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First public sector stem cell bank to come up at KGMU – Times of India

By JoanneRUSSELL25

LUCKNOW: In what may come as a relief to over 1 lakh patients of thalassemia in India, a public sector stem cell bank is set to come up at UP's King George's Medical University here. A project of the university's transfusion medicine department, the stem cell bank would roll out stem cell therapy to patients of thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia. The proposal is awaiting clearance from state department of medical education.

Stem cells are omnipotent and can take shape of any cell inside the body. If infused in the pancreas, stem cells will become pancreatic while in the liver, they will become liver cells.

These are found in human bone marrow and can be derived from the umbilical cord which contains blood vessels that connect baby in the womb to the mother to ingest nutrition required for development.

Research on the therapeutic use of stem cells is underway in US, Europe, China, South East Asia besides India. In UP, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) and KGMU are both trying to explore the potential of stem cells to treat various health problems. SGPGI has, so far, restricted itself to use of allogenic (stem cells derived from bone marrow of a person), while KGMU has used stem cells derived from the umbilical cord.

Head of transfusion medicine department of KGMU, Prof Tulika Chandra said, "Several private sector stem cell banks like Life Cell and Cord Life India are operating in India but they serve only those who have deposited the baby's cord, while our bank will help everyone."

KGMU has sustained access to umbilical cord because of a very developed obstetrics and gynaecology department. The cord is gathered from the placenta in the uterus of pregnant women which nourishes and maintains the baby through the umbilical cord.

Sources in medical education department said the proposal is worth Rs 9 crore including infrastructure cost. "Stem cell bank promises to become financially self-sustaining within 2-3 years of inception," said a directorate officer.

Talking about why children with thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia were chosen, Chandra said, "Global literature shows umbilical cord stem cells can induce extraordinary results on such children. In fact, success rate is around 70-75% and higher score can be achieved if therapy is provided at an earlier age."

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Duluth Woman Meets, Finds Similarities with Stem Cell Donor – WDIO-TV

By Sykes24Tracey

So how did they come together? It was less than 3 years ago that Edwards received the toughest news anyone can receive from a doctor.

"I was then diagnosed with leukemia, a rare form of leukemia," said Edwards.

The treatment for this rare form of blood cancer included multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.

"All in all, it was enough toxins to kill a person if you ask me," said Edwards.

Edwards was also hoping to find help from someone else's blood.

"We started the search through Delete Blood Cancer and found a match," said Edwards.

The goal was to find a donor with a similar genetic makeup who could give Edwards their stem cells.

"We tried to match my brother and sister, but unfortunately there were not. So, we kept the search until we could find a match. It was a little nerve-racking, said Edwards.

That's where Halfkann comes in.

"I got a letter that I can be a stem cell donor, and I must go to the clinic in Cologne," said Halfkann.

Halfkann was already previously registered having signed up after one of her coworkers became ill. Although no successful matches were found back in Germany, in Minnesota, Halfkann was exactly who Merissa was looking for.

"Daniela is the only match in the world," said Edwards.

The news that Halfkann could save a stranger's life in the United States delighted the soft-spoken German.

"I'm so happy. I'm grateful," said Halfkann.

The stem cell procedure was pretty simple. Daniela donated blood. The stem cells were filtered out, then sent to Merissa in Minnesota where they were injected.

"There's a lot of complications after the stem cell transplant that could've gone wrong. Fortunately it didn't, which made Daniela an even more perfect match than she already is," said Edwards.

When Edwards heard about the woman who extended her life, she connected with Halfkann online.

"At first we wrote email, and then we connected on Facebook," said Halfkann.

After just a few notes, it was quickly discovered that the two have more in common than the blood running through their veins.

"We like a lot of the same things. Both have 2 children. Both of our husbands are firefighters," said Edwards.

And Edwards continues to successfully battle cancer.

"Right now I am in remission. That doesn't mean that I'll necessarily be cancer-free, but knock on wood...that's the goal...that the cancer will never come back," said Edwards.

There was only one thing left for Edwards to do; meet the woman and family that saved her life. So just a few weeks ago, the pair met for the very first time at Duluth International Airport.

"She is so nice. She is so lovely. I'm so happy we can be here," said Halfkann.

In the ten days together, they and their families created many memories. Halfkann got a glimpse of the life Edwards is now able to hold on to, and it wasn't long before the pair found more in common.

"We seem to like the same things...fruity tea, crafting, sewing, just similar interests in hobbies. Another common interest, shoes," said Edwards.

Both husbands also enjoyed their time together. At the firehouse, Merissa's husband, Dennis, giving Daniela's husband, Stefan, a tour of some of the American rigs and a ride along during an emergency call.

Back at headquarters, the crew made a home-cooked dinner for Halfkann's family and someone else who helped make all of this happen: Amanda Schamper, a representative of the registry that matched Edwards and Halfkann.

"What we try to do is to raise awareness in all communities that this is a problem out there. People are searching for their donor match and can't find one," Schamper.

Schamper also showed everyone just how easy it is to sign up to be a bone marrow and stem cell donor.

"We do have a statistic that nearly 14,000 patients are told that they needed a transplant each year, and less than half can't get one because they can't find a donor match on the registry, said Schamper.

During the visit, Edward's extended family threw a get-together in honor of Halfkann. Edward's sister-in-law Kris Hansen is just as grateful.

"Just to know that she's here and they've met each other, and that she can save a life...it's incredible. It's nice to be able to see her and her family and her two adorable daughters," said Hansen.

Through the countless hugs at the party, family members repeated one phrase that transcends all languages.

"I guess the biggest thing we have to say is Danka Daniella!" said Hansen.

"Thank you for saving my life. Thank you for letting me be a Mom. Thank you for coming here so I can meet you and meet your beautiful children and your husband," Edwards said to Halfkann.

And with thanks, comes gratitude.

"I'll forever be grateful to you. You will always be a part of my family." said Edwards.

And this bond that will last a lifetime.

"We're forever connected," said Edwards.

"Yes. Forever," said Halfkann.

Edwards says she and her family are making plans to visit the Halfkann's in Germany.

If you're interested in signing up to become a bone marrow or stem cell donor, it's free and only takes a few moments. A link to that website can be found here.

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My husband’s heart failure inspired a life-saving stem cell therapy – Telegraph.co.uk

By Sykes24Tracey

Its our goal for this to be a normal NHS procedure, so everyone who has a heart problem [and could benefit from this] will be able to. There are few downsides because theres no rejection as theyre your own stem cells, and every patient who has successfully had this treatment ends up taking less medication.

Jenifer is overjoyed with the progress already made, and knows that Ian would be, too, had he lived to tell his story.

For Ian, the treatment gave him an extra three years of life, but in 2006 he died from heart failure, at the age of 70.

He would be so thrilled, says Jenifer. His concern would be were not doing it quick enough, because for him everything had to be done immediately. But to have achieved this much well, the medical world says weve done it all in a very short space of time.

The couple spent their final years together alternating between their family home in St Johns Wood, north London, and a holiday home in Miami.

They were both each others second spouses, having married in 1980 after a whirlwind romance in Cannes Jenifers first husband had died, while Ian had divorced his wife and did not have children together. But Ian had two children from his first marriage, as well as two young grandchildren who he was able to spend those extra three years with.

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Sensational 8-Year-Old Violinist Living With Painful Disease – KSDK

By LizaAVILA

Sensational 8-Year-Old Violinist Living With Painful Disease

WINSTON-SALEM, NC Its hard to walk through life without hitting a sour note or two. In Winston-Salem, there's a young boy with talent beyond his years and a disease that nearly crippled him. His father gave up his career to take care of his son and to get him healthy.

Child Prodigy

We only listen to classical music at home," said Lucas Sant, a father of three living in Winston-Salem. He sits with his youngest, Helen, 2, on his lap. His second oldest daughter, Maria-Anita, 7, sits on his right and his only son, Caesar, 8, sits to his left.

Hes telling WFMY News 2s reporter, Hope Ford, about his sons remarkable talent.

When he was just a baby, we bought Baby Einstein, and you know, they have the animals and the music. So, we bought him a little toy piano, Lucas began. And one day, when he was seven months old, we heard this music coming from the room. It sounded like the toy piano, but it was the music from the Baby Einstein.

Lucas turned to his wife, Aline, with a knowing smile and said, We have our work to do with this boy.

Videos uploaded to YouTube, show a baby Caesar, waving his arms along to classical music such as Beethoven, almost as if he were conducting a symphony.

A baby Caesar and his father listening to classical music. (Photo: Sant family)

Violin lessons started the age of two.*

He started playing Vivaldi. He would pick up things very quick, said Lucas. Everybody was very impressed.

GoFundMe

All the Sant children are homeschooled and it would be no surprise to learn Caesar is just as brilliant with a pencil as he is with an instrument. The young boy is ahead in math and other subjects and earned a black belt in karate at 5-years-old.

A Painful Disease

Lucas sat in his seat, as baby Helen decided she wanted to leave the room to see what her mom was up to. As she ran into the next room, Lucas continued his story.

Immediately, he started to get sick. Before five, he had the first stroke.

Caesar has sickle cell anemia.

You never know anything until you experience, Lucas said in a soft voice.

Sickle cell anemia is a blood disease. Normal red blood cells are round and flexible to carry oxygen throughout the body. Caesars blood cells are sickle-shaped or bent and get stuck, slowing the flood of blood and oxygen.

Lucas explained, Its different. Its my son and I never seen this thing.

Caesar, who up until this point sat quietly next to his father with his violin in his lap said, I feel bad. I dont feel good when Im sick.

The curly haired violinist has three strokes before the age of six. The first two left his arms weak, but he rebounded, performing the National Anthem at the Grasshoppers Game in 2013.

The third one was a different stroke, said his dad.

Caesar lost feeling in his arms and legs after his third stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed for nearly six months.

At first, even his eyes was not moving. But, when he did wake up, all of a sudden your son not walk, not run, not stand up, Lucas said as if he was still trying to make sense of it all.

Doctors told the Sant family, It is very unlikely your son is going to die but do not expect much from him.

Lucas paused for a moment and continued, But the good thing there, you really meet God. What am I supposed to do God? Please tell me.

The only thing that seemed right at the time, was for Lucas to give up his career. The father of three was a neuroscientist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Forget about my life. I said, Im going give my life to this boy.

Young Caesar in the hospital. (Photo: Sant family)

The Sant family built a small play gym in the basement of their home. Here, Lucas would help Caesar with physical therapy, as they could not afford to hire someone full time to help him regain strength and movement in his arms and legs.

Some days and good and some are bad. Three years after his last stroke, Caesar still winces in pain as he goes through his exercises. But, he finds moments to laugh with his siblings, who cheer him on. And as an 8-year-old, he is a little hard to get under control. For Lucas, the physical therapy takes a toll on his as well.

First, Im not a physical therapist. I have a lot of patience but its very hard for you see your son one way, said Lucas. Sometime, we have to take breaks because it is difficult and it sometimes weighs on my own health.

But, once again, Caesar regained his strength, returning to the Grasshoppers stadium in 2017 to perform the National Anthem once again.

A Small Miracle

Every month, Caesar and his family travel to Charlotte for blood transfusions to lower the risk of Caesar having another stroke. He'll have to do this for the unforeseeable future and there are risks.*

Frequent blood transfusions can lead to iron overload which is sometimes fatal. Caesar's family is trying for a bone marrow transplant which has a higher percentage of curing his sickle cell disease.

They have a donor- his baby sister, Helen.

As if she knew her name had been mentioned, the young girl, called the boss of the family, walked back into the room, sharing bites of her rice with her siblings and father.

Lucas and his wife wanted another child, but they also wanted to ensure the next child would not have the sickle cell anemia trait. they also wanted to ensure they would have a 100 percent genetic match for Caesar's procedure.

Maria-Anita was also born with sickle cell anemia, but unlike her brother, has yet to experience any complications.

So, Aline got pregnant via in vitro fertilization. Doctors only planted cells that were a genetic match and only healthy cells were selected. Thus, Helen was conceived and at birth, her umbilical cord was collected.

Helen, was born sickle-cell free.

They took the stem cells from the umbilical cord and now they have perfect cells, to do the transplant on him, said Lucas.

The Next Step

The Sant family is trying to raise money for a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. The process is long and costly. According to Johns Hopkins, one hospital that specializes in bone marrow/stem cell transplants, they say the cost can run as high as $500,000.

However, sickle cell anemia can be cured with the procedure.

Offering her big brother another big of food, Helen, Caesars sisterly hero, smiled and ran off.

Lucas continued to explain the familys financial situation.

Its difficult, with me not having a job. But, we have had people help us along the way. But, we are still trying so hard to raise money for the surgery.

A GoFundMe account was started in 2013. To date, $38,000 has been raised. The family also started a website to give updates and sell merchandise to help raise funds as well.

Caesar still walks with a limp and must be careful when sitting down. Lucas looked at his son and said Were so happy because he got back. He got back, but the job is not done. Faith, hope, these things so real. Cause if dont have what you can do? You give up right there.

Caesar piped in again, Sometimes I tell my father, papa, I dont know when Im going to be back, but God is always with me.

Lucas isnt giving up. His hope, to have son healthy by 2018.

And Caesars hope?

I want to be a musician and a conductor.

*This story has been updated to correct information. Lessons for Caesar started at the age of 2 and 300ml of his blood is replaced every month during his blood transfusions.

5 Facts About Sickle Cell Disease (CDC)

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Attacking A Patient’s Immune Cells May Wipe Out HIV – Wall Street Pit

By JoanneRUSSELL25

Last February, Timothy Ray Brown a.k.a. the Berlin patient celebrated his 10th birthday. Well, sort of. His 10th birthday actually refers to the 10th anniversary marking his recognition as the only person in the world to be cured of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Browns incredible story began in 1995 when he was diagnosed with HIV. For over 10 years, he was able to stave off the disease by taking antiretroviral drugs. But disaster decided to strike again. Aside from HIV, it turned out that he had developed cancer as well, specifically, acute myeloid leukemia.

To fight off the cancer, Browns doctors decided to use chemotherapy and radiation to destroy his immune system, then use donated stem cells via a bone marrow transplant to rebuild it. It was supposed to be a standard treatment, but the doctors tweaked it a bit. The stem cell donor they chose was immune to HIV. Scientifically, this means that the donor had a gene mutation that caused him not to have CCR5 in his cells; CCR5 is the protein that allows HIV to get into a persons blood cells.

Brown received two bone marrow transplants, and the results were nothing short of a miracle he was cured of both HIV and cancer!

That extraordinary feat resulted in a common consensus that it was the transplant that saved Brown from his two lethal diseases. Based on new evidence, however, that conclusion might have to be re-evaluated. It might not have been the transplant that cured him. Rather, his immune systems reaction to the transplant that finally did the trick.

The immune reaction is known as graft-versus-host disease. Essentially, what happens is this: the donors immune cells attack the recipients cells. In Browns case, the donors cells attacked his immune cells (including the HIV contained in the cells). The result was the death of the HIV in his system.

At the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Spain, six patients with HIV and cancer who received treatment similar with Browns now appear to be cleared of HIV.

Something to think about, though. Among the six patients, only one received the exact same treatment as Browns the bone marrow donor had the CCR5 gene mutation. Yet all six of them developed graft-versus-host disease.

Unless they stop taking their anti-HIV drugs, it cant be confirmed if they have been completely cleared of HIV. So far, though, all HIV tests on the six of them have been negative for 2 years. And that can certainly add support to the idea that its the graft-versus-host disease that kills HIV, not the transplant.

Still, if this does turn out to be accurate, it might not be such an appealing approach to use because its virtually a deliberate attempt to kill a patients immune cells which can easily turn fatal. Especially for patients who have the means to afford the expensive anti-HIV drugs, exposing ones self to further risk via transplantation is not really a logical option.

Although theres some consolation in the fact that at least there are anti-HIV drugs that can keep the disease at bay as long as you continue taking the drugs, its obviously far from being satisfactory given the fact that not everyone can afford such an expensive lifetime treatment. Which is why so much studying still needs to be done to better understand HIVs behavior and how this nasty virus can be eradicated. Lets hope science eventually leads us to a safer and more affordable cure.

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New ‘cure’ for thalassemia sufferers – Trade Arabia

By raymumme

Most of the Gulfs thalassemia sufferers can now be cured of the debilitating blood disease through a safe and effective bone marrow transplant procedure performed in the US, said one of the worlds leading pediatric hematologists, ahead of International Thalassemia Day on May 8.

Thalassemia is a genetic blood disease, common across the wider Middle East and South Asia, in which victims are not able to make enough hemoglobin a necessary component in healthy red blood cells, carrying oxygen to all parts of the body and, thus, suffer from severe anemia and eventual organ failure, and, ultimately, premature death.

The condition is typically treated with life-long, cost-prohibitive supportive care, with most thalassemia sufferers dying before the age of 40. However, the latest advances in bone marrow transplantation significantly reduce both treatment time and cost, giving Gulf thalassemia patients and their families new hope, said a statement.

With thalassemia, we want to treat the underlying disease, not just the symptoms, and this approach requires bone marrow transplantation, said Dr Rabi Hanna, pediatric oncologist at US-based Cleveland Clinic.

Now, finding a matching bone marrow donor is much easier, as we only require a haplo-donor half-match, meaning every patient can find a donor (father, mother or half-sibling), as opposed to only 25 per cent, which has been the case for the last 25 years, added Dr Hanna. Bone marrow transplantation is the process by which a compatible donor, typically a matching sibling, has his or her stem cells transplanted into the thalassemia patients bloodstream via a tube called a central venous catheter. The stem cells travel through the blood into the bone marrow, thus enabling the growth of healthy, oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

The leading US hospital also believes it can work far more effectively with Gulf-based physicians to reduce the standard one-year treatment timeline for transplantation patients, as well as the associated costs and familial inconveniences associated with patient relocation. Some patients may only need to spend as few as three months in the US, it said.

The Dubai Thalassemia Center at the Dubai Health Authority will be one of several healthcare providers in the region to consider the new curative treatment option for its patients.

One such patient, 14-year-old UAE national was seen and treated by Dr Hanna at Cleveland Clinic last year and has benefited from a successful novel reduced intensity Haplo bone marrow transplant in November of 2016.

My life is now completely normal, and I expect to live into old age. I even have high energy levels, enabling me to experience activity for the first time in my life, said the patient.

I no longer require regular blood transfusions, and I can attend school without missing classes and other activities, she said. TradeArabia News Service

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Vitamin A deficiency is detrimental to blood stem cells – Science Daily

By LizaAVILA


UPI.com
Vitamin A deficiency is detrimental to blood stem cells
Science Daily
Therefore, steady replenishment of these cells is indispensable. They arise from so-called "adult" stem cells that divide continuously. In addition, there is a group of very special stem cells in the bone marrow that were first discovered in 2008 by a ...
Vitamin A deficiency harms stem cells, study saysUPI.com

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Sensational 8-Year-Old Violinist Living With Painful Disease – WTSP 10 News

By JoanneRUSSELL25

Hope Ford, WFMY 4:05 PM. EDT May 07, 2017

Caesar Sant

WINSTON-SALEM, NC Its hard to walk through life without hitting a sour note or two. In Winston-Salem, there's a young boy with talent beyond his years and a disease that nearly crippled him. His father gave up his career to take care of his son and to get him healthy.

Child Prodigy

We only listen to classical music at home, said Lucas Sant, a father of three living in Winston-Salem. He sits with his youngest, Helen, 2, on his lap. His second oldest daughter, Maria-Anita, 7, sits on his right and his only son, Caesar, 8, sits to his left.

Hes telling WFMY News 2s reporter, Hope Ford, about his sons remarkable talent.

When he was just a baby, we bought Baby Einstein, and you know, they have the animals and the music. So, we bought him a little toy piano, Lucas began. And one day, when he was seven months old, we heard this music coming from the room. It sounded like the toy piano, but it was the music from the Baby Einstein.

Lucas turned to his wife, Aline, with a knowing smile and said, We have our work to do with this boy.

Videos uploaded to YouTube, show a baby Caesar, waving his arms along to classical music such as Beethoven, almost as if he were conducting a symphony.

A baby Caesar and his father listening to classical music. (Photo: Sant family)

Violin lessons started the age of four.

He started playing Vivaldi. He would pick up things very quick, said Lucas. Everybody was very impressed.

GoFundMe

All the Sant children are homeschooled and it would be no surprise to learn Caesar is just as brilliant with a pencil as he is with an instrument. The young boy is ahead in math and other subjects and earned a black belt in karate at 5-years-old.

A Painful Disease

Lucas sat in his seat, as baby Helen decided she wanted to leave the room to see what her mom was up to. As she ran into the next room, Lucas continued his story.

Immediately, he started to get sick. Before five, he had the first stroke.

Caesar has sickle cell anemia.

You never know anything until you experience, Lucas said in a soft voice.

Sickle cell anemia is a blood disease. Normal red blood cells are round and flexible to carry oxygen throughout the body. Caesars blood cells are sickle-shaped or bent and get stuck, slowing the flood of blood and oxygen.

Lucas explained, Its different. Its my son and I never seen this thing.

Caesar, who up until this point sat quietly next to his father with his violin in his lap said, I feel bad. I dont feel good when Im sick.

The curly haired violinist has three strokes before the age of six. The first two left his arms weak, but he rebounded, performing the National Anthem at the Grasshoppers Game in 2013.

The third one was a different stroke, said his dad.

Caesar lost feeling in his arms and legs after his third stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed for nearly six months.

At first, even his eyes was not moving. But, when he did wake up, all of a sudden your son not walk, not run, not stand up, Lucas said as if he was still trying to make sense of it all.

Doctors told the Sant family, It is very unlikely your son is going to die but do not expect much from him.

Lucas paused for a moment and continued, But the good thing there, you really meet God. What am I supposed to do God? Please tell me.

The only thing that seemed right at the time, was for Lucas to give up his career. The father of three was a neuroscientist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Forget about my life. I said, Im going give my life to this boy.

Young Caesar in the hospital. (Photo: Sant family)

The Sant family built a small play gym in the basement of their home. Here, Lucas would help Caesar with physical therapy, as they could not afford to hire someone full time to help him regain strength and movement in his arms and legs.

Some days and good and some are bad. Three years after his last stroke, Caesar still winces in pain as he goes through his exercises. But, he finds moments to laugh with his siblings, who cheer him on. And as an 8-year-old, he is a little hard to get under control. For Lucas, the physical therapy takes a toll on his as well.

First, Im not a physical therapist. I have a lot of patience but its very hard for you see your son one way, said Lucas. Sometime, we have to take breaks because it is difficult and it sometimes weighs on my own health.

But, once again, Caesar regained his strength, returning to the Grasshoppers stadium in 2017 to perform the National Anthem once again.

A Small Miracle

Every month, Caesar and his family travel to Charlotte for blood transfusions. 90 to 95 percent of his blood is replaced every month to lower the risk of Caesar having another stroke. He'll have to do this for the unforeseeable future and there are risks.

Frequent blood transfusions can lead to iron overload which is sometimes fatal. Caesar's family is trying for a bone marrow transplant which has a higher percentage of curing his sickle cell disease.

They have a donor- his baby sister, Helen.

As if she knew her name had been mentioned, the young girl, called the boss of the family, walked back into the room, sharing bites of her rice with her siblings and father.

Lucas and his wife wanted another child, but they also wanted to ensure the next child would not have the sickle cell anemia trait. they also wanted to ensure they would have a 100 percent genetic match for Caesar's procedure.

Maria-Anita was also born with sickle cell anemia, but unlike her brother, has yet to experience any complications.

So, Aline got pregnant via in vitro fertilization. Doctors only planted cells that were a genetic match and only healthy cells were selected. Thus, Helen was conceived and at birth, her umbilical cord was collected.

Helen, was born sickle-cell free.

They took the stem cells from the umbilical cord and now they have perfect cells, to do the transplant on him, said Lucas.

The Next Step

The Sant family is trying to raise money for a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. The process is long and costly. According to Johns Hopkins, one hospital that specializes in bone marrow/stem cell transplants, they say the cost can run as high as $500,000.

However, sickle cell anemia can be cured with the procedure.

Offering her big brother another big of food, Helen, Caesars sisterly hero, smiled and ran off.

Lucas continued to explain the familys financial situation.

Its difficult, with me not having a job. But, we have had people help us along the way. But, we are still trying so hard to raise money for the surgery.

A GoFundMe account was started in 2013. To date, $38,000 has been raised. The family also started a website to give updates and sell merchandise to help raise funds as well.

Caesar still walks with a limp and must be careful when sitting down. Lucas looked at his son and said Were so happy because he got back. He got back, but the job is not done. Faith, hope, these things so real. Cause if dont have what you can do? You give up right there.

Caesar piped in again, Sometimes I tell my father, papa, I dont know when Im going to be back, but God is always with me.

Lucas isnt giving up. His hope, to have son healthy by 2018.

And Caesars hope?

I want to be a musician and a conductor.

2017 WFMY-TV

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Vitamin A deficiency is detrimental to blood stem cells – Phys.Org

By raymumme

May 5, 2017

Lack of vitamin A in the body has a detrimental effect on the hematopoietic system in the bone marrow. The deficiency causes a loss of important blood stem cells, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg Institute of Stem Cell Research and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM) now report in the latest issue of the journal Cell. These findings will open up new prospects in cancer therapy.

Many specialized cells, such as in the skin, gut or blood, have a lifespan of only a few days. Therefore, steady replenishment of these cells is indispensable. They arise from so-called "adult" stem cells that divide continuously. In addition, there is a group of very special stem cells in the bone marrow that were first discovered in 2008 by a research team led by Andreas Trumpp, who is a division head at the DKFZ and director of HI-STEM. These cells remain in a kind of dormancy most of the time and only become active in an emergency such as bacterial or viral infections, heavy blood loss, or in the wake of chemotherapy. Once their work is done, the body sends its most potent stem cells back to sleep. The scientists assume that this protects them from dangerous mutations that may lead to leukemia.

The mechanisms that activate these special stem cells or make them go back to sleep after their work is done have remained elusive until now. The scientists have now identified retinoic acid, a vitamin A metabolite, as a crucial factor in this process. If this substance is absent, active stem cells are unable to return to a dormant state and mature into specialized blood cells instead. This means that they are lost as a reservoir. This was shown in studies with specially bred mice whose dormant stem cells are green fluorescent. "If we feed these mice on a vitamin A deficient diet for some time, this leads to a loss of the stem cells," said Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid, who is the first author of the publication. "Thus, we can prove for the first time that vitamin A has a direct impact on blood stem cells."

This finding not only enhances our understanding of the development of blood cells, it also sheds new light on prior studies that demonstrate that vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune system. "This shows how vitally important it is to have a sufficient intake of vitamin A from a balanced diet," Cabezas-Wallscheid emphasized. The body cannot produce its own vitamin A.

The scientists also have hopes for new prospects in cancer treatment. There is evidence that cancer cells, like healthy stem cells, also rest in a state of dormancy. When dormant, their metabolism is almost completely shut downand this makes them resistant to chemotherapy. "Once we understand in detail how vitamin A or retinoic acid, respectively, sends normal and malignant stem cells into dormancy, we can try to turn the tables," explained Trumpp. "If we could make cancer cells temporarily enter an active state, we could thus make them vulnerable to modern therapies."

In addition, in collaboration with colleagues from the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, the team performed genome-wide analyses of single cells and discovered that the transition from dormant to active stem cells and then on to progenitor cells is a continuous one and follows a different path for each individual cell. So far, scientists had assumed that specific cell types develop step by step in a defined pattern. This finding revolutionizes the previous concept of how cell differentiation in the body takes place.

Explore further: Vitamins and aminoacids regulate stem cell biology

More information: Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid et al, Vitamin A-Retinoic Acid Signaling Regulates Hematopoietic Stem Cell Dormancy, Cell (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.04.018

Journal reference: Cell

Provided by: German Cancer Research Center

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From Lubbers Stadium to Denmark: GVSU football player donates stem cells – WZZM

By Dr. Matthew Watson

April Stevens , WZZM 4:52 PM. EDT May 04, 2017

Nick Keizer during the donation process. He donated stem cells on his birthday, May 2, to a man in Denmark. (Photo: Courtesy of GVSU)

ALLENDALE, MICH. - A Grand Valley State University football player celebrated his birthday doing something utterly selfless -- donating stem cells to man in Denmark.

The Laker football tight end, Nick Keizer, and many of his teammates swabbed their cheeks a Michigan Blood registry drive in March 2016. At the time, Keizer said he never thought he would be a bone marrow match for someone.

"The presentation pulled at my heart and I thought, 'Why not sign up to be a donor?' Yet I also thought the odds of me actually being a match can't be that high," he said.

Being a bone marrow match is quite rare -- about a 1 in 500 chance, according to Caitlin Gallagher, community engagement representation for Michigan Blood and Be the Match.

Michigan Blood was notified in December that Keizer and the Denmark man were potential matches. Keizer was required to undergo more blood work and in February, was deemed a perfect match for a 59-year-old man in Denmark who suffered from a bone marrow disease.

Keizer's non-surgical donation took about four hours, and although he's "not a big needle guy" he went through with it all, "because, that doesn't compare to what the patient is going through."

His stem cells were sent by a volunteer courierwho flew to Denmark on May 2, Keizer's birthday.

Keizer is a Portage native, he graduate from Grand Valley on April 28 with a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance. Keizer is eligible to play one more season of football, and will finish his athletic career in the fall while pursuing a master's degree in business administration.

Makeit easy to keep up to date with more stories like this.Download theWZZM13 app now.

April Stevensis a multi-platform producer atWZZM13. Have a news tip? Emailnews@wzzm13.com, visit ourFacebook pageorTwitter.

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Amid uncertain future, state’s stem cell agency loses transformational leader – The San Diego Union-Tribune

By Sykes24Tracey

Californias stem cell agency is on the hunt for a new president and CEO after the surprise announcement this week that C. Randal Mills will be departing the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He will leave at the end of June.

Mills, who has headed the agency for three years, will become the next president and CEO of the National Marrow Donor Program. CIRM is replacing him on an interim basis with Maria Millan, M.D., the agencys vice president of therapeutics.

The state agency will soon begin a search for a permanent replacement, said Jonathan Thomas, CIRMs chairman. Millan is a candidate to fill that position, with Mills strong endorsement.

Mills is noted for reorganizing CIRM to provide greater systemic support for translating basic research into clinical science, and to provide quicker and more helpful responses to researchers seeking funding.

His initiative, called CIRM 2.0, was a response to criticism that the agency, funded with $3 billion in California bond money in 2004, has been too slow in getting treatments to patients.

Agency-supported treatments are now being tested in medical centers throughout the state, including San Diego County. Most prominently, CIRM has established an alpha stem cell clinic at UC San Diego. It is the cell therapy arm of UCSDs Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center.

Mills said he decided to leave because the National Marrow Donor Program, which he was familiar with, resonated with his own goals of making personal connections with patients.

Before joining CIRM in 2014, Mills was president and CEO of Osiris Therapeutics, developer of a pediatric stem cell drug called Prochymal, used to treat a complication of bone marrow transplants called graft vs. host disease.

If you look at my office, the walls are covered with pictures of the children that we treated who went through bone marrow transplantation, Mills said. Getting to know them, and getting to know their families that had a tremendous effect.

The unexpected announcement drew surprise and concern from stem cell researchers and observers. As admirers of CIRM 2.0, they expressed uncertainty about what direction the agency would take. And with the $3 billion beginning to run out, looking for a new source of funding will be a top concern of Mills successor.

Confidence

But Mills said Wednesday the agency will do well.

If me leaving CIRM is a problem, then I didnt do a good job at CIRM, Mills said. Whether its because Im going to be the head of the National Marrow Donor Program or I get hit by a car, the success of this organization, or any organization thats healthy and functional, should never pivot on one person, Mills said. Ive assembled a team at CIRM that I have absolute, absolute confidence in.

Mills said he would be surprised if Millan didnt turn out to be the agency boards overwhelming choice to be his permanent successor. She assisted in developing the agencys strategic plan and helped it run smoothly, he said.

In 2015, Mills named Millan as senior director of medical affairs and stem cell centers, one of three appointments to CIRMs leadership team. Before joining CIRM, she was vice president and acting chief medical officer at StemCells, Inc. Before that, Millan was director of the Pediatric Liver and Kidney Transplant Program at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Millan said the agencys strategic plan is working, and taking the agency where it needs to go. That plan was developed to guide researchers, doctors and companies over the predictable hurdles they encounter in translating basic research into therapies testable in the clinic and that companies would want to commercialize.

Weve already done the challenging piece of identifying the how how to get to the mission, which is to accelerate these stem cell treatments to those with unmet medical needs, Millan said. Team members are all aligned in accomplishing these goals One cant help but be more energized and motivated to execute on the strategic plan.

About 30 stem cell clinical trials are under way that the agency has funded at one stage or another in research and development.

Jonathan Thomas, the CIRM chairman, said Mills has done what he promised when joining CIRM, and the agency is operating markedly better, in productivity, speed and efficiency.

He has made it, through CIRM 2.0 and beyond, a humming machine that is operating on all cylinders, Thomas said. In doing that, hes worked extensively and highly collaboratively with Maria (Millan) and the rest of the team. That has made CIRM an even better operation than it ever was. So we are in extremely good shape right now to go forward.

Goals accomplished

Jeanne Loring, a CIRM-funded stem cell scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, said Mills made the agency friendlier and more predictable for the scientists it funds.

The first and most dramatic thing he did was to end the process of independent grants, Loring said. Under that process, each grant proposal was considered on its own, with no consideration for success under a previous grant for an earlier stage of the research.

It was always very troubling to people, I think, that they could do very well with CIRM money on an early-stage grant, and that would earn them nothing in a further application to continue the work, Loring said.

As part of CIRM 2.0, Mills emphasized that once projects were accepted for funding, CIRM would become a partner with the scientists to help them accelerate research and development, and ultimately commercialization.

Loring leads a team researching the use of stem cells for Parkinsons therapy. The cells are collected from the patients to be treated, making them a genetic match. They are then genetically reprogrammed to resemble embryonic stem cells, and then matured into the brain cells destroyed in Parkinsons.

Lorings team was awarded $2.4 million in 2016 from CIRM to advance its research. A next-stage grant to translate the research to a clinically ready approach would need about $7 million, Loring said. The work is part of Summit for Stem Cell, a nonprofit alliance of scientists, doctors, patients and Parkinsons disease community supporters.

Veteran stem cell watcher David Jensen praised Mills on his blog, California Stem Cell Report.

"Dr. Mills made substantial contributions to the agency during his tenure, improving both efficiency of the grant making process and transparency of CIRM's operations, Jensen quoted stem cell observer John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog as saying.

Simpson added that as CIRM draws down the rest of its $3 billion with no new funding in sight, its not surprising that Mills would accept another job.

Paul Knoepfler, a CIRM-funded stem cell scientist and blogger, wrote Tuesday that Mills had a big positive impact on CIRM and helped it go to the next level.

About the only thing I wasnt a fan of in terms of his leadership was my perception of his negativity toward the FDA and toward FDA oversight of stem cells, and how that manifested at CIRM during his time there, Knoepfler wrote. But good people can strongly disagree on policy.

bradley.fikes@sduniontribune.com

(619) 293-1020

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Football team hosts ‘Be the Match’ bone marrow drive – The Brown and White

By LizaAVILA

The Lehigh football team hosted a bone marrow drive in Lamberton Hallon April 27.

The drive, Be the Match,is a nationwide registry that started at Lehigh in 2009 when Andy Talley, the head football coach at Villanova, reached out to Lehighs head coach Donnie Roberts and asked if he would be interested in contributing to the bone marrow drive.

Roberts said he tries to have more students attend every year and join the cause. Each year, the team strives to get as many students to sign up because the chances of finding a perfect bone marrow match are slim. Since 2009, seven Lehigh students have been perfect matches, four of them football players. Roberts saidthe first student who donated in 2011 ended up having a relationship with the person he donated to.

Yales been (registering) over 400 people every year since theyve been involved, Roberts said. Were not even close to that. But its just the idea that here at Lehigh, if were over 100, I feel good. If we were one, I would feel good, because this is bigger than sports when you have the opportunity to save someones life.

Dan Scassera, 19, left, and Tyler Cavenas, 18, help, from left, Tyler Monaco, 20, Yannick Gbadouwey, 18, and Ben Pingrey, 17, fill out their bone marrow donation forms Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Lamberton Hall. To help donors make a decision, Scassera and Cavenas explain what happens if they are a match. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Participants remain on the registry until their 61st birthday unless they request to be removed from future searches for a match, or they do not meet medical requirements to be eligible. While it is a long-term commitment, Be the Match does its bestto cover all medical and travel costs of donating.

Assistant coach Tyler Ward, 14,said applicants fill out a form, their cheeks are swabbed to retrieve DNA and the samples are sent out to be analyzed.

I think one out of 432 people end up matching with someone, which is why we need so many more people to sign up, Wardsaid.

If applicants are matched with someone, they receive a phone call andgo to a nearby doctor to learn how they can donate. There are two different ways to donate,either through giving blood or bone marrow.

Giving bone marrow is similar to giving blood. Eighty percent ofpeople who donate at all donate blood while 20 percent donate bone marrow. Blood donations are processed through a machine that removes stem cellsand returns blood to the system. Bone marrow donations involve a surgery under anesthesia where marrow is removed from the pelvic bone.Ward saidboth procedures are minor.

At the last station, students are given the option to discreetly remove their consent. This allowed students to decide whether or not they wanted to continue with the donor process. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

You dont feel it, youre under anesthesia, and both of them are pretty quick, pretty seamless processes, Ward said.

Roberts said after having the marrow removed, he foundthe pain comparable to lightly bruising a hip. He said whilethe thought of going under anesthesia and having a procedure done is intimidating, it could save someones life.

Julia Wise, 20, helped students with forms at the drive.

I think this is an awesome event, especially on a college campus, because you can recruit so many more people, Wise said. The youngest generation is whats really going to help this cause.

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Princess Christina successful stem cell transplant – Royal Central

By raymumme

Anna-Lena Ahlstrm, Royal Court, Sweden

Princess Christina of Sweden, the youngest of King Carl XVI Gustafs four older sisters, has successfully undergone a stem cell transplant.

Swedish newspaper Expressen first reported the news with a confirmation from the Swedish Royal Courts Director of Information and Press Department,Margareta Thorgren. She explained to them, The stem cell operation is completed. Princess Christina is well under the circumstances.

The Princess will remain at home during her recuperation. After such operations, the immune system is considerably weakened, and as a result, doctors commonly advise patients stay isolated while they heal.

It was just last month that the Court made the announcement of the pending transplant, which can be stressful on the body,saying, Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson has, since October, been treated for blood cancer with regular chemotherapy. The treatment has gone well. But the Princesss blood cancer cannot be cured with this treatment because it occurred in bone marrow stem cells that are resistant to chemotherapy.

In consultation with the family and doctors, the Princess has decided to undergo a stem cell transplant.

She was diagnosed with chronicleukaemia in October of last year. At the time, the Swedish Royal Court said that she was feeling relatively good. It was stated that the73-year-old would scale back her royal duties during her treatmentbut would fulfil her commitments when her health allowed.They also asked that she be able to undergo her chemotherapy in peace.

In 2010, Christina announced that she had undergone treatment for breast cancer including three surgeries and had beaten the disease. After defeating breast cancer, Christina devoted much of her time to bringing attention to cancer issues.

The Princess was born on 3 August 1943 at Haga Palace in Solna, Sweden. She married Tord Magnuson in 1974 at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm Palace. They have three sons: Gustaf, Oscar, and Victor.

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Magenta Nabs More Cash, Licenses Drug To Boost Transplant Pipeline – Xconomy

By NEVAGiles23

Xconomy Boston

Magenta Therapeutics said today it has doubled its money with a $50 million Series B round led by GV, formerly Google Ventures. The Cambridge, MA-based startup spun out of Harvard University last year with nearly $50 million in launch money to develop improved bone marrow transplants.

Magenta has also licensed a drug from Novartis that it says could help boost the number of healthy stem cells that are delivered into a patients body, a key procedure in a transplant.

Used to treat people with cancer and other blood-borne diseases, a bone marrow transplant starts with a procedure to kill a patients diseased blood stem cells, which live in the bone marrow. The diseased cells are then replaced with healthy stem cells, usually from a donor. Though growing safer, its still a risky process, especially for elderly or frail patients. Deaths related to the treatment have dropped below 20 percent in recent years, but Magentas founders as well as researchers at Stanford University are among the groups working to improve the complicated steps.

Magenta is developing three types of drugs, each for a different procedure in the transplant process. It will test them as separate products but try to market them as a suite to transplant clinics, according to management.

The drug Magenta licensed from Novartis is applied to cells from donated umbilical cord blood, which have different properties than cells from blood donated by adults. The drug, which recently completed an early stage study, is meant to stimulate the blood cells to replicate faster outside the body, providing a bigger population to put back into the patient. The more cells, the better the chance that the new healthy cells will engraft, or survive in the patients bone marrow.

Magenta also aims to develop an alternative to chemotherapy or radiation, which a patient receives before a transplant to kill his or her diseased stem cells; and a treatment to coax an adult donors stem cells out of the bone marrow and into the bloodstream, where the cells are easier to harvest for the transplant.

Other investors in the new round are previous backers Third Rock Ventures, Atlas Venture, Partners Innovation Fund, and Access Industries, and new investors including Casdin Capital and BeTheMatch BioTherapies, which is affiliated with the nonprofit international bone marrow registry NMDP/Be The Match.

Magenta said it would work with BeTheMatch BioTherapies on research and development.

Photo Bone Marrow Donation by Andrew Ratto via a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Alex Lash is Xconomy's National Biotech Editor. He is based in San Francisco.

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California stem cell agency president steps down as worries mount about its future – Sacramento Bee

By Sykes24Tracey


Sacramento Bee
California stem cell agency president steps down as worries mount about its future
Sacramento Bee
Mills will leave at the end of June to become president of the National Marrow Donor Program in Minneapolis, the world's largest bone marrow donor program. Maria Millan, vice president of therapeutics at the agency, will become its interim president in ...
CA Stem Cell Agency Chief Randy Mills to Leave After Three YearsXconomy

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Magenta Therapeutics Advances Stem Cell Transplantation Strategy … – Business Wire (press release)

By JoanneRUSSELL25

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Magenta Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing therapies to improve and expand the use of curative stem cell transplantation for more patients, today announced rapid progress in advancing the companys strategic vision, including the completion of a $50 million Series B financing; in-licensing a clinical-stage program from Novartis to support the use of stem cell transplantation in a variety of disease settings; and a strategic partnership with Be The Match BioTherapiesSM, an organization offering solutions for delivering autologous and allogeneic cellular therapies.

The financing announced today is intended to fuel development of innovative product candidates across multiple aspects of transplantation medicine, including more precise preparation of patients, stem cell harvesting and stem cell expansion. The Series B round, which was oversubscribed, was led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), with participation from all existing investors, including Atlas Venture, Third Rock Ventures, Partners Innovation Fund and Access Industries. The financing also included Casdin Capital and other crossover investors, as well as Be The Match BioTherapies, a subsidiary of National Marrow Donor Program(NMDP)/Be The Match, the worlds leading organization focused on saving lives through bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation.

Magenta has quickly established itself as a nexus of innovation in stem cell science, catalyzing interest in this area of medicine with the recognition that improvements will have profound impact on patients, said Jason Gardner, D. Phil., chief executive officer, president and cofounder of Magenta Therapeutics. We aspire to accelerate products that could unleash the potential of transplantation to more patients, including those with autoimmune diseases, genetic blood disorders and cancer. The resounding interest in Magenta from such a high-quality set of investors is a testament to our solid progress since launch, including building a world-class team and a robust pipeline, and generating promising early data.

MGTA-456: Investigational Product Addressing Significant Unmet Need in Stem Cell Transplant

The clinical-stage program in-licensed by Magenta from Novartis, MGTA-456 (formerly HSC835), aims to expand the number of cord blood stem cells used in transplants to achieve superior clinical outcomes compared to standard transplant procedures, and to enable more patients to benefit from a transplant. Under this agreement, Magenta gains rights to use MGTA-456 in selected applications and will develop MGTA-456 in multiple diseases, including immune and blood diseases.

Early results published in Science1 demonstrated the ability of MGTA-456 to significantly increase the number of umbilical cord blood stem cells. Clinical results reported in Cell Stem Cell2 demonstrated that this approach yielded an increased expansion of stem cells.

John E. Wagner, M.D., executive medical director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at the University of Minnesota and the studys lead author, stated: MGTA-456 markedly shortens time to recovery, addressing one of the most significant challenges in stem cell transplantation today. MGTA-456 achieved a remarkable increase in the number of blood-forming stem cells, greater than that observed by all other methods that have been tested to date. This product has the potential to further improve cord blood transplant outcomes.

Be The Match BioTherapies Strategic Partnership Agreement

Magenta and Be The Match BioTherapies also announced today that in addition to the equity investment, the two organizations have initiated a collaboration to support their shared goals of improving transplant medicine. Magenta and Be The Match BioTherapies will explore opportunities to work together across all of Magentas research efforts, from discovery through clinical development. Under this agreement, Magenta may leverage Be The Match BioTherapies capabilities, including its cell therapy delivery platform, industry relationships, clinical trial design and management, and patient outcomes data derived from the NMDP/Be The Match, which operates the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. NMDP/Be The Match has a network of more than 486 organizations that support marrow transplant worldwide, including 178 transplant centers in the United States and more than 45 international donor centers and cooperative registries.

We are proud to have made our first equity investment as an organization in Magenta Therapeutics, and we share a vision to improve and advance the use of curative stem cell transplantation for patients with a wide range of diseases, said Amy Ronneberg, president of Be The Match Biotherapies.

About Magenta Therapeutics

Magenta Therapeutics is a biotechnology company harnessing the power of stem cell science to revolutionize stem cell transplantation for patients with immune- and blood-based diseases. By creating a platform focused on critical areas of transplant medicine, Magenta Therapeutics is pioneering an integrated, but modular approach to stem cell therapies to create patient benefits. Founded by internationally recognized leaders in stem cell transplant medicine, Magenta Therapeutics was launched in 2016 by Third Rock Ventures and Atlas Venture and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visitwww.magentatx.com.

About Third Rock Ventures

Third Rock Ventures is a leading healthcare venture firm focused on investing and launching companies that make a difference in peoples lives. The Third Rock team has a unique vision for ideating and building transformative healthcare companies. Working closely with our strategic partners and entrepreneurs, Third Rock has an extensive track record for managing the value creation path to deliver exceptional performance. For more information, please visit the firms website atwww.thirdrockventures.com.

About Atlas Venture

Atlas Venture is a leading biotech venture capital firm. With the goal of doing well by doing good, we have been building breakthrough biotech startups since 1993. We work side by side with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to translate high impact science into medicines for patients. Our seed-led venture creation strategy rigorously selects and focuses investment on the most compelling opportunities to build scalable businesses and realize value. For more information, please visitwww.atlasventure.com.

About GV

GV provides venture capital funding to bold new companies. In the fields of life science, healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cyber security, and agriculture, GV's companies aim to improve lives and change industries. GV's team of world-class engineers, designers, physicians, scientists, marketers, and investors work together to provide these startups exceptional support on the road to success.

Launched as Google Ventures in 2009, GV is the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. GV helps startups interface with Google, providing unique access to the worlds best technology and talent. GV has $2.4 billion under management and is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, Boston, New York, and London. Launched as Google Ventures in 2009, GV is the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. For more information, please visit http://www.gv.com.

About Be The Match BioTherapies

Be The Match BioTherapies partners with organizations pursuing new life-saving treatments in cellular therapy. Built on the foundation established over the last 30 years by theNMDP/Be The Match, the organization has unparalleled experience in personalized patient management with a single point of contact, cell sourcing and collection, cell therapy delivery platform, immunogenetics and bioinformatics, research and regulatory compliance. By leveraging proven capabilities and established relationships, Be The Match BioTherapies can bring customizable solutions to organizations in every stage of cellular therapy developmentfrom discovery through commercialization. Discover how Be The Match BioTherapies can assist your company atBeTheMatchBioTherapies.com.

For more information on todays announcement, see Jason Gardners post in the Life Sci VC blog: https://lifescivc.com/2017/05/building-a-bioteth-a-triple-play/.

1Science.2010 Sep 10;329(5997):1345-8. 2Cell Stem Cell.2016 Jan 7;18(1):144-55.

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Mouse teeth shown to hold insight into future stem cell tissue regeneration – Bel Marra Health

By daniellenierenberg

Home Health News Mouse teeth shown to hold insight into future stem cell tissue regeneration

The use of stem cells throughout the years has been both a decisive topic and one that holds a lot of promise for potential medical therapy. They are essentially undifferentiated biological cells that havent yet been specialized for a specific purpose. The cells of your heart, stomach, and even your brain have all started out as stem cells, and it wasnt until some point during human development that biological processes channeled them to permanently becoming one type of cell. Scientists and researchers around the globe are always in search of the best way to learn about and harvest these valuable cells, and the latest reports suggest the teeth of rodents are an abundant source.

There are considered two main stem cell types in the body: one is from embryonic development when in the womb, and the other are adult stem cells that exist throughout the body. Harvesting embryonic stem cells has been controversial, as it often seen as unethical, but adult stem cellsfound in organs such as the bone marrow, blood vessel, and liver in mammalsis easier to obtain. Stomach linings, for example, require the constant shedding of their cell linings as the acid wears away at them, and having adult stems cells allows for quick replacement of these sloughed off cells.

Weve all seen mice before, and one of their defining characteristics are their front teeth. What most people arent aware of is that their front teeth, or incisors, constantly grow, as they rely on them to be consistently sharp for burrowing and self-defense, and of course, for eating away at your pantry food. As we grow older our teeth start to wear out, and in nature, once you dont have your teeth anymore, you die. As a result, mice and many other animals from elephants to some primates can grow their teeth continuously. Our labs objective is to learn the rules that let mouse incisors grow continuously to help us one day grow teeth in the lab, but also to help us identify general principles that could enable us to understand the processes of tissue renewal much more broadly, said UC San Franciscos Ophir Klein, MD, Ph.D., a professor of orofacial sciences in UCSFs School of Dentistry and of pediatrics in the School of Medicine.

While not all aspects of this process are fully understood just yet, as the exact signals triggering this process have yet to be identified. It, however, marks an advancement of knowledge in the field, and one that bodes well for the future of stem cell therapy. It may prove beneficial for tissue regeneration to treat everything from severe burns to growing entire organs from scratch.

Related:Stem cells from fat may be useful to prevent aging

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Stem cell technique may aid in bone repair

Osteoporosis can be reversed by stem cell therapy, new potential treatment

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2017/04/406836/mouse-teeth-providing-new-insights-tissue-regeneration http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1934590917300942 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/stem_cell

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Mouse teeth shown to hold insight into future stem cell tissue regeneration - Bel Marra Health

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Benefit planned May 5-6 for area leukemia victim – SalemNews.net

By NEVAGiles23

A benefit rummage, bake and vendor sale will be held this Friday and Saturday for Trisha Suits, a Lisbon resident battling leukemia. She is shown with her mother, Alice Loy, and 6-year-old son Landon who proudly displays the jacket Trisha wore while serving as an assistant cross country coach at Lisbon. Despite being virtually blind, the David Anderson High School graduate ran cross country in high school. (Salem News photo by J.D.Creer)

WHAT: Rummage, bake and vendor sale to benefit area resident Trisha Suits who will be undergoing leukemia treatments at the Cleveland Clinic.

WHEN: From 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.

WHERE: Guilford Lake Ruritan Hall, state Route 172.

She was born weighing just a pound and eight ounces. But Trisha Suits is hardly a lightweight.

The courageous 30-year-old Lisbon resident, left virtually blind due to her premature birth, has taken on all comers throughout her life. Despite having only 2 percent vision in her right eye and none in her left, she has been a capable mom in helping to raise her son. She is a 2006 David Anderson High School graduate. Remarkably, she ran as a member of the cross-country team, memorizing her routes. Just putting one foot in front of the other, Trisha quipped, saying never fell. She later served as a Blue Devils assistant coach.

Now she is confronting her biggest challenge. She has been diagnosed with a complex form of leukemia and will be undergoing bone marrow and stem cell transplants at the Cleveland Clinic. Due to ongoing treatments, she will be required to remain in the hospital for six weeks. Then she will need to stay at a nearby housing complex for another 100 days.

Trisha was diagnosed in early March, after passing out from severe blood loss. She spent a month in the Cleveland Clinic getting chemotherapy. But due to genetic mutations, she needs bone marrow and stem cell transplants to combat acute myeloid leukemia a type of cancer that starts in the blood-forming cells of marrow.

According to her aunt, Melody Hobbs of Salem, her lengthy stay at the housing complex the Transplant House of Cleveland will cost about $75 per day for just the lodging. A donor has been found. Transplant treatments are expected to begin May 11.

To help offset the costs, a combination rummage, bake and vendor sale for Trisha will be held this Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Guilford Ruritans Hall off of state Route 172.

We just need people to come, Hobbs said. We are trying to raise awareness to get more people out there. All the money raised will pay for Trishas lodging and transportation.

Trishas ordeal is and will continue to be grueling. Admittedly, she gets bitter, angry and frustrated. The uncertainty is overwhelming.

The really hard part of it will be being in Cleveland away from her son and family, said Hobbs.

Indeed, Trishas said her hobby is being the best mom she can be for her son. Six-year-old Landon is a McKinley Elementary School student.

I love my mommy, he offered. Its not just my moms fight, its our fight.

Trisha and her son lives with her parents, Rick Joy and Alice Loy. Her sister, Summer Burkholder, is a co-organizer of this weekends benefit.

The transplants offer a possible cure. Without them, it would be dire.

God only gives me what I can handle, said Trisha who has spent her entire life combating challenges. But I am scared about what this is going to do to my body.

Ongoing updates on Trisha may be found on Facebook. Visit: Trishas Fight with AML. To make an online donation, a link: youcaring.com may be accessed.

jdcreer@salemnews.net

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How you can give yourself a chance to save another’s life – Glenwood Springs Post Independent

By daniellenierenberg

Few things could start out so simple and yet maybe lead you to save a life. But one woman's firsthand experience led precisely down that road, and now she's getting more people on board.

Be the Match is a program offering free kits for people to submit their DNA through mouth swabs to see if they might one day be a match to donate to someone with blood cancers or other blood-based diseases.

And getting that opportunity is about to become even easier for those in the Roaring Fork Valley this coming First Friday (May 5) and then on Dandelion Day (May 13) in Carbondale.

Erica Borum, who works as a civil engineer for the White River National Forest, is setting up a Be the Match booth at these events, where she'll have registry kits with mouth swabs ready to be used and sent off.

This first step is simple. If you're between 18 and 44 you can participate, but this first step doesn't mean that you're automatically going to be donating to someone.

Your mouth swab puts you on a DNA registry. Once your DNA is on the list, that information is available to doctors looking for donors who match with patients in need for stem cells or bone marrow.

According to Be the Match, each year about 14,000 patients are down to one option for a cure: a transplant from someone outside their family.

Borum is pushing this effort in Carbondale after her own experience a little more than a year ago donating to a man with Hodgkin's lymphoma. She wants to give people this opportunity by bringing the kits to them, but she's also on a mission to demystify the process.

"When people are first addressed with it, it's strange and weird and not something that would be of interest," she said. "I'd like to help make it not so foreign."

Borum first heard about this donation process through a friend, who knew of someone needing a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. The patient was down to her last option, but in the end the procedure worked out for her.

Borum got online and started doing her research on the organization Be the Match.

The chances that you'll be selected are actually quite slim. This isn't as simple as finding a person with matching blood type. Because doctors are looking for someone with highly specific blood markers and other characteristics to give the patient the best shot possible for a good transfer, only about one in 430 people end up being suitable match, she said.

There are two types of transfers: a transfer of peripheral blood stem cells or a bone marrow transplant. Ultimately, the patient's doctor choses which route to go, so donors need to be willing to do either.

Donating blood stem cells, which is what Borum did, is a bit like an extended blood draw.

"The first thing to know is my phobia is needles," said Borum. "But knowing that phobias are completely illogical, I went ahead and sent off my swabs. And there wasn't a great chance that I would be a match anyway.

"The prospect of going through a process that's a little uncomfortable for the benefit of saving someone, it's kind of overwhelming," she said. "To be honest, I didn't give it a second consideration, despite the phobia."

She joined the registry in 2013. The mouth swab process took only about 10 minutes, she said.

A little more than two years later, Borum got that call that she was a preliminary match. Did she want to proceed with the process?

Even agreeing at this point isn't the final say in whether you end up donating. First, Borum had her blood drawn and sent off to reinforce that, yes, she was a match. And after that was confirmed she had to get a physical and undergo some pathogen testing, a chest X-ray and some additional testing to make sure she was healthy.

During this process, the identity of the patient is guarded. All Borum was told was that the patient was a 56-year-old man with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

From there it was a repeated process of "test and we'll let you know, test and we'll let you know," she said.

'ONE POKE AT A TIME'

And as each of those came back good, they check to see if you want to proceed. The donor can pull out at any time. But while the donor is going through this process, the patient is going through a parallel preparation of intensive chemotherapy trying to kill as much of the cancer as possible before the transplant.

This is a critical stage for the patient, and if the donor opts out now, it could be life-threatening for the patient, she said.

"I took it one needle poke at a time."

Leading up to the final blood draw, Borum was given several injections of a drug to boost her cell count to help doctors withdraw the stem cells they were looking for.

On the long end, physicians say the blood draw process could take up to six hours. That was their prediction for Borum, who is more petite. During that draw, they run the first samples to a lab to confirm they're getting the right concentration. Borum's body reacted well to the blood cell-boosting drug, and the final process ended up only taking four hours.

To explain her motivation to go through with this procedure, Borum said it's part of her spiritual practice.

"I did it as part of the practice, and recognizing that a lot of things we do are self-referential and self-serving. And I don't think there's a ton of benefit in that, for myself and for others.

"I think the quote from the Dalai Lama goes: If you want others to be happy, have compassion; if you want to be happy, have compassion.

"And it's all a matter of statistics. If there are more people in the registry, it's more likely someone will have a match. If I can benefit one person, it's little effort on my end to try to boost the numbers."

Because of the statistically low chances of finding a match, getting more people on the registry is essential. And the first month or two after the final transplant is a time critical to find out whether their new blood stem cells are working. This doesn't always have a happy ending, said Borum.

But in her case, it did.

BUILDING A BOND

Her transfer was a little more than a year ago. About two months afterward she got word that her cells were successfully making the patient's blood and he had no sign of cancer cells. The patient, who Borum learned lives in New York, sent her a thank you card a few months later, and recently they've exchanged emails.

And in those exchanges, she got her first glimpses into his life.

"I am a husband of 28 years and the father of two boys and was facing a difficult future," he wrote in April of last year. "I am overwhelmed beyond words with this gift you have given me. Please know that I will live the rest of my life with the warmth of your generosity and will do my best to extend it to others in need."

"His email said that he's now been healthy for one year and two months," said Borum. He's also offered to come to Colorado to meet Borum and thank her in person.

His sickness had taken him to a point where walking was a very difficult task, but now he's running again.

The whole process, they say, is about 20 to 30 hours of your time, usually spread over about four to six weeks, according to Be the Match.

"I think that's a small sacrifice to potentially save someone," said Borum.

The patient in this case wasn't available for this article but for pretty much the best reason ever.

Borum said that after being too sick for so long, he was finally leaving for a long-awaited vacation.

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Bone Marrow vs. Fat Derived Stem Cells Continued : Stem …

By LizaAVILA

Whether your adult mesenchymal stem cells come from bone marrow or from fat probably does not make a difference in terms of clinical results. Although some centers claim that bone marrow derived cells are superior to fat derived cells, there is no evidence to substantiate that. Recent studies show that fat derived cells make bone tissue much better than the bone marrow derived cells. Some studies are showing different outcomes but it is important to realize that these studies are all done in petri dishes and may not relate to living organism. Also, it is important that one is not mislead in some marketing materials by the word bone in bone marrow, possibly implying that since this is an orthopedic source it must be better for treating orthopedic conditions such as cartilage regeneration. In fact, the bone marrow is part of the reticulo-endothelial system (makes blood cells) and just happens to be found in the center of bone. The truth is, both bone marrow derived and stromal (from fat) derived stem cells are both effective for regenerative therapy and both have the potential to differentiate into mature functional cartilage. However, stem cells from fat are 100 to 1000 times more plentiful and this makes same day procedures (allowed in the US) much more effective with fat derived cells. The higher numbers of cells in fat leads to better clinical outcomes. Also, the quality of bone marrow declines with age and it has less numbers of cells and less healthy cells compared to the fat. The diminution in quantity and quality of bone marrow cells related to age and chronic illness is well documented. Last but not least, the ease of removing fat from under the skin using a mini-liposuction under local anesthetic is much less invasive and MUCH LESS painful than undergoing bone marrow aspiration to obtain bone marrow cells.

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Comprehensive-characterization-of-four-different-populations-of-human-mesenchymal-stem-cells-as-regards-their-immune-properties-proliferation-and-differentiation

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Bone Marrow vs. Fat Derived Stem Cells Continued : Stem ...

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