: Desperate Patients Look to Lab-Grown Organs

Posted by James Andrews on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 10:38 AM

He is a world-renowned surgeon who has been described both as a daring pioneer and as a cowboy who takes dangerous risks with his patients.

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, is pushing the boundaries of the emerging field of regenerative medicine, which involves using a patient's own cells to rebuild tissues and organs. Eventually scientists hope to get to the point where any replacement body part or organ you need would simply be manufactured in a lab, man-made, just for you. This could eliminate the need for donor organs, which are in short supply all over the globe.

But for now, there is only one surgeon in the world who is doing transplants in humans with artificially grown organs. Patients come to the controversial surgeon because he is literally their only hope.

Take Julia Tuulik, a Russian dancer whose trachea was destroyed after a car accident.

“They offered for me this one chance,” Tuulik told Meredith Vieira for NBC News’ “A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special,” airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. “And I haven’t other chance in my life.”

Or little Hannah Warren. Born without a trachea and unable to breathe on her own, she had spent her entire life in the hospital, kept alive only by a tube. No child with her disorder has ever lived past the age of six, and Dr. Macchiarini's artificial trachea was her only hope.

Or Ciaran Finn-Lynch, an Irish boy who was born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide. At age 10, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Many of Macchiarini's patients have been given only months or a few years to live, left with no options or any hope.

“You see a patient and this patient has no other alternatives,” Macchiarini said. “And he will die very, very soon. As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so.”

Though it might sound like science fiction, scientists around the world are actively experimenting with this promising science. Recent accomplishments include Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's announcement that four teenage girls with a rare genetic disorder were implanted with lab-grown vaginas, and at the University of Basel in Switzerland, scientists regrew the nose tissue of older people whose noses had been partially lost to skin cancer.

But while scientists are eagerly working toward being able to grow vital organs like hearts, lungs and kidneys in the lab, it will be years before they are ready to attempt transplanting those in humans.


"As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so."


But Dr. Macchiarini has already taken the science out of the lab. He first made headlines six years ago, in 2008, when he transplanted the world's first lab-made windpipe. It was constructed from a donor trachea that had been stripped of its original cells, leaving it as a skeleton upon which a new trachea could be built with the patient’s own stem cells. The groundbreaking method would allow Macchiarini to bypass two of the major problems associated with donated organs: the risk of rejection and the need to take powerful anti-rejection drugs.

By 2011, the Italian surgeon had moved on to plastic as a scaffold, rather than a donated trachea. The first recipient would be Andermariam Beyene, a 36-year-old engineer from Eritrea.

 

Macchiarini’s team began by collecting stem cells from Beyene’s bone marrow. Those cells were mixed with special growth factors and then poured onto a scaffold made from plastic — in fact, the very same plastic that is used to make soda bottles — which had been made to mimic the shape of a real windpipe.

In just a matter of days, the scaffold began to transform into an actual functioning windpipe.

Macchiarini described the magical sounding process like this: “It’s like if you roast a chicken. It’s the same thing. You fill this box with fluid that includes cells. And then this chicken scaffold just is submerged in this fluid and the cells penetrate inside.”

Eight patients have now received his completely artificial, bio-engineered tracheas, but because the surgery is still highly experimental and unproven, critics worry that he is putting his patients at risk and taking the science out of the lab prematurely.

Skeptics have questioned whether he is using his desperate — and highly vulnerable — patients as human guinea pigs.

“I do believe he’s in the gray zone,” Dr. Joseph Vacanti, surgeon- in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, told Vieira in September of 2013.

Not all of Macchiarini's patients have survived, but supporters argue that this is how surgery advances.


"I do believe he’s in the gray zone."


“Take a look at any major turn in surgery,” said Dr. Rick Pearl, pediatric surgeon-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. “It never started out working, did it?

“Tom Starzl, when he started doing liver transplants, the first seven, eight, nine patients all died. Everybody said he was nuts, OK? Christian Barnard, when he started doing heart transplants, everyone threw rocks at him. This is how we’re going to treat diseases in the future and this is the start of it.”

One of Macchiarini's most promising success stories is Claudia Castillo, a Spanish mother who is doing so well six years after her transplant that an increasing number of Macchiarini's colleagues are beginning to see him in a new light.

“I believe, for the field, we are now at the end of the beginning,” Vacanti said. “And so, he may feel alone, but he is not alone. He’s part of the group that’s making fantasy real.”

 

Original article By Linda Caroll

Linda Carroll is a regular contributor to NBC News. She writes about health and science and her work has appeared in The Science Times, Newsday and The Los Angeles Times as well as national magazines including Smart Money and Health. She is coauthor of "The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic" and the recently released "Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry." She lives in rural New Jersey.


Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Stem cell banking from teeth gains acceptance

Posted by Mark Haigh on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 @ 03:07 PM
LUDHIANA: People with poor health history or those suffering from genetic diseases are going to the dentists in greater numbers for stem cell banking from teeth. The major reason to adopt stem cell banking from teeth is that people feel it less painful and the safest of all methods. With stem cells creating the new milestones for a secure future all around the world, the technique of collecting stem cells from teeth is picking up in the city. As diabetes, kidney and liver diseases are very common among city residents, they don't want their children to suffer from such diseases in the future.

Dr Vivek Sagger, a well-known dentist from Rani Jhansi Road, said: "In the city, this technique has started picking up recently. I have about eight people who have got their stem cells in the teeth banked. This technique is like health insurance, in which we invest today to get the results in future if we acquire health problems. Tooth stem cells are so powerful and strong that they can even regenerate a new bone. There are three best resources for procuring these stem cells a?? first from the milk tooth of children below 10 years of age, second from the wisdom tooth, and third from children undergoing orthodontic treatment."

According to doctors, with the discovery of stem cells in teeth, an accessible and available source of stem cells has been identified. Milk tooth and wisdom tooth are full of stem cells, which can be preserved for years. Dental stem cells have significant medical benefits in the development of new medical therapies, and can help people with newly generated organs and bones. Health problems which can be treated through these tooth stem cells include diabetes, visionary problems, kidney, and liver problems. Stem cells in gums can be used for fighting inflammatory diseases.

Dr Preeti Vohra, a city-based dentist from Rani Jhansi Road, said: "After cases came in the limelight about celebrities doing it, the technique has picked up in the city, and there are more people coming up for this. The numbers are greater in people from higher social circles, who are getting their children's stem cells preserved for future prospects.

In the city at present, the pulp is being collected by the dentist and is sent to stem cell banks in Mumbai or Chennai for preservation. As 95 per cent of health problems in any society or world are tissue-related, and only five per cent are blood diseases, these tooth stem cells are able to regenerate both soft and hard tissues. "That's why their preservation is so much in demand," said Sailesh Gadre, owner of a renowned stem cell bank.

Meena Dixit of Dugri, who got her son's stem cells preserved in a stem cell bank last year, said: "I did not know about this technique, until Aishwarya Rai disclosed that she is getting her daughter's stem cells preserved for future prospects. I surfed the net and decided to go for it. Diabetes is a major problem in our family, and I don't want my children to suffer from the severe treatment or its impacts in future. That is why I got them preserved."

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes

We don’t have to wait for the future potential of stem cells, it's already here

Posted by James Andrews on Fri, Dec 06, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

World stem cell summit, the future of regenerative medicine is hereYou have been hearing about the potential of stem cells to treat diseases and disorders for a few years now. So it was entirely appropriate that one of the opening sessions at the World Stem Cell Summit in San Diego focused on ways that stem cells are transforming medicine right now. This was very much a case of “we don’t have to wait for the future, because the future is already here.”

The agenda ranged from stem cell basics to advanced research.

Here is a list of some of the topics covered:

  • STEM CELL SCIENCE- UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS
  • PROGRESS TOWARD STEM CELL-BASED THERAPIES IN CALIFORNIA
  • HOW STEM CELLS ARE TRANSFORMING MEDICINE
  • THE GLOBAL REGULATION OF STEM CELL THERAPIES
  • STEM CELLS FOR TREATMENT OF HEART DISEASE
  • INTERSECTION OF STEM CELLS AND GENE THERAPY – CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS
  • SYNTHETIC MATERIALS, BIOMATERIALS AND SCAFFOLDS
  • THE PROMISE OF DIRECT REPROGRAMMING OF STEM CELLS
  • STEM CELLS AND THE COMING STANDARDS REVOLUTION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES
  • HOW PATIENT ADVOCACY ADVANCES STEM CELL RESEARCH AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
  • WHAT CAN FAT (ADIPOSE) STEM CELLS REALLY DO?
  • THE ROLE OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
  • STEM CELL OPEN INNOVATION IN JAPAN: INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA COLLABORATION ON STEM CELL LARGE-SCALE PRODUCTION AND QUALITY CONTROL
  • NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE TO EMPOWER PATIENTS
  • GROWING WHOLE ORGANS –CHANGING MEDICINE FOREVER
  • DIABETES PROGRESS
  • STEM CELLS FOR DISEASE MODELING
  • FROM CELLS TO CELL THERAPIES IN THE UK: ACCELERATING TRANSLATION AND A ROUTE TO THE EUROPEAN AND GLOBAL MARKETS
  • SYSTEMS APPROACHES TO DISEASE AND STEM CELLS
  • VISION FOR THE STATE-OF-THE ART BIOBANK
  • TAKING STEM CELL BASED THERAPIES TO THE CLINIC
  • STEM CELLS AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE
  • THE EMERGING INNOVATIVE POWERHOUSE OF BRAZIL - STEM CELL RESEARCH AIMED AT CURES

The World Stem Cell Summit honored five champions of stem cell research Thursday evening. They are: Philanthropists Denny Sanford and Malin Burnham; stem cell researcher/blogger/patient advocate Paul Knoepfler; medical journal publisher Mary Ann Liebert, and patient advocate Roman Reed.

A memorable speech advocating more stem cell research came from Roman Reed.
A spinal cord injury from a college football accident left Reed mostly paralyzed. He's recovered use of his arms, but cannot walk. Reed and his father, Don, were among the foremost proponents of Prop. 71, the initiative that set aside $3 billion in bond money to fund stem cell research and disease treatments in California.

Roman Reed describes how he fought back after being partly paralyzed.





You can read more about Roman Reed on this blog and view other videos covering topics about raising funds for stem cell research for spinal cord injuries, rats cured of spinal cord injuries with stem cells raising the question - how long for people?

 

Highlights from some of the speakers:

Paul Simmons, Ph.D., of the biotech company Mesoblast talked about his company’s use of mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) – the kind of stem cell found in bone marrow and the dental pulp of teeth – to help treat people who have heart failure or suffered a heart attack, as well as to help regenerate bone to repair damage to the spine and to treat immunological disorders.

Though located in a number of places in the body, mesenchymal stem cells can be found in especially high concentrations in the healthy dental pulp of teeth.

Mesenchymal stem cells are one of the most well-understood, widely researched and promising types of stem cell. More on Mesenchymal stem cells...

Professor Teruo Okano, Ph.D., of Tokyo Women’s Medical University talked about the use of tissue engineering to create entire sheets of stem cells that can then be transplanted into the body to repair damage. He showed how those sheets of cells can be placed on an eye to help repair a damaged cornea. The sheets didn’t need any stitches to hold them in place, instead after just ten minutes they had already adhered to the surface of the eye and begun to work. This technique has already been used in helping 30 patients in Japan and 25 in France.

Okano also showed how the same approach has been used to help patients with heart failure. One patient in Japan was on a heart assist device because his own heart was too weak to keep him alive. After receiving a transplant of heart stem cells in a sheet onto the surface of his heart the man began to recover. Within 7 weeks he was able to come off the heart assist device and within a few more weeks he was able to go home. Six years later he is still thriving.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. People of all ages and backgrounds can be affected. More on stem cells from teeth to treat heart attacks...

U.C. Davis researcher Jan Nolta, Ph.D., also talked about mesenchymal stem cells but said her team is genetically engineering them so they can be used to treat many different problems ranging from heart and stroke to arthritis and cartilage and autoimmune disorders such as lupus. Nolta says the MSCs don’t seem to “become” the damaged cells but instead work by having an impact on other cells in the body, stimulating them to help repair the damage.

She also talked about the growing use of MSCs in dental work, helping repair damaged bone in the mouth or even restore gum tissue. Nolta has received a number of grants from CIRM for her work in developing new therapies for Huntington’s disease and critical limb ischemia.

The speakers didn’t gloss over the fact that there are many obstacles still facing the industry. Simmons highlighted some of the problems in being able to mass produce stem cells in the quantity and quality that will be needed if these kinds of treatments are going to be not just widely available but also affordable.

Okano said his team is already working on producing a cell sheet tissue factory, a fully automated system for manufacturing the sheets of stem cells needed in his work.

The conclusion was that even the most advanced researchers and companies acknowledge that there is a lot of work still ahead but that progress is being made and therapies are already in the clinics for patients, and many more are on the way.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

The keys to a successful healthcare business

Posted by James Andrews on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 09:24 AM

Investment life article on the business of stem cellsBuilding a healthcare business is very hard. It takes more than a needed technology.  It takes more than a top-notch team.  Healthcare businesses, particularly life science businesses, require a considerable amount of capital for both product development and market development.

An interview with Provia Laboratories CEO Howard Greenman, highlights the difficulties and keys to success when building a healthcare business from the ground up:

I remember 14 years ago, I was sitting across the table from a healthcare venture capitalist – pitching my first startup company.  It was the first time I was in such a meeting and I was nervous – very similar to the TV show Shark Tank.  I will never forget what he said:  “There are many great healthcare ideas, but few that are good business ideas.”  He continued, “I measure the potential of a healthcare innovation first by its finance-ability.”  It seems a shame that many interesting healthcare innovations that are needed by patients don’t make it to market because they don’t make sense to investors.

My current company, Provia Laboratories has a technology (the ability to collect, transport, process, expand, test, and preserve the valuable adult stem cells found inside baby and wisdom teeth) that is both an incredible technology for patients allowing them to preserve their youthful stem cells for future therapies, but it is also an appealing business for investors.  This is described in the attached article about our investment partner – Grace Century.

We are fortunate to be working with such an outstanding firm who selected Provia Laboratories as a “game changer” investment for its portfolio.  Grace Century has done a rigorous job evaluating our business through their due diligence process and continues to provide advice and support to us as a true partner.  We have a needed technology, a world-class team, and an amazing investment partner providing us the needed capital to grow.

Article on investing in stem cell storage

Here is an excerpt from an article in Investment Life magazine:

Stem Cells and Investment Strategy

How a select group of investors is identifying opportunity in an increasingly complex environment.

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson - if you build a better mousetrap, the world wil beat a path to your door.
It appears that a company called Grace Century FZ, LLC has invented the equivalent of a better mousetrap. This organization's approach to providing exceptional investment value for clients is based on the identification of opportunities within some of the fastest growing sectors in the world...

...One of the current investment opportunities identified by Grace Century fulfills all of the above criteria (common sense, a workable solution, the right team and the right risk-reward ratio). The investment opportunity is a company called Provia Laboratories, which has a branded service name 'Store-A-Tooth' (stem cell storage).

Stem Cell Storage
Ongoing research indicates that stem cells may hold the key to repairing organs, curing chronic disease and even extreme human longevity.

For this reason many parents are storing umbilical cord material which can be used in host-specific therapy.

What of parents who did not store umbilical material? One company - Provia - thinks they might have a solution.

You can read the entire article here:
http://issuu.com/panashcomedia/docs/ilm_issue_november_december_2013

Additional links:
More information on the Store-A-Tooth™ service provided by Provia Laboratories

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Company Updates, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Packaging stem cells in capsules for heart therapy

Posted by James Andrews on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 @ 02:10 PM

Stem cell therapy for heart disease is happening. Around the world, thousands of heart disease patients have been treated in clinical studies with some form of bone marrow cells or stem cells.

But in many of those studies, the actual impact on heart function was modest or inconsistent. One reason is that most of the cells either don’t stay in the heart or die soon after being introduced into the body.

Cardiology researchers at Emory have a solution for this problem. The researchers package stem cells in a capsule made of alginate, a gel-like substance. Once packaged, the cells stay put, releasing their healing factors over time.

Researchers used encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells to form a “patch” that was applied to the hearts of rats after a heart attack. Compared with animals treated with naked cells (or with nothing), rats treated with the capsule patches displayed increased heart function, reduced scar size and more growth of new blood vessels a month later. In addition, many more of the encapsulated cells stayed alive.

Alginate
Alginate has several biomedical uses already. It's used in wound dressings and in the goop dentists use to make dental impressions. Here it forms capsules around mesenchymal stem cells.

“This approach appears to be an effective way to increase cell retention and survival in the context of cardiac cell therapy,” says W. Robert Taylor, MD, professor of medicine and director of the cardiology division at Emory University School of Medicine and professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory. “It may be a strategy applicable to many cell types for regenerative therapy in cardiovascular disease.”

The results were published October 10 in the Journal of the American Heart Association ("Cellular Encapsulation Enhances Cardiac Repair"). The first author is cardiovascular research fellow Rebecca Levit, MD. She and her colleagues collaborated with the laboratory of Andres Garcia, PhD, in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech at Emory University, in developing the patch used to apply the encapsulated cells.

When introduced into the heart after a heart attack, cells face both an inhospitable inflammatory environment and mechanical forces that act on them like fingers squeezing slippery watermelon seeds, Taylor says.

“These cells are social creatures -- they like to be together,” he says. “From some studies of cell therapy after myocardial infarction, one can estimate that more than 90 percent of the cells are lost in the first hour. With numbers like that, it’s easy to make the case that retention is the first place to look to boost effectiveness.”

Encapsulation keeps the mesenchymal stem cells together in the heart and keeps them happy. It allows them to sense the outside environment and release smaller proteins such as the growth factors the cells produce, while preventing larger proteins such as antibodies from coming in and spoiling the party.

Alginate, the material used to encapsulate the stem cells, has plenty of biomedical and culinary uses already. It’s a cooking tool in the hands of inventive chefs, and it’s part of wound dressings and the goop dentists use to take impressions of someone’s teeth. Collin Weber, MD, a diabetes researcher at Emory and a co-author on the paper, has been using alginate to encapsulate insulin-producing islet cells, and alginate-encapsulated islets are being tested in clinical trials for diabetes.

Encasing cells in a gel does prevent cells from becoming part of the cardiac muscle tissue and replacing cells that have died – but mesenchymal stem cells aren’t really expected to do that anyway.

Instead, scientists believe the main benefits they provide for the heart are hormones and growth factors that encourage the regeneration of blood vessels. Mesenchymal stem cells can be obtained from adult tissues such as dental pulp or bone marrow (dental pulp was a rich source of stem cells discovered in 2000 and has become one of the easisest non-invasive way of collecting stem cells for future potential use).

A month after an artificial heart attack, rat hearts’ ejection fraction – a measure of how much the volume of blood in the heart changes when it pumps -- fell from 72 percent to 34 percent. When rats were treated with encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells, the ejection fraction was 56 percent, a substantial improvement, but when rats were treated with naked cells, the ejection fraction was 39 percent, not as much.

One of the main effects of the stem cells seems to be in promoting blood vessel growth; in capsule-treated rats, the damaged area of the heart had a density of blood vessels several times that of controls.

How long do the encapsulated stem cells stay in the heart? The patch used in the study, made of a hydrogel, breaks down over 10 days. Taylor says his laboratory plans to try different materials to modulate how fast the patch dissolves and thus how long the capsules are bound within the patch.

In a clinical setting, Taylor says the goal is to use a patient’s own (autologous) cells as a source for cell therapy materials. A source for mesenchymal stem cells could be obtained from the patient’s bone marrow. The cells would need to grow outside the body for several days in a facility like the Emory Personalized Immunotherapy Center to have enough for a therapeutic effect.

Source: Emory University

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

The costs of banking stem cells: Public and private banks

Posted by James Andrews on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @ 11:18 AM

Video - Cost of Public vs Private stem cell bankingDr. Ian Rogers is featured in this video speaking to an audience at the inaugural StemCellTalks symposium.

In this part, Rogers discusses the main differences between private and public cord-blood banks, noting in particularly the different cost structures associated with each model.

The key take-aways:

Private Bank: >98% of received samples banked
Public Bank: ~50% of received samples banked

Private Bank: Sample owned by family
Public Bank: Sample owned by the stem cell bank

Private Bank: $1500-$2000 up-front cost, ~ $150/year after
Public Bank: No cost to  donor

Private Bank: No cost to release sample
Public Bank: $25,000 - 30,000 to release sample

Private Bank: Any hospital can access sample for family
Public Bank: Only select hospitals can access the sample

What is private stem cell banking?

For a fee, a private stem cell bank will collect, process, freeze, and store your family's stem cells umbilical for future medical use. There are two potential ways that your family might use privately stored stem cells.

One is if someone in your family needs a stem cell transplant to treat a certain potentially fatal disease, such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia, lymphomas, or an immune deficiency.

The other possibility is that your chiuld might need his or her own stem cells for one of the new therapies in which stem cells help children with developmental problems to heal themselves. Babies and young children in the United States are currently being given their own cord blood in clinical trials to develop therapies for cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain), oxygen deprivation at birth, traumatic brain injury, sensorineural hearing loss, and type-1 (juvenile) diabetes.

Private stem cell banking is a way for families to save their stem cells exclusively for their family. Public stem cell banks don't store donations for a particular person. Instead, the banked stem cells are available to anyone needing a stem cell transplant, or it may be sold for medical research.

To find out more about how stem cells are collected and what it's used for, see our overview of stem cell banking.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

A new series of animated stem cell videos – StemCellShorts

Posted by James Andrews on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

Animated Video - what is a stem cellThe first StemCellShorts video has been officially launched: “What is a stem cell?” narrated by stem cell researcher Dr. Jim Till.

Anyone who has spent time searching the Internet for quality educational materials will no doubt have encountered these common problems: there’s loads of stuff out there; not all of it is particularly good, current or accurate; the format and length may not be appropriate; and it may have a different focus than what you’re looking for (i.e. has commercial interests or is targeted at a narrow audience).


This is certainly true of online information pertaining to stem cell science, so when the Stem Cell Network offered a Public Outreach Award to help create educational or lay-friendly resources for public consumption, Mike Long and Ben Paylor embarked on the creation of StemCellShorts.

StemCellShorts is a series of  animated videos, roughly one-minute in length, that answers basic questions about stem cell research. Important to the success and academic credibility of the pieces, they decided to have each piece narrated by a prominent Canadian stem cell researcher.

The first video focuses on answering the questions “What is a stem cell?”. The piece is narrated by, arguably the most famous Canadian stem cell researcher, Dr. Jim Till.

Dr. Till had this to say about the project,

“I felt that it was important to contribute to “What is a stem cell” because of the fortuitous involvement of Dr. Ernest McCulloch and myself in what turned out to be the foundation of a new field of experimental stem cell research. I also hoped that my participation might possibly increase, to some extent, interest in the video.”

– Dr. Jim Till, Professor Emeritus, Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

Stay posted for two more videos:

  • “What are embryonic stem cells?” narrated by Dr. Janet Rossant
  • “What are induced pluripotent stem cells?” narrated by Dr. Mick Bhatia

These stem cell shorts will be released later in October - Don't want to miss the? - subscribe to the stem cell newsletter to receive up to date news and alerts when we publish new content.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Overwhelming Efficacy is Demonstrated in Landmark Stem Cell Study

Posted by James Andrews on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 @ 02:30 PM

Diabetic foot ulcerOsiris Therapeutics, Inc., reported today that its multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing the safety and effectiveness of Grafix® to standard of care in patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers had met the pre-specified stopping rules for overwhelming efficacy as determined by the data monitoring committee during a planned interim analysis.

For the primary endpoint, 62% of patients receiving Grafix had complete wound closure compared to only 21% (p<0.0001) of patients who received conventional treatment for their wounds - a relative improvement of 191% and the largest ever reported from such a study.

TRIAL SIZE:

A total of 131 patients were enrolled with the interim analysis being conducted on the first 97 to complete the trial.

diabetes foot ulcerMORE ABOUT THE TRIAL:

The trial also reached statistical significance in favor of Grafix on all top-line secondary endpoints, demonstrating faster wound closure and a reduction in the number of treatments needed to achieve wound closure.

In the crossover phase of the trial, patients whose wounds failed to close after 12 weeks of standard of care had an 80% closure rate when switched to Grafix. Importantly, patients randomized to receive standard of care were 74% more likely to experience an adverse event than those receiving Grafix (p=0.008). As a result, the blinded phase of the trial is being discontinued immediately and all patients randomized to the control arm will be offered treatment with Grafix.

"Today, Osiris has established a new standard in diabetic wound care and has demonstrated to the world the tremendous impact stem cell products can have in medicine," said C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer.

"Diabetic foot ulcers afflict 25% of all diabetics and are responsible for more hospitalizations than any other diabetic complication. With 25 million diabetics in the United States, the cost to our health care system is enormous. Through this rigorous study we have shown that Grafix can heal more patients, in less time, and with fewer complications."

"These data points are very compelling as we have not had a new cellular therapy for diabetic foot ulcers in over 10 years," said Dr. Larry Lavery, Principal Investigator and Professor of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "Compared to other similarly designed studies, this trial demonstrates, by far, the largest relative improvement in complete wound closure. This is great news for our patients with diabetic foot ulcers that are at such high risk of losing their legs."

WHAT IS GRAFIX?

Grafix is a human cellular repair matrix that provides a high-quality source of living mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). It is a flexible, conforming membrane that is applied directly to acute and chronic wounds.

"We know now that an unfortunate consequence of diabetes is the pathological change that occurs with the number and functionality of certain stem cell populations necessary for optimal wound repair," said Michelle LeRoux Williams, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer. "With Grafix, we are able to help correct this problem by providing patients with a rich source of healthy, non-controversial stem cells contained within a biologic matrix for easy delivery in the out-patient setting."

Osiris partnered with CPC Clinical Research, an Academic Clinical Research Organization (CRO), who was responsible for all clinical monitoring, data management, and biostatistics services.
"One key aspect of an academically led CRO is our credible scientific oversight and quality control during the execution of the trial," said William R. Hiatt, M.D., President of CPC and Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine. "This is one of the most rigorous wound care trials conducted, enhanced by our proprietary wound core lab technology which is able to independently assess wound closure in a blinded manner."


About the Trial (Protocol 302)
Protocol 302 is a single-blind, randomized, controlled multi-centered trial is evaluating the efficacy and safety of weekly applications of Grafix for the treatment of chronic diabetic foot ulcers.

A total of 131 patients were enrolled at 19 leading wound care centers across the United States. Patients between 18 and 80 years of age with confirmed type 1 or type 2 diabetes and chronic diabetic foot ulcers on the dorsal or plantar surface of the foot were randomized to Grafix or control dressings at a 1:1 ratio. Ulcers had to be present for at least 4 weeks prior to randomization and be between 1 cm2 and 15 cm2 in size. Patients were excluded from the trial if the ulcer decreased with more than 30% during the one week screening period.

Patients received treatment weekly for up to 12 weeks. The primary endpoint measures complete wound closure by 12 weeks as determined by the investigator and confirmed by an independent, blinded Wound Core Lab. Secondary endpoints include complete wound closure rates for those patients that complete all scheduled treatments, time to wound closure, number of applications, proportion of patients achieving at least a 50% reduction in wound size by day 28 and number of re-occurrences. Patients randomized to the control group who did not heal within 12 weeks entered a cross-over arm for evaluation in an additional 12 week open-label treatment with Grafix.

Tags: Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Balding and/or going grey? you need to read this...

Posted by James Andrews on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 @ 03:13 PM
Lack of stem cells blamed for going bald

We have previously blogged about the real potential stem cells represent in the quest to find a cure for baldness but a new clinical study finally proves that stress is to blame for grey hairs and the key to the problem is stem cells - stress a study has found, kills off stem cells.

For years there has been an anecdotal belief that high levels of stress are linked to the greying of hair, now following a study with mice researchers have confirmed there is some truth in it.
The US team found that the appearance of grey hairs could be the result of a depletion of stems cells.

Hair and skin colour is controlled by melanocyte stem cells which are found in the base of hair follicles - an area known as the bulge.

Dr Mayumi Ito and colleagues from New York University discovered stress not only causes stem cells to leave, but when they do they are not replaced, and therefore the hairs turn white.

The scientists investigated the stem cell behaviour by looking at how they leave hair follicles to repair damaged skin.

“Stress hormones promote melanocyte migration from hair follicles to damaged skin,” Dr Ito said.
"We thought it would be interesting to speculate that excessive stress might promote this migration too much."

The study has fascinated scientists from around the world, including Associate Professor Rick Sturm from the University of Queensland, Australia.

He said: "Normally stem cells only stay in the bulge region.
"If you lose the stem cells from the bulge region, the hair follicles in that area would become white."

Grey hair caused by ageing is the result of exhaustion and loss of melanocyte stem cells, and stress could cause similar results.

The study may also point to new methods of treatment for skin pigmentation disorders.

Dr Ito added: "If we can know more about how melanocytes migrate, we may be able to improve the treatment of other skin pigmentation disorders."
The study was reported in the Nature Medicine journal.


Balding men could also be offered hope of waking their 'sleeping' hair

Scientists have discovered that hair follicles in people who are balding are trapped in a "sleeping" state and are now developing a new treatment to combat baldness.

It sounds more like an explanation that would be used by nursery children than respected scientists, but researchers have found that rather than losing their hair altogether, people who are going bald are suffering from "sleeping" hair follicles.
Trichologists have discovered that hair follicles on the scalp can become trapped in a resting state where they do not grow new hair, leading to thinning.

They now claim to have identified a way of waking the follicles up again to help restore a fuller head of hair to people who are going bald.

Unfortunately they may not be able to delay the balding process forever, as eventually the hair follicles lose the ability to make new hair, but for those who are starting to get a bit thin on top, it may help stave of the need for embarrassing wigs, comb overs or hair transplants.

Dr Bruno Bernard, head of hair biology at L'Oreal in Paris who carried out the research, has now announced that the company are developing a new treatment that can be applied to the scalp in a shampoo or cream to help encourage hair to grow again.

He said: "Hair follicles exist in two stable states – either an active state or a dormant state. From time to time, they will jump from one state to another.
"Some of the follicles are just resting in the dormant state and are waiting for the right signal to make new hair. They are in a latency period. If you can reduce this latency period, you will have more hair.

"We have identified a compound and we are going to make a formulation of it that can be applied to the scalp to wake the follicle up from its sleeping state to the active state."
Up to half of all men suffer from androgenic alopecia, the most common cause of hair loss and thinning in humans. It is estimated that around eight million women in the UK also suffer excessive hair loss to some degree.

Typically hair strands grow continually for a period of up to four years before the follicles switch to a dormant state and the strand of hair falls out. During this dormant period, stem cells in the skin begin the processes needed to grow new hair.

In people who are going bald, however, this process can stall and new hair does not form.
Scientists working with Dr Bernard at L'Oreal believe they have identified why this happens. They have found two reservoirs of stem cells help are responsible for creating new hair, one that is near the surface of the skin and one that is deeper in the layers of the skin.
The bottom reservoir of stem cells, called CD34+ cells, are in an environment that is low in oxygen, known as hypoxia, which helps to keep the stem cells in a healthy condition.

Dr Bernard, who presented the findings at the European Hair Research society in Barcelona, said that in people who are going bald, the levels of oxygen around these stem cells have changed, meaning they work less efficiently and so preventing the creating of new hair.

"The stem cells can sense the amount of oxygen around them," he said. "We have identified molecules that mimic the effect of hypoxia on the stem cells. It means we can push the empty hair follicles to make new hair fibres faster."

Banking on future cures

For decades, doctors have harnessed the unique ability of stem cells to treat leukemia and genetic blood diseases. But now, researchers are discovering that these cells have the power to heal, to fight disease, and to regenerate damaged or aging tissue throughout the body. To fully understand why they hold the potential to change your child’s medical future, get to know more about stem cells.

STEM CELL BASICS

Ordinary cells in your body replicate to make new cells of the same type - blood cells make more blood cells, skin cells make more skins cells and so on. However, there is another type of cell, called a stem cell. These are nature’s “master” cells, which can be “programmed” to regenerate a wide variety of cells and tissues.

Because stem cells can regenerate other types of body cells and tissues, stem cells have the ability to aid in healing. This is why scientists and doctors are so excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat disease, injury, and the deterioration of tissue due to aging. Amazingly, after our birth and into adulthood, we keep a store of these stem cells in certain parts of our body.

MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS

Stem cells come in different forms. One of the most well understood and widely researched types of stem cells is the mesenchymal stem cell. This type of stem cell can be found in the healthy dental pulp of teeth.

Mesenchymal stem cells can form tissues such as tendons, muscles, and blood vessels.

YOUNGER IS BETTER

The younger the stem cell, the more potent the stem cell. Freezing cells in a youthful state preserves their future ability to generate replacement tissue and heal the body. Younger cells divide more frequently, grow faster, and can turn into a greater variety of cell types. Why do you think a seven year old heals so much faster than a seventy year old?

All of these attributes make stem cells the cornerstone of the emerging field of treatments and therapies called Regenerative Medicine.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Subscribe to Email

Latest Posts

Follow Me