Game, Set, Match: Tennis Elbow Gets Aced by Stem Cell Therapy

In a new pilot study at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, researchers will utilize stem cells to promote the healing of painful tendon injuries such as tennis elbow.  Initial studies suggest that, upon transplantation, the stem cells release growth factors to the point of injury, which induce the growth of new tendon tissue while reducing scar tissue to recover movement and flexibility. Continue reading

Insulin Producing Cells En-Masse

Scientists have accelerated stem cell differentiation to produce more insulin-producing beta cells.

Harvard University researchers have developed a technique to accelerate stem cell differentiation to produce massive amounts of the insulin-producing beta cells that are destroyed in patients with type-1 or type-2 diabetes.  With an ample and readily available supply of beta cells, researchers are developing therapies that may someday allow patients to produce the precise amount of insulin required to control their blood sugar levels naturally – without the use of a pump or insulin shots. Continue reading

Singing the Praises of Stem Cell Research

Stem Cells in white crown sparrows used to study neurodegenerative diseases.

A research team from the University of Washington has discovered a stem cell signal in Gambel’s white-crown sparrows that may lead to new regenerative treatments for patient suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.  The team found that, in preparation for an upcoming mating season, the sparrow’s brain cells release a chemical signal that activates the division of neural stem cells, which facilitate peak singing performance to attract mates. Continue reading

Brain Tumor Chemotherapy Delivered via Stem Cells.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to minimize collateral damage from brain tumor chemotherapy treatments.

Neuroscientist Dr. Karen Aboody, M.D. and Oncologist Dr. Jana Portnow, M.D. from City of Hope Hospital are set to begin a phase 1 clinical trial for a method of delivering chemotherapy treatments to glioblastoma [aggressive brain tumors] with modified neural stem cells.  The scientists plan to capitalize on the stem cells’ innate ability to seek out invasive tumors by loading the cells with a chemotherapeutic protein and then injecting them into the brain. Continue reading

Schizophrenia Studied With Human Stem Cells.

Scientists have differentiated stem cells into brain cells to study Schizophrenia.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego have differentiated stem cells into neurons to reach a new understanding of the mechanisms of schizophrenia.  The scientists harvested the stem cells of schizophrenia patients, differentiated them into brain cells, and then studied the cells on a dish to reveal that not only do stem cell-derived neurons emit neurotransmitters, but that several of these transmitters, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, are secreted excessively in patients suffering from schizophrenia. Continue reading

CRISPR Advances Genetic Disease Treatment with Stem Cells.

CRISPR may change the way scientists incorporate stem cells for translational genomics.

Scientists led by Dr. Craig Mello of The University of Massachusetts have developed a genetic tool – CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats] – to revolutionize the way stem cells are applied to treat genetic diseases, such as sickle cell or thalassemia.  CRISPR aims to expedite and improve upon the process of translational genomics, in which the patient’s stem cells are extracted, altered to repair the damaged gene, and then transplanted back to the patient. Continue reading

Blood Cells Generated by Modified Stem Cell Differentiation

Researchers have identified two transcription factors that induce stem cells to differentiate into blood cells.

A research group led by Dr. Igor Slukvin, MD PHD, from University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified two transcription factors responsible for the differentiation of stem cells into numerous types of white and red blood cells.  The team made use of messenger RNA to overexpress the two transcription factors, which allowed them to generate 30 million blood cells for every million stem cells, without the use of a virus or altering the genetic structure of the blood. Continue reading

Stem Cells Repair Damage via “First Aid Kits”

Scientists found that neural stem cells deliver restorative materials to other cells through vesicle transport.

In a recently published study, a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has shown that neural stem cells are able to communicate and alleviate damage in other cells by transferring vesicles filled with molecules that enable the cells to repair themselves.  The cellular “first aid kits” contain proteins and nucleic acids that stimulate gene activation and signaling pathways to help the injured target cells survive. Continue reading

Lupus Therapy Incorporates Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Beijing researchers are capitalizing on the abilities of mesenchymal stem cells to reduce inflammation and promote cell growth to combat systemic lupus erythematosus.

In a recent clinical study conducted in Beijing, researchers are testing a treatment for patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus by administering autologous [the patient’s own] mesenchymal stem cells.  The researchers aim to capitalize on the unique abilities of MSCs to not only differentiate into a multitude of different cell types, but to reduce the autoimmune attack in patients affected by lupus as well. Continue reading

Stem Cell Awareness Day 2014

The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine has coordinated Stem Cell Awareness day to highlight all of the progress that stem cells already made for patients around the world.

Today, stem cells are rightfully perceived as the future of regenerative medicine, set to bring the marvels of science fiction into reality.  But in looking ahead at all of the promise that stem cells hold for the future, it becomes easy to miss the scientific advances made to date for the millions of people around the world suffering from disease, trauma, and injury.  Thus, today marks Stem Cell Awareness Day: a global celebration of stem cell research coordinated to highlight the treatments and therapies currently in development to create personalized regenerative therapies for patients. Continue reading