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Cord blood stem cell transplants have already changedand savedthousands of lives around the world. They have already been used to treat more than 75 diseases, including numerous types of malignancies, anemia's, inherited metabolic disorders and deficiencies of the immune system.
New medical technology may well use these cells to rebuild cardiac tissue, repair damage due to stroke or spinal cord injuries and reverse the effects of such diseases as multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons. While the research is still in its early stages, the possibilities are extremely promising. And, banking your childs stem cells increases access to any of these technologies in the future.
Thanks to a re-infusion of cord blood stem cells, a little girl has recovered from a critical brain injury
Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells: Prime Source for Transplants and Future Regenerative Medicine
Improvement in Cardiac Function following Transplantation of Human Umbilical Cord Matrix-Derived Mesenchymal Cells
Thanks to a transplant of stem cells from her brothers umbilical cord blood, eight-year-old Thamirabharuni Kumar is beating thalassemia.
The physician-scientists and researchers at Childrens Hospital Boston believe that stem cell biology holds the key to treatments for a wide range of currently untreatable or incurable diseases. Much of our current work centers on specific diseases and the ways in which stem cells might be used to model and understand those diseases. Critical work is also underway to explore how the power and nature of stem cells might be harnessed in the development of general and patient-specific therapies.
To achieve this, we are intensively exploring all pathways availableincluding embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent cells (iPS cells) and adult stem cells. By engaging on multiple fronts, we increase our ability and potential to unlock the door to treatments for many diseases. Already, clinical trials are underway on a drug discovered by the Zon Lab that has the potential to boost production of blood stem cells, with significant implications for the treatment of patients with leukemia. The Daley Lab has created more than 20 disease-specific iPS cell lines that will enable researchers to track the origins of a specific disease and to attempt to change its course. Many other exciting investigations are underway and are discussed in these pages.
Take a virtual tour through the Daley Lab to learn more:
Our team of scientists are exploring ways to understand and treat blood, neurological, kidney, lung and heart disease; cancer and diabetes; disorders of the muscular and immune systems; and congenital and genetic disorders. Every day brings the potential for new insights, new discoveries, and new hope that the vast promise of stem cells can be realized, and that people suffering from these diseases both children and adults can be cured. We are committed to the realization of that goal.
To date, there are more than a dozen diseases represented in the Stem Cell Programs research and the program is constantly adding new diseases to its research roster. Visit this page and our newsroom often for updates on our research.
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Research on Diseases | Boston Children's Hospital - Stem cell
Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide (through mitosis) to produce more stem cells. They are found in multicellular organisms. In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells, which are found in various tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all the specialized cellsectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm (see induced pluripotent stem cells)but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin, or intestinal tissues.
There are three known accessible sources of autologous adult stem cells in humans:
Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just after birth. Of all stem cell types, autologous harvesting involves the least risk. By definition, autologous cells are obtained from one's own body, just as one may bank his or her own blood for elective surgical procedures.
Adult stem cells are frequently used in medical therapies, for example in bone marrow transplantation. Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialized cell types with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated through Somatic-cell nuclear transfer or dedifferentiation have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies. Research into stem cells grew out of findings by Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till at the University of Toronto in the 1960s.
The classical definition of a stem cell requires that it possess two properties:
Two mechanisms exist to ensure that a stem cell population is maintained:
Potency specifies the differentiation potential (the potential to differentiate into different cell types) of the stem cell.
In practice, stem cells are identified by whether they can regenerate tissue. For example, the defining test for bone marrow or hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is the ability to transplant the cells and save an individual without HSCs. This demonstrates that the cells can produce new blood cells over a long term. It should also be possible to isolate stem cells from the transplanted individual, which can themselves be transplanted into another individual without HSCs, demonstrating that the stem cell was able to self-renew.
Properties of stem cells can be illustrated in vitro, using methods such as clonogenic assays, in which single cells are assessed for their ability to differentiate and self-renew. Stem cells can also be isolated by their possession of a distinctive set of cell surface markers. However, in vitro culture conditions can alter the behavior of cells, making it unclear whether the cells will behave in a similar manner in vivo. There is considerable debate as to whether some proposed adult cell populations are truly stem cells.
Embryonic stem (ES) cells are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, an early-stage embryo. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 45 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50150 cells. ES cells are pluripotent and give rise during development to all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm. In other words, they can develop into each of the more than 200 cell types of the adult body when given sufficient and necessary stimulation for a specific cell type. They do not contribute to the extra-embryonic membranes or the placenta.
Dec. 20, 2014
Government-backed Japanese institute Riken accepts resignation of Haruko Obokata, one of its highest-profile scientists, after she fails to replicate research results that were once hailed as breakthrough in stem cell research. MORE
Experimental stem cell procedures, once talked about but not put into practice, are starting to be used in trial settings; as many as 4,500 clinical trials involving stem cells are under way in United States to treat patients with conditions such as heart disease, blindness, Parkinson's and spinal cord injury; enthusiasm for such procedures, however, sometimes outstrips supporting science. MORE
Colleagues of Yoshiki Sasai, leading Japanese life science researcher, say he has taken his own life; Sasai was co-author of discredited stem cell study published in journal Nature that was retracted due to factual errors and allegations of misconduct. MORE
Journal Nature retracts two scientific papers it published that initially electrified biologists by describing easy way to make stem cells; says papers were error-filled and had not been verified by anyone else. MORE
Op-Ed article by evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo warns against using sequenced genomes of Neanderthals to re-create Neanderthal individuals; contends from an ethical perspective such an idea should be condemned, and argues that using stem cells to create cells and tissues in test tubes for research is far more ethically defensible and technically feasible. MORE
Scientists, reporting in journal Cell Stem Cell, move step closer to goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patients DNA in order to treat diseases; say they have created patient-specific cell lines for 'therapeutic cloning' out of skin cells of two adult men. MORE
Japanese research institute concludes that study published in journal Nature that was once hailed as breakthrough in creating stem cells contains fabricated and doctored images that cast doubt on its findings; singles out study's lead author Haruko Obokata, stem cell biologist, saying she had altered or misrepresented illustrations in her research papers. MORE
Japanese research institute acknowledges that study billed as breakthrough in stem cell research contained spliced image, material recycled from lead author's doctoral thesis, and other mistakes; disclosure threatens to discredit newly acclaimed researcher Haruko Obokata, whose team found that simple acid bath might turn cells in the body into stem cells; findings appeared in journal Nature. MORE
Teruhiko Wakayama, one of the authors of startling study that claimed to have found a simple way to make stem cells, says he is no longer sure of its conclusions; calls for its retraction. MORE
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Stem Cells - Times Topics
J Clin Neonatol. 2013 Jan-Mar; 2(1): 17.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Laboratory of Neonatal Immunology, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo, Alessandria, Italy
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In the last decades, the prevention and treatment of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome with antenatal steroids and surfactant replacement allowed the survival of infants born at extremely low gestational ages. These extremely preterm infants are highly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of oxidative stress and infection, and are prone to develop lung and brain diseases that eventually evolve in severe sequelae: The so-called new bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and the noncystic, diffuse form of periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Tissue simplification and developmental arrest (larger and fewer alveoli and hypomyelination in the lungs and brain, respectively) appears to be the hallmark of these emerging sequelae, while fibrosis is usually mild and contributes to a lesser extent to their pathogenesis. New data suggest that loss of stem/progenitor cell populations in the developing brain and lungs may underlie tissue simplification. These observations constitute the basis for the application of stem cell-based protocols following extremely preterm birth. Transplantation of different cell types (including, but not limited to, mesenchymal stromal cells, endothelial progenitor cells, human amnion epithelial cells) could be beneficial in preterm infants for the prevention and/or treatment of BPD, PVL and other major sequelae of prematurity. However, before this new knowledge can be translated into clinical practice, several issues still need to be addressed in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models.
Keywords: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, bronchopulmonary, endothelial, EPC, mesenchymal, MSC, newborn, periventricular leukomalacia, preterm, progenitor cells, periventricular leukomalacia, stem cells
Very and extremely preterm infants suffer from severe diseases associated with premature birth, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), sepsis and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). During the 90s, the universal introduction of antenatal steroids and surfactant replacement as standard therapies for the prevention and treatment of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) has dramatically changed the natural history of diseases affecting prematurely born infants.
Indeed, together with a reduction in the severity of neonatal RDS, the sequelae of perinatal lung and brain injury profoundly changed: The old BPD and cystic PVL were replaced by newly emerging diseases, the so-called new BPD and noncystic, diffuse PVL, respectively. These new sequelae differ from the old ones in severity (in general are less severe), pathogenesis, pathological features and clinical presentation.[1,2,3,4,5,6] In general, focal injury/necrosis and the consequent fibrosis/astrogliosis, the main components of old BPD and cystic PVL, appear to be milder and to contribute to a lesser extent to the pathogenesis of new BPD and noncystic PVL. Conversely, tissue simplification and developmental arrest (larger and fewer alveoli in the lungs and hypomyelination with defective white matter development and neuronal abnormalities in the brain) are the key and predominant components of new BPD and of the diffuse, noncystic form of PVL.[3,6]
While surfactant replacement and prenatal steroid proved revolutionary in changing the destiny of premature infants during the 90s, no preventive strategy is currently available to reduce the incidence of these emerging diseases, and the prevalence of all complications of prematurity has reached a steady state across the last decade . Overall, the sequelae of prematurity still represent a burden for neonatal medicine and global health.
Incidence of major diseases associated with preterm birth in a population of very low birth weight infants (<1500 g)
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Stem Cell Therapy for Neonatal Diseases Associated with ...
What stem cells can do todayopens doorways to even more, tomorrow
Cord blood stem cell transplants have already changed and saved thousands of lives around the world. Science is developing other miraculous uses for these precious cells, potentially impacting countless numbers of lives in the future.
Cord blood stem cells have been used to treat nearly 80 diseases, including numerous types of malignancies, anemias, inherited metabolic disorders and deficiencies of the immune system. The majority of cord blood transplants to date have been performed in patients younger than 18 years old. However, with the advancement in regenerative medicine, it is foreseeable that individuals of all ages can benefit from stem cell therapy in the near future. The source of cord blood used in transplants can be autologous (self) or allogeneic (such as a sibling or an unrelated third party).
Graft-versus-host disease, a complication associated with stem cell transplant therapy, occurs less frequently with umbilical cord stem cells vs. other types of stem cells; and, it is even rarer when the cord stem cells come from a blood related family member.
Below are some diseases currently being treated with stem cells. Although many cord blood stem cell treatments today are allogeneic (non-self), leading scientists believe that autologous (self) cord blood will have a role in treating Type I diabetes, other autoimmune diseases, and brain and cardiac injuries.
Leukemias Leukemia is a cancer of the blood immune system, whose cells are called leukocytes or white cells(all therapies are allogeneic)
Autologous stem cells may not be useful in the treatment for certain diseases listed above -www.parentsguidecordblood.org/diseases.php
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Treating Diseases with Cord Blood Stem Cells | Diseases ...