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Life Technologies Scientist Uma Lakshmipathy presents, "Solving Challenges in the Generation of Induced Pluripotent …

By NEVAGiles23

Dr. Uma Lakshmipathy speaks at various conferences about work on the creation of integration-free induced pluripotent stem cells at high efficiency with Sendai Virus using the CytoTune™ -iPS Reprogramming Kit. Uma Lakshmipathy's next speaking engagement will be in Mid February at the Stem Cell Banking Conference in London.

Carlsbad, California (PRWEB) February 14, 2012

Uma's last presentation about the Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells summarized here was also recorded for viewing and placed on the Life Technologies website. (http://find.lifetechnologies.com/stemcells/umavideo/article)

The CytoTune™ - iPS Reprogramming Kit is a high efficiency, integration- free, easy-to-use somatic cell reprogramming kit used in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells. This kit utilizes Sendai Virus particles of the four Yamanaka factors, which have been shown to be critical in the successful generation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

In her presentations, Uma Lakshmipathy discusses two current challenges faced when generating iPSC including low efficiency and expertise of users.

Low Efficiency

The most common method for generation of induced pluripotent stem cells is the transfection of the four Yamanaka factors using lentivirus or retrovirus. One of the biggest challenges for scientists right now is the low efficiency of iPSC generation. With difficult to transfect cell types or cells from older patients, efficiencies can be 0.001% or lower when using lentiviral or retroviral methods.

Expertise of Users

The second challenge is for users with little expertise that have a difficult time detecting these emerging iPSC colonies. When looking for pluripotent stem cells, people can either pick them up really easily or have trouble deciding what clones to place their bet on.

Efficiency & Safety of IPSC Generation

There are several methods which improve reprogramming efficiency including viral non-integrating and small molecule methods such as mRNA, microRNA and small molecules. The developers of the CytoTune™ -iPS Reprogramming Kit concentrated on a non-integrating viral method utilizing Sendai Virus, a negative sense RNA virus. Sendai Virus is able to infect a wide variety of cell types and generates induced pluripotent stem cells at efficiencies 100-fold higher than lentiviral or retroviral methods.

When comparing efficiency vs. safety of reprogramming methods, small molecules like microRNA, RNA and protein which don’t leave a footprint are safer for cell therapy research; however, the efficiency of generating induced pluripotent stem cells with these methods is pretty low at this point in time.

The highest efficiency so far has been achieved with viral methods such as Retrovirus and Lentivirus. More recently the CytoTune™ -iPS Reprogramming Kit actually exceeds the efficiency that can be obtained with these traditional viral systems and at the same time it is much safer because it is a non-integrating RNA virus. Therefore it will not leave a footprint in the iPSCs that are created.

The CytoTune™ -iPS Reprogramming Kit will:

    Reduce hands on time - enables successful iPS reprogramming in one simple transduction     Generate more cells - high efficiency reprogramming offers more iPS cells from a single experiment     Use in a broad range of experiments - lack of genomic integration and viral remnants allows use from basic to clinical research

Ease of Use

The CytoTune™ -iPS Reprogramming Kit provides a simple system for somatic cell reprogramming. For most cell types, the CytoTune™ -iPS Reprogramming Kit requires only one application of the virus for successful cell reprogramming, unlike other methods such as Lentivirus and mRNA which can require multiple rounds of transduction to produce iPS cells. Selection of colonies is also easier with the CytoTune™ –iPS Reprogramming Kit due to the lower number of non-induced pluripotent stem cells that are generated.

To view this presentation visit http://find.lifetechnologies.com/stemcells/umavideo/article

Uma Lakshmipathy's protocol, "Transfection of Human Embryonic Stem Cells" can be seen here http://bit.ly/y91Gpd

###

Jennifer Hornstein
Life Technologies
(760) 602-4577
Email Information

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Bioheart Acquires Exclusive Rights to Ageless Regenerative Institute's Adipose Cell Technology

By LizaAVILA

SUNRISE, Fla., Feb. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bioheart, Inc. (BHRT.OB) announced today that it has acquired the worldwide exclusive rights to Ageless Regenerative Institute's adipose (fat) derived therapeutic cell technology for use in the cardiac field.

"The Ageless adipose stem cell technology will allow us to broaden our portfolio of product candidates for cardiac patients," said Mike Tomas, President and CEO of Bioheart. "We have successfully treated patients in Mexico and now we are ready to expand into the US."

Adipose tissue is readily available and has been shown to be rich in microvascular, myogenic and angiogenic cells. Bioheart has recently applied to the FDA to begin trials using adipose derived stem cells or LipiCell(TM) in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy. Transplantation of LipiCell(TM) will be accomplished through endocardial implantations with the MyoStar(TM) Injection Catheter under the guidance of the NOGA(R) cardiac navigation system by Biosense Webster, Inc. -- A Johnson & Johnson Company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bioheart will have a worldwide exclusive license to all of Ageless technology for use in the heart attack and heart failure markets. The agreement provides for upfront and milestone equity payments to Ageless.

Ageless' President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sharon McQuillan, MD added, "We are excited about this collaboration with Bioheart, a leader in developing cell therapies for cardiovascular disease. Together with Bioheart, we can help to revolutionize cardiovascular medicine and improve the current standard of care for these patients."

About Bioheart, Inc.

Bioheart is committed to maintaining its leading position within the cardiovascular sector of the cell technology industry delivering cell therapies and biologics that help address congestive heart failure, lower limb ischemia, chronic heart ischemia, acute myocardial infarctions and other issues. Bioheart's goals are to cause damaged tissue to be regenerated, when possible, and to improve a patient's quality of life and reduce health care costs and hospitalizations.

Specific to biotechnology, Bioheart is focused on the discovery, development and, subject to regulatory approval, commercialization of autologous cell therapies for the treatment of chronic and acute heart damage and peripheral vascular disease. Its leading product, MyoCell, is a clinical muscle-derived cell therapy designed to populate regions of scar tissue within a patient's heart with new living cells for the purpose of improving cardiac function in chronic heart failure patients.

For more information on Bioheart, visit http://www.bioheartinc.com.

About Ageless Regenerative Institute, LLC

The Ageless Regenerative Institute (ARI) is an organization dedicated to the standardization of cell regenerative medicine. The Institute promotes the development of evidence-based standards of excellence in the therapeutic use of adipose-derived stem cells through education, advocacy, and research. ARI has a highly experienced management team with experience in setting up full scale cGMP stem cell manufacturing facilities, stem cell product development & enhancement, developing point-of-care cell production systems, developing culture expanded stem cell production systems, FDA compliance, directing clinical & preclinical studies with multiple cell types for multiple indications, and more. ARI has successfully treated hundreds of patients utilizing these cellular therapies demonstrating both safety and efficacy. For more information about regenerative medicine please visit http://www.agelessregen.com.

Forward-Looking Statements: Except for historical matters contained herein, statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, words such as "may," "will," "to," "plan," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "would," "estimate," or "continue" or the negative other variations thereof or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Also, forward-looking statements represent our management's beliefs and assumptions only as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

The Company is subject to the risks and uncertainties described in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the section entitled "Risk Factors" in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

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Stem Cells Could Help Heal Broken Hearts [Medicine]

By raymumme

Even after recovery, heart attacks can leave a lasting mark on your ticker—scar tissue weakens the muscle and prevents it from functioning as well as it did before seizing up. A pioneering stem-cell procedure, however, could cut the damage in half.

According to the results of a small safety trial by the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and published in the Lancet medical journal, introducing stem cells derived from the patient's own heart have shown an "unprecedented" ability to reduce scarring as well as regenerate healthy cardiac tissue.

During a heart attack, the organ is deprived of oxygen and its tissue begins to die off. As the heart heals from the attack, any damaged muscle is replaced by scar tissue, which prevents the heart from beating properly and pumping the requisite blood flow the body needs.

The CADUCEUS (CArdiosphere-Derived aUtologous stem CElls to Reverse ventricUlar dySfunction) study involved 25 patients—eight serving as the control group, the other 17 actually receiving the treatment. Researchers first performed extensive imaging scans to identify location and severity of scarring, then biopsied a half-raisin-sized piece the patient's heart tissue. Doctors then isolated and cultured stem cells from it and injected the lab-grown stem cells—roughly 12-25 million of them—back into the heart.

After a year, scarring in patients that received the treatment decreased by an astounding fifty percent while the control group showed no decrease in scarring. "These results signal an approaching paradigm shift in the care of heart attack patients," said Shlomo Melmed, dean of the Cedars-Sinai medical faculty. The scars were once believed to be permanent but this technique shows promise as a means to regenerate the damaged muscle. It should be noted however, that the heart's ability to pump did not increase as the scar tissue disappeared.

"While the primary goal of our study was to verify safety, we also looked for evidence that the treatment might dissolve scar and regrow lost heart muscle," Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, told PhysOrg. "This has never been accomplished before, despite a decade of cell therapy trials for patients with heart attacks. Now we have done it. The effects are substantial, and surprisingly larger in humans than they were in animal tests."

Researchers hope to soon begin an expanded clinical trial and, if the results are as promising as these, eventually use the procedure to assist the US's annual 770,000 coronary disease sufferers. [The Lancet via Physorg - BBC News]

Image: Shortkut / Shutterstock

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Radiation treatment generates cancer stem cells from less aggressive breast cancer cells, study suggests

By daniellenierenberg

ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2012) — Breast cancer stem cells are thought to be the sole source of tumor recurrence and are known to be resistant to radiation therapy and don't respond well to chemotherapy.

Now, researchers with the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report for the first time that radiation treatment -- despite killing half of all tumor cells during every treatment -- transforms other cancer cells into treatment-resistant breast cancer stem cells.

The generation of these breast cancer stem cells counteracts the otherwise highly efficient radiation treatment. If scientists can uncover the mechanisms and prevent this transformation from occurring, radiation treatment for breast cancer could become even more effective, said study senior author Dr. Frank Pajonk, an associate professor of radiation oncology and Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.

"We found that these induced breast cancer stem cells (iBCSC) were generated by radiation-induced activation of the same cellular pathways used to reprogram normal cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) in regenerative medicine," said Pajonk, who also is a scientist with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine at UCLA. "It was remarkable that these breast cancers used the same reprogramming pathways to fight back against the radiation treatment."

The study recently appeared in the early online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells.

"Controlling the radiation resistance of breast cancer stem cells and the generation of new iBCSC during radiation treatment may ultimately improve curability and may allow for de-escalation of the total radiation doses currently given to breast cancer patients, thereby reducing acute and long-term adverse effects," the study states.

There are very few breast cancer stem cells in a larger pool of breast cancer cells. In this study, Pajonk and his team eliminated the smaller pool of breast cancer stem cells and then irradiated the remaining breast cancer cells and placed them into mice.

Using a unique imaging system Pajonk and his team developed to visualize cancer stem cells, the researchers were able to observe their initial generation into iBCSC in response to the radiation treatment. The newly generated iBCSC were remarkably similar to breast cancer stem cells found in tumors that had not been irradiated, Pajonk said.

The team also found that the iBCSC had a more than 30-fold increased ability to form tumors compared to the non-irradiated breast cancer cells from which they originated.

Pajonk said that the study unites the competing models of clonal evolution and the hierarchical organization of breast cancers, as it suggests that undisturbed, growing tumors maintain a small number of cancer stem cells. However, if challenged by various stressors that threaten their numbers, including ionizing radiation, the breast cancer cells generate iBCSC that may, together with the surviving cancer stem cells, repopulate the tumor.

"What is really exciting about this study is that it gives us a much more complex understanding of the interaction of radiation with cancer cells that goes far beyond DNA damage and cell killing," Pajonk said. "The study may carry enormous potential to make radiation even better."

Pajonk stressed that breast cancer patients should not be alarmed by the study findings and should continue to undergo radiation if recommended by their oncologists.

"Radiation is an extremely powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer," he said. "If we can uncover the mechanism driving this transformation, we may be able to stop it and make the therapy even more powerful."

This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the California Breast Cancer Research Program and the Department of Defense.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences, via Newswise.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

Chann Lagadec, Erina Vlashi, Lorenza Della Donna, Carmen Dekmezian and Frank Pajonk. Radiation-induced Reprograming of Breast Cancer Cells. Stem Cells, 10 FEB 2012 DOI: 10.1002/stem.1058

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

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Stem cell treatments change girl's life

By daniellenierenberg

PIEDMONT, Okla. -- Stem cell research is one of the newest and most exciting areas of study. Experts believe these tiny unwritten cells hold the keys to curing a number of diseases and debilitating injuries. But here in the U.S., stem cell research isn't moving fast enough for a growing number of families.

This is the story of an Oklahoma family that traveled to China for cutting-edge stem cell treatment not offered in the US.

Cora Beth Taylor walks a different road than most will ever travel.

Her journey is filled with obstacles, heartbreak and triumph.

Cora, William and Tate Taylor are triplets born premature.

The brothers have never shown any signs of prematurity.

But Cora, at about a year old, started falling behind developmentally.

By 18 months she had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

Cora has never had any cognitive delays.

She's a super-smart little gal but her muscles haven't developed properly.

It's devastating; they just won't cooperate.

Cora's parents, Kevin and Beth Taylor, have tried everything for their little girl; that is, everything available in the U.S.

Last year, Piedmont Schools raised the money to help the Taylors take Cora to China for treatment, close to $50,000.

Research hospitals in China are using stem cells from donor umbilical cord blood to treat children with Cerebral Palsy.

Beth Taylor says, "That was a difficult decision to make to take your child to a foreign country for medical treatments. Living in the US you feel like this is the best there is."

The Taylors spent 37 days in China.

Cora Beth had eight stem cell transfusions.

Through a spinal tap, doctors put the cells into her spinal column where they penetrate the blood-brain barrier and get to work.

Critics are quick to point out this area of regenerative medicine has largely unverified effectiveness. Results are often anecdotal and the FDA is a long way from approving this type of experimental treatment for America.

Though the Taylors are convinced and here's why.

Beth Taylor said, "Within the first couple of weeks we could see changes. We could see definite improvements in strength and balance."

Cora had never been able to do a sit-up in her life ever; she did her first in China.

Nine-year-old Cora remembers, "The thing that I was most happy about accomplishing was a sit up. Because I'd tried to do a sit up before going to China but I just couldn't do it."

Now, Cora Beth can do 20.

The most notable change has been Cora's walk.

This third-grader had never gone to school without her walker.

Today she walks the halls without it; she hasn't used it in months.

She recently competed in a beauty pageant in her hometown of Piedmont, without the help of her walker as well.

Cora says, "So, I'm really excited. I don't think there's anything that I couldn't accomplish."

Doctors say Cora’s stem cells will continue to mature over the next few years.

For her, there are many milestones ahead.

In the US, Duke University is studying stem cell treatments for children with Cerebral Palsy.

Right now they don't have FDA clearance to use donor stem-cells.

Experts say treatment similar to Cora Beth's Chinese therapy is years away in the U.S.

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First-of-its-kind stem cell study re-grows healthy heart muscle in heart attack patients

By LizaAVILA

Public release date: 13-Feb-2012
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Contact: Sally Stewart
sally.stewart@cshs.org
310-248-6566
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Results from a Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute clinical trial show that treating heart attack patients with an infusion of their own heart-derived cells helps damaged hearts re-grow healthy muscle.

Patients who underwent the stem cell procedure demonstrated a significant reduction in the size of the scar left on the heart muscle by a heart attack. Patients also experienced a sizable increase in healthy heart muscle following the experimental stem cell treatments.

One year after receiving the stem cell treatment, scar size was reduced from 24 percent to 12 percent of the heart in patients treated with cells (an average drop of about 50 percent). Patients in the control group, who did not receive stem cells, did not experience a reduction in their heart attack scars.

The study appears online at http://www.thelancet.com and will be in a future issue of the journal's print edition.

"While the primary goal of our study was to verify safety, we also looked for evidence that the treatment might dissolve scar and regrow lost heart muscle," said Eduardo Marb?n, MD, PhD, the director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute who invented the procedures and technology involved in the study. "This has never been accomplished before, despite a decade of cell therapy trials for patients with heart attacks. Now we have done it. The effects are substantial, and surprisingly larger in humans than they were in animal tests."

"These results signal an approaching paradigm shift in the care of heart attack patients," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, dean of the Cedars-Sinai medical faculty and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine. "In the past, all we could do was to try to minimize heart damage by promptly opening up an occluded artery. Now, this study shows there is a regenerative therapy that may actually reverse the damage caused by a heart attack."

The clinical trial, named CADUCEUS (CArdiosphere-Derived aUtologous stem CElls to Reverse ventricUlar dySfunction), was part of a Phase I investigative study approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

As an initial part of the study, in 2009, Marb?n and his team completed the world's first procedure in which a patient's own heart tissue was used to grow specialized heart stem cells. The specialized cells were then injected back into the patient's heart in an effort to repair and re-grow healthy muscle in a heart that had been injured by a heart attack.

The 25 patients -- average age of 53 -- who participated in this completed study experienced heart attacks that left them with damaged heart muscle. Each patient underwent extensive imaging scans so doctors could pinpoint the exact location and severity of the scars wrought by the heart attack. Patients were treated at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Eight patients served as controls in the study, receiving conventional medical care for heart attack survivors, including prescription medicine, exercise recommendations and dietary advice.

The other 17 patients who were randomized to receive the stem cells underwent a minimally invasive biopsy, under local anesthesia. Using a catheter inserted through a vein in the patient's neck, doctors removed small pieces of heart tissue, about half the size of a raisin. The biopsied heart tissue was then taken to Marb?n's specialized lab at Cedars-Sinai, using methods he invented to culture and multiply the cells.

In the third and final step, the now-multiplied heart-derived cells ? approximately 12 million to 25 million ? were reintroduced into the patient's coronary arteries during a second, minimally invasive [catheter] procedure.

Patients who received stem cell treatment experienced an average of 50 percent reduction in their heart attack scars 12 months after infusion while patients who received standard medical management did not experience shrinkage in the damaged tissue.

"This discovery challenges the conventional wisdom that, once established, scar is permanent and that, once lost, healthy heart muscle cannot be restored," said Marb?n, The Mark S. Siegel Family Professor.

The process to grow cardiac-derived stem cells involved in the study was developed earlier by Marb?n when he was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. The university has filed for a patent on that intellectual property and has licensed it to a company in which Dr. Marb?n has a financial interest. No funds from that company were used to support the clinical study. All funding was derived from the National Institutes of Health and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

###

About the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute

The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is internationally recognized for outstanding heart care built on decades of innovation and leading-edge research. From cardiac imaging and advanced diagnostics to surgical repair of complex heart problems to the training of the heart specialists of tomorrow and research that is deepening medical knowledge and practice, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is known around the world for excellence and innovations.

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AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.

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Scarred Hearts Healed After Heart Attack

By JoanneRUSSELL25

Heart-Attack Damage Heals After Stem Cell Treatment

Feb. 13, 2012 -- A new stem cell treatment resurrects dead, scarred heart muscle damaged by a recent heart attack.

The finding, just in time for Valentine's Day, is the clearest evidence yet that literally broken hearts can heal. All that's needed is a little help from one's own heart stem cells.

"We have been trying as doctors for centuries to find a treatment that actually reverses heart injury," Eduardo Marban, MD, PhD, tells WebMD. "That is what we seem to have been able to achieve in this small number of patients. If so, this could change the nature of medicine. We could go to the root of disease and cure it instead of just work around it."

Marban, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, led the study. He invented the "cardiosphere" culture technique used to create the stem cells and founded the company developing the treatment.

It's the first completed, controlled clinical trial showing that scarred heart tissue can be repaired. Earlier work in patients with heart failure, using different stem cells or bone-marrow stem cells, also showed that the heart can regenerate itself.

"These findings suggest that this therapeutic approach is feasible and has the potential to provide a treatment strategy for cardiac regeneration after [heart attack]," write University of Hong Kong researchers Chung-Wah Siu and Hung-Fat Tse. Their editorial accompanies the Marban report in the Feb. 14 advance online issue of The Lancet.

Heart Regenerates With Stem Cell Help

The stem cells don't do what people think they do, Marban says.

It's been thought that the stem cells multiply over and over again. In time, they were supposed to be turning themselves and their daughter cells into new, working heart muscle.

But the stem cells seem to be doing something much more amazing.

"For reasons we didn't initially know, they stimulate the heart to fix itself," Marban says. "The repair is from the heart itself and not from the cells we give them."

Exactly how the stem cells do this is a matter of "feverish research" in Marban's lab.

The phase I clinical trial enrolled 25 patients who had just had a heart attack. On average, each patient had lost a quarter of his heart muscle. MRI scans showed massive scars.

Eight patients got standard care. The other 17 received increasing infusions of what Marban calls stem cells. The cells were grown in the lab from tiny amounts of heart cells taken from the patients' own hearts via biopsy. Six to 12 weeks later, the cells were infused directly back into patients' hearts.

A year later, the mass of scar tissue in the treated patients' hearts got 42% smaller. And healthy heart muscle increased by 60%. No such regeneration was seen in the patients who got standard care.

Because all of the patients were doing relatively well, there was no dramatic difference in clinical outcome. However, treated patients had a bit better exercise endurance.

"This discovery challenges the conventional wisdom that, once established, cardiac scarring is permanent and that, once lost, healthy heart muscle cannot be restored," Marban and colleagues conclude.

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Scarred Hearts Can Be Mended With Novel Stem Cell Therapy, Study Finds

By raymumme

Stem cells grown from patients’ own cardiac tissue can heal damage once thought to be permanent after a heart attack, according to a study that suggests the experimental approach may one day help stave off heart failure.

In a trial of 25 heart-attack patients, 17 who got the stem cell treatment showed a 50 percent reduction in cardiac scar tissue compared with no improvement for the eight who received standard care. The results, from the first of three sets of clinical trials generally needed for regulatory approval, were published today in the medical journal Lancet.

“The findings in this paper are encouraging,” Deepak Srivastava, director of the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, said in an interview. “There’s a dire need for new therapies for people with heart failure, it’s still the No. 1 cause of death in men and women.”

The study, by researchers from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University (43935MF) in Baltimore, tested the approach in patients who recently suffered a heart attack, with the goal that repairing the damage might help stave off failure. While patients getting the stem cells showed no more improvement in heart function than those who didn’t get the experimental therapy, the theory is that new tissue regenerated by the stem cells can strengthen the heart, said Eduardo Marban, the study’s lead author.

“What our trial was designed to do is to reverse the injury once it’s happened,” said Marban, director of Cedars- Sinai Heart Institute. “The quantitative outcome that we had in this paper is to shift patients from a high-risk group to a low- risk group.”

Minimally Invasive

The stem cells were implanted within five weeks after patients suffering heart attacks. Doctors removed heart tissue, about the size of half a raisin, using a minimally invasive procedure that involved a thin needle threaded through the veins. After cultivating the stem cells from the tissue, doctors reinserted them using a second minimally invasive procedure. Patients got 12.5 million cells to 25 million cells.

A year after the procedure, six patients in the stem cell group had serious side effects, including a heart attack, chest pain, a coronary bypass, implantation of a defibrillator, and two other events unrelated to the heart. One of patient’s side effects were possibly linked to the treatment, the study found.

While the main goal of the trial was to examine the safety of the procedure, the decrease in scar tissue in those treated merits a larger study that focuses on broader clinical outcomes, researchers said in the paper.

Heart Regeneration

“If we can regenerate the whole heart, then the patient would be completely normal,” Marban said. “We haven’t fulfilled that yet, but we’ve gotten rid of half of the injury, and that’s a good start.”

While the study resulted in patients having an increase in muscle mass and a shrinkage of scar size, the amount of blood flowing out of the heart, or the ejection fraction, wasn’t different between the control group and stem-cell therapy group. The measurement is important because poor blood flow deprives the body of oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly, Srivastava said.

“The patients don’t have a functional benefit in this study,” said Srivastava, who wasn’t not involved in the trial.

The technology is being developed by closely held Capricor Inc., which will further test it in 200 patients for the second of three trials typically required for regulatory approval. Marban is a founder of the Los Angeles-based company and chairman of its scientific advisory board. His wife, Lisa Marban, is also a founder and chief executive officer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Flinn in San Francisco at rflinn@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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Study: Cardiac stem cells can reverse heart attack damage

By raymumme

Dr. Eduardo Marbán, in his laboratory at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. (Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute)

By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog

February 13, 2012, 5:45 p.m.

Researchers have used cardiac stem cells to regenerate heart muscle in patients who have suffered heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarction.

The small preliminary study, which was conducted by the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, involved 25 patients who had suffered heart attacks in the previous one and a half to three months. 

Seventeen of the study subjects received infusions of stem cells cultured from a raisin-sized chunk of their own heart tissue, which had been removed via catheter. The eight others received standard care. 

During a heart attack, heart tissue is damaged, leaving a scar.  On average, scars in patients who had the stem cell infusions dropped in size from 24% to 12% of the heart, said Dr. Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and lead researcher on the study, which was published online Monday in the journal The Lancet.  (The journal has provided an abstract of the study; subscription is required for the full text.)

In an email, Marbán said he believed that the stem cells repaired the damaged heart muscle "indirectly, by stimulating the heart's endogenous capacity to regrow [which normally lies dormant]." He said that the most surprising aspect of the research team's finding was that the heart was able to regrow healthy tissue. Conventional wisdom holds that cardiac scarring is permanent.

A follow-up study involving about 200 patients is planned for later this year, Marbán added.

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Cardiac stem cells can restore heart muscles, says study

By Sykes24Tracey

They also help to reduce scar size

Infusion of cardiac stem cells into persons who suffered heart attack recently can help to regenerate their heart muscles, says a study published on February 14, in The Lancet.

Phase I of the study was conducted on 17 patients, who received stems cells, and eight, who received standard care (control group), at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. All of them had had heart attacks about a month before the study began in May 2009. The stem cells were created from the patients' heart tissues.

Visible improvements were seen in those who received infusion of stem cells, compared with the control group at the end of six months and a year. While no change in the scar size was seen in the control group, there was more than 12 per cent reduction in the size at the end of six months in the treatment group.

As scar size is directly related to scar mass, a reduction of 8.4 gram (28 per cent) and almost 13 gram (42 per cent) in scar mass was seen in the treatment group at the end of six months and 12 months.

Surprisingly, scar mass reduction was accompanied by an increase in viable myocardial mass. In fact, on an average, the increase in viable myocardial mass was “about 60 per cent more than scar reduction.” This is significant as it had led to a “partial restoration of lost left ventricular mass in patients with CDCs [cardiosphere-derived cells],” the authors of the study noted.

The study thus “challenges the conventional wisdom that once established, cardiac scarring is permanent, and that, once lost, healthy heart muscle cannot be restored.”

However, a change in scar size was accompanied by only 2 per cent increase in ejection factor (the amount of blood pumped by the heart), which is not considered significant.

While “the reasons for the discrepancy are unclear,” the study noted that “ejection factor at baseline was only moderately impaired, leaving little room for improvement.”

Of the six patients in the treatment group who had serious adverse events, only one was found to be related to the study.

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Researchers Develop Cerebral Cortex Cells From Skin

By NEVAGiles23

February 13, 2012

Researchers at the University of Cambridge report that they created cerebral cortex cells from a small sample of human skin.

The new development could pave the way for techniques to explore a wide range of diseases such as autism and Alzheimer’s.

The findings could also enable scientists to study how the human cerebral cortex develops — and how it “wires up” and how that can go wrong.

“This approach gives us the ability to study human brain development and disease in ways that were unimaginable even five years ago,” Dr Rick Livesey of the Gurdon Institute and Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge said in a statement.

During the research, the scientists biopsied skin from patients and then reprogrammed the cells from the skin samples back into stem cells.

These stem cells, along with human embryonic stem cells, were used to generate cerebral cortex cells.

Livesey said they are using this system to help recreate Alzheimer’s disease in the lab, which primarily affects the type of nerve cell the researchers made.

“Dementia is the greatest medical challenge of our time – we urgently need to understand more about the condition and how to stop it,” Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said in a press release. “We hope these findings can move us closer towards this goal.”

Brain cells developed this way could help researchers gain a better understanding of how the brain develops and what goes wrong when it is affected by disease.

Scientists hope the cells could be used to provide healthy tissues, which can be implanted into patients to treat neurodegenerative diseases and brain damage.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

On the Net:

Source: RedOrbit Staff & Wire Reports

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Radiation Treatment Generates Cancer Stem Cells from Less Aggressive Breast Cancer Cells

By raymumme

Newswise — Breast cancer stem cells are thought to be the sole source of tumor recurrence and are known to be resistant to radiation therapy and don’t respond well to chemotherapy.

Now, researchers with the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report for the first time that radiation treatment –despite killing half of all tumor cells during every treatment - transforms other cancer cells into treatment-resistant breast cancer stem cells.

The generation of these breast cancer stem cells counteracts the otherwise highly efficient radiation treatment. If scientists can uncover the mechanisms and prevent this transformation from occurring, radiation treatment for breast cancer could become even more effective, said study senior author Dr. Frank Pajonk, an associate professor of radiation oncology and Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.

“We found that these induced breast cancer stem cells (iBCSC) were generated by radiation-induced activation of the same cellular pathways used to reprogram normal cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) in regenerative medicine,” said Pajonk, who also is a scientist with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine at UCLA. “It was remarkable that these breast cancers used the same reprogramming pathways to fight back against the radiation treatment.”

The study appears DATE in the early online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells.

“Controlling the radiation resistance of breast cancer stem cells and the generation of new iBCSC during radiation treatment may ultimately improve curability and may allow for de-escalation of the total radiation doses currently given to breast cancer patients, thereby reducing acute and long-term adverse effects,” the study states.

There are very few breast cancer stem cells in a larger pool of breast cancer cells. In this study, Pajonk and his team eliminated the smaller pool of breast cancer stem cells and then irradiated the remaining breast cancer cells and placed them into mice.

Using a unique imaging system Pajonk and his team developed to visualize cancer stem cells, the researchers were able to observe their initial generation into iBCSC in response to the radiation treatment. The newly generated iBCSC were remarkably similar to breast cancer stem cells found in tumors that had not been irradiated, Pajonk said.

The team also found that the iBCSC had a more than 30-fold increased ability to form tumors compared to the non-irradiated breast cancer cells from which they originated.

Pajonk said that the study unites the competing models of clonal evolution and the hierarchical organization of breast cancers, as it suggests that undisturbed, growing tumors maintain a small number of cancer stem cells. However, if challenged by various stressors that threaten their numbers, including ionizing radiation, the breast cancer cells generate iBCSC that may, together with the surviving cancer stem cells, repopulate the tumor.

“What is really exciting about this study is that it gives us a much more complex understanding of the interaction of radiation with cancer cells that goes far beyond DNA damage and cell killing,” Pajonk said. “The study may carry enormous potential to make radiation even better.”

Pajonk stressed that breast cancer patients should not be alarmed by the study findings and should continue to undergo radiation if recommended by their oncologists.

“Radiation is an extremely powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer,” he said. “If we can uncover the mechanism driving this transformation, we may be able to stop it and make the therapy even more powerful.”

This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the California Breast Cancer Research Program and the Department of Defense.

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2011, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 10 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 11 of the last 12 years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at http://www.cancer.ucla.edu.

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Radiation treatment transforms breast cancer cells into cancer stem cells

By Sykes24Tracey

Now, researchers with the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report for the first time that radiation treatment –despite killing half of all tumor cells during every treatment - transforms other cancer cells into treatment-resistant breast cancer stem cells.

The generation of these breast cancer stem cells counteracts the otherwise highly efficient radiation treatment. If scientists can uncover the mechanisms and prevent this transformation from occurring, radiation treatment for breast cancer could become even more effective, said study senior author Dr. Frank Pajonk, an associate professor of radiation oncology and Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.

"We found that these induced breast cancer stem cells (iBCSC) were generated by radiation-induced activation of the same cellular pathways used to reprogram normal cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) in regenerative medicine," said Pajonk, who also is a scientist with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine at UCLA. "It was remarkable that these breast cancers used the same reprogramming pathways to fight back against the radiation treatment."

The study appears DATE in the early online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells.

"Controlling the radiation resistance of breast cancer stem cells and the generation of new iBCSC during radiation treatment may ultimately improve curability and may allow for de-escalation of the total radiation doses currently given to breast cancer patients, thereby reducing acute and long-term adverse effects," the study states.

There are very few breast cancer stem cells in a larger pool of breast cancer cells. In this study, Pajonk and his team eliminated the smaller pool of breast cancer stem cells and then irradiated the remaining breast cancer cells and placed them into mice.

Using a unique imaging system Pajonk and his team developed to visualize cancer stem cells, the researchers were able to observe their initial generation into iBCSC in response to the radiation treatment. The newly generated iBCSC were remarkably similar to breast cancer stem cells found in tumors that had not been irradiated, Pajonk said.

The team also found that the iBCSC had a more than 30-fold increased ability to form tumors compared to the non-irradiated breast cancer cells from which they originated.

Pajonk said that the study unites the competing models of clonal evolution and the hierarchical organization of breast cancers, as it suggests that undisturbed, growing tumors maintain a small number of cancer stem cells. However, if challenged by various stressors that threaten their numbers, including ionizing radiation, the breast cancer cells generate iBCSC that may, together with the surviving cancer stem cells, repopulate the tumor.

"What is really exciting about this study is that it gives us a much more complex understanding of the interaction of radiation with cancer cells that goes far beyond DNA damage and cell killing," Pajonk said. "The study may carry enormous potential to make radiation even better."

Pajonk stressed that breast cancer patients should not be alarmed by the study findings and should continue to undergo radiation if recommended by their oncologists.

"Radiation is an extremely powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer," he said. "If we can uncover the mechanism driving this transformation, we may be able to stop it and make the therapy even more powerful."

Provided by University of California - Los Angeles

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Dr. Ramaswamy on Dormant Tumor Cells and Resistance – Video

By daniellenierenberg

13-02-2012 12:31 Sridhar Ramaswamy, MD, Tucker Gosnell Investigator and Associate Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute, discusses ongoing research into drug tolerance and resistance, specifically the roll of dormant cancer cells. If a tumor goes into remission as a result of a cancer drug and then recurs it is likely that the tumor will still respond to the initial treatment. In the dormant state the cells are resistance, in the original they are sensitive. The exact mechanism behind this has yet to be discovered. In some cases giving a course, stopping, and then continuing later on can create an additive effect, an idea that Ramaswamy calls a drug holiday. A comparison is underway between drug and non-drug induced dormant cells in order to find the mechanism that causes resistance. The ultimate goal of the research is to be able to predict and stop drug resistance.

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Vet offers stem cell therapy for dogs

By NEVAGiles23

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Cutting-edge arthritis treatment for our four-legged family members is now available in Columbia.

Banks Animal Hospital is the first in the area to offer in-house Stem Cell therapy. It uses your pets own body to heal itself.

Take 13-year-old Maggie, for example. The energetic pup has a limp that usually keeps her from jumping or going up stairs.

"Today when everybody's out there filming her little limp it's not as pronounced because she wants to please," said Maggie's owner, Beth Phibbs. "She's just a great dog."

But a great attitude wasn't enough to repair a bad case of cervical spine arthritis.

So Monday, Beth brought Maggie to Banks Animal Hospital for the Stem Cell therapy. Like many, Beth had never heard of Stem Cell work in animals. "Until Dr. Banks mentioned it to me I was like, beg your pardon?"

"There's no down side, no side effects because you're using your own cells," said Dr Ken Banks.

Banks and his staff first gather some of Maggie's blood and fat. Both are good places to find the repair cells they're after. Adult stem cells, not the controversial embryonic kind, are then separated and spun down.

"The repair system in Maggie's body has failed," said Jason Richardson of MediVet-America. "It's fallen asleep at the wheel, we're taking these repair cells, activating them so a chronic condition like osteo arthritis to Maggie will now be an acute illness."

This kind of treatment used to take days with material being shipped across the country, but now it can be done in hours.

"The ability to do it same day, convenience, the ability to do it in clinic saves a lot of money to the doctor which he can then pass on to the patient," said Richardson.

The treatment will still run you around $2,000, but Richardson says that's half of what the similar treatment use to cost.

When it's over, Maggie should be able to live out her life pain and drug free -- something Phibbs is looking forward to.

"I'm hoping in a couple of weeks she's gonna have a new lease on life," said Phibbs.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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Scarred Hearts Can Be Mended With Stem Cell Therapy, Study Shows

By NEVAGiles23

February 13, 2012, 9:47 PM EST

By Ryan Flinn

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Stem cells grown from patients’ own cardiac tissue can heal damage once thought to be permanent after a heart attack, according to a study that suggests the experimental approach may one day help stave off heart failure.

In a trial of 25 heart-attack patients, 17 who got the stem cell treatment showed a 50 percent reduction in cardiac scar tissue compared with no improvement for the eight who received standard care. The results, from the first of three sets of clinical trials generally needed for regulatory approval, were published today in the medical journal Lancet.

“The findings in this paper are encouraging,” Deepak Srivastava, director of the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, said in an interview. “There’s a dire need for new therapies for people with heart failure, it’s still the No. 1 cause of death in men and women.”

The study, by researchers from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, tested the approach in patients who recently suffered a heart attack, with the goal that repairing the damage might help stave off failure. While patients getting the stem cells showed no more improvement in heart function than those who didn’t get the experimental therapy, the theory is that new tissue regenerated by the stem cells can strengthen the heart, said Eduardo Marban, the study’s lead author.

“What our trial was designed to do is to reverse the injury once it’s happened,” said Marban, director of Cedars- Sinai Heart Institute. “The quantitative outcome that we had in this paper is to shift patients from a high-risk group to a low- risk group.”

Minimally Invasive

The stem cells were implanted within five weeks after patients suffering heart attacks. Doctors removed heart tissue, about the size of half a raisin, using a minimally invasive procedure that involved a thin needle threaded through the veins. After cultivating the stem cells from the tissue, doctors reinserted them using a second minimally invasive procedure. Patients got 12.5 million cells to 25 million cells.

A year after the procedure, six patients in the stem cell group had serious side effects, including a heart attack, chest pain, a coronary bypass, implantation of a defibrillator, and two other events unrelated to the heart. One of patient’s side effects were possibly linked to the treatment, the study found.

While the main goal of the trial was to examine the safety of the procedure, the decrease in scar tissue in those treated merits a larger study that focuses on broader clinical outcomes, researchers said in the paper.

Heart Regeneration

“If we can regenerate the whole heart, then the patient would be completely normal,” Marban said. “We haven’t fulfilled that yet, but we’ve gotten rid of half of the injury, and that’s a good start.”

While the study resulted in patients having an increase in muscle mass and a shrinkage of scar size, the amount of blood flowing out of the heart, or the ejection fraction, wasn’t different between the control group and stem-cell therapy group. The measurement is important because poor blood flow deprives the body of oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly, Srivastava said.

“The patients don’t have a functional benefit in this study,” said Srivastava, who wasn’t not involved in the trial.

The technology is being developed by closely held Capricor Inc., which will further test it in 200 patients for the second of three trials typically required for regulatory approval. Marban is a founder of the Los Angeles-based company and chairman of its scientific advisory board. His wife, Lisa Marban, is also a founder and chief executive officer.

--Editors: Angela Zimm, Andrew Pollack

-0- Feb/13/2012 22:32 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Flinn in San Francisco at rflinn@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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Dogs who got stem cell therapy are well

By NEVAGiles23

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) - Dogs who received the first in-clinic stem cell therapy in West Michigan returned to the vets who treated them Monday morning.

Boris and Natasha returned to Kelley's Animal Clinic for their 60-day checkup after receiving stem cell treatment in December 2011.

Dr. James Kelley and his staff of vets removed fat tissue from the dogs and activated it with an enzyme before injecting it into their back legs.

This adult animal stem cell technology is different from the controversial embryonic stem cell therapy.

Kelley said both dogs are doing amazingly well and that the procedure has done more than just help their arthritis.

"We're finding that not only the joints are affected, the rest of the animal is affected as well," said Kelley. "The skin is better. The attitude in these dogs is much improved."

Kelley and his staff have done 16 stem cell treatments since the first on Boris and Natasha, and he said all the dogs are showing signs of improvement after a short period of time.

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Stem Cell Treatment Might Reverse Heart Attack Damage

By NEVAGiles23

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cell therapy's promise for healing damaged tissues may have gotten a bit closer to reality. In a small, early study, heart damage was reversed in heart-attack patients treated with their own cardiac stem cells, researchers report.

The cells, called cardiosphere-derived stem cells, regrew damaged heart muscle and reversed scarring one year later, the authors say.

Up until now, heart specialists' best tool to help minimize damage following a heart attack has been to surgically clear blocked arteries.

"In our treatment, we dissolved scar and replaced it with living heart muscle. Such 'therapeutic regeneration' has long been the holy grail of cell therapy, but had never been accomplished before; we now seem to have done it," said study author Dr. Eduardo Marban, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

However, outside experts cautioned that the findings are preliminary and the treatment is far from ready for widespread use among heart-attack survivors.

The study, published online Feb. 14 in The Lancet, involved 25 middle-aged patients (average age 53) who had suffered a heart attack. Seventeen underwent stem cell infusions while eight received standard post-heart attack care, including medication and exercise therapy.

The stem cells were obtained using a minimally invasive procedure, according to the researchers from Cedars-Sinai and the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Patients received a local anesthetic and then a catheter was threaded through a neck vein down to the heart, where a tiny portion of muscle was taken. The sample provided all the researchers needed to generate a supply of new stem cells -- 12 million to 25 million -- that were then transplanted back into the heart-attack patient during a second minimally invasive procedure.

One year after the procedure, the infusion patients' cardiac scar sizes had shrunk by about half. Scar size was reduced from 24 percent to 12 percent of the heart, the team said. In contrast, the patients receiving standard care experienced no scar shrinkage.

Initial muscle damage and healed tissue were measured using MRI scans.

After six months, four patients in the stem-cell group experienced serious adverse events compared with only one patient in the control group. At one year, two more stem-cell patients had a serious complication. However, only one such event -- a heart attack -- might have been related to the treatment, according to the study.

In a news release, Marban said that "the effects are substantial and surprisingly larger in humans than they were in animal tests."

Other experts were cautiously optimistic. Cardiac expert Dr. Bernard Gersh, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, is not affiliated with the research but is familiar with the findings.

"This study demonstrates that it is safe and feasible to administer these cardiac-derived stem cells and the results are interesting and encouraging," he said.

Another specialist said that while provocative and promising, the findings remain early, phase-one research. "It's a proof-of-concept study," said interventional cardiologist Dr. Thomas Povsic, an assistant professor of medicine at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in Durham, N.C.

And Dr. Chip Lavie, medical director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, in New Orleans, also discussed the results. He said that while the study showed that the cardiac stem cells reduced scar tissue and increased the area of live heart tissue in heart attack patients with moderately damaged overall heart tissue, it did not demonstrate a reduction in heart size or any improvement in the heart's pumping ability.

"It did not improve the ejection fraction, which is a very important measurement used to define the overall heart's pumping ability," Lavie noted. "Certainly, much larger studies of various types of heart attack patients will be needed before this even comes close to being a viable potential therapy for the large number of heart attack initial survivors."

Povsic concurred that much larger studies are needed. "The next step is showing it really helps patients in some kind of meaningful way, by either preventing death, healing them or making them feel better."

It's unclear what the cost will be, Povsic added. "What society is going to be willing to pay for this is going to be based on how much good it ends up doing. If they truly regenerate a heart and prevent a heart transplant, that would save a lot money."

Marban, who invented the stem cell treatment, said the while it would not replace bypass surgery or angioplasty, "it might be useful in treating 'irreversible' injury that may persist after those procedures."

As a rough estimate, he said that if larger, phase 2 trials were successful, the treatment might be available to the general public by about 2016.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes current heart attack treatment.

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UPDATE: Sign up for the National Bone Marrow Registry now

By LizaAVILA

Bone marrow drive at Guam Premier Outlets: Bone marrow drive at Guam Premier Outlets Written by Pacific Daily News
MYTHS AND FACTS

Myths and facts about bone marrow donation:
? Myth: All bone marrow donations involve surgery.
? Fact: The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient's doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell donation, which is non-surgical. The second way of donating is marrow donation, which is a surgical procedure. In each case, donors typically go home the same day they donate.

?Myth: Donating is painful and involves a long recovery.
?Fact: There can be uncomfortable but short-lived side effects of peripheral blood stem cell donation. Due to taking a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation, peripheral blood stem cell donors may have headaches, joint or muscle aches, or fatigue. Donors are typically back to their normal routine in one to two days. Those donating marrow receive general or regional anesthesia, so they feel no pain during donation. Marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back for one to two weeks afterward. Most marrow donors are back to their normal activities in two to seven days.

?Myth: Donating is dangerous and weakens the donor.
?Fact: Though no medical procedure is without risk, there are rarely any long-term side effects. Be The Match carefully prescreens all donors to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them. We also provide support and information every step of the way.

Because only 5 percent or less of a donor's marrow is needed to save the patient's life, the donor's immune system stays strong and the cells replace themselves within four to six weeks.

?For more myths and facts, and more information about bone marrow donation, visit http://www.bethematch.org. Be The Match Registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

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Bone marrow recipient meets donor who gave him the gift of life

By NEVAGiles23

BOCA RATON—

A physician from Indianapolis met the woman who saved his life on Sunday morning, providing an emotional kick-off for the second annual Walk for Life, sponsored by the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation.

"It's almost like a total out of body experience," said Scott Savader, 53, moments after he embraced former Sunrise resident Jill Rubin, who provided the stem cells that were transplanted into Savader's body nearly two years ago.

As the two met for the first time, about 300 people cheered before heading off on a 5K walk at Florida Atlantic University. The effort is part of a campaign to raise awareness and raise $100,000 for lab tests necessary to match donors and recipients.

Savader said receiving the transplant was "like being plucked from a fire or a sinking car. There is a bond there now that transcends just knowing somebody. If not for her generosity, I would have died."

Each year, 10,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a disease treatable with a bone marrow transplant. Yet only about half find the donor who could save them, according to Jay Feinberg, the Delray Beach resident who started the foundation after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia.

He received a transplant in 1995 and has since dedicated his life to making matches for others.

Savader, a radiologist, was diagnosed with myelofibrosis in 2008.

Rubin, 45, a physical therapist, said she registered as a bone marrow donor 10 years ago while attending a fair in Plantation. She and her family have since moved to Deland.

"This is very emotional for me," said Rubin as she and Savader posed for pictures.

After spending a little time with Savader and his family Sunday, Rubin said she felt even better about her gift to him.

She also learned that Savader grew up and went to high school in Cooper City. "Small world," she said.

Temperatures in the 40s and a chilly wind did little to dampen enthusiasm for the walk. Participants were inspired by Savader and Rubin and other success stories.

Among the latter were 6-year-old Matthew Welling, on hand with his parents Michael and Susie Welling of Port Chester, N.Y., and Boca Raton resident Jill Goldsmith, who donated the bone marrow that reversed the boy's osteoporosis in 2007.

"It was an amazing, life-changing experience," said Goldsmith, 50, as she watched Matthew dance happily around a field at the university.

"What I had to do to save a life was so easy," said Goldsmith. "And to see him now, well, I feel proud and honored and so blessed."

During last year's walk, more than 1,000 new donors were added to the registry and resulted in 14 matches for patients throughout the U.S. They joined a total registry of nearly 200,000, said Feinberg.

Volunteering to become a potential donor begins with an oral swab that is then tested for tissue type. Most of the foundation's money goes toward paying for those lab tests, which cost about $55 each, said Feinberg.

For information, go to mwclary@tribune.com">http://www.giftoflife.org.

mwclary@tribune.com or at 954-356-4465

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