Cells Weekly – August 19, 2012

by Alexey Bersenev on August 19, 2012 · 0 comments

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Cells Weekly is a digest of the most interesting news and events, picked by editor. We put a lot of emphasis on the discussions and resources, which you can’t easily get from traditional search (Google, PubMed). Follow us and be informed!

1. Mesenchymal stem cells in patients with traumatic brain injury
Results of Chinese study were recently published online. This study was uncontrolled, included 97 patients (among them 24 were with persistent vegetative state) in subacute stage of traumatic brain injury. Autologous bone marrow-derived cultured mesenchymal stem cells were administered via lumbar puncture.

Fourteen days after cell therapy, no serious complications or adverse events were reported. To a certain extent, 38 of 97 patients (39.2%) improved in the function of brain after transplant (P = .007). Eleven of 24 patients (45.8%) with persistent vegetative state showed posttherapeutic improvements in consciousness (P = .024). Twenty-seven of 73 patients (37.0%) with a motor disorder began to show improvements in motor functions (P = .025).

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2. Antibody database for stem cell research
1DegreeBio launched a new database for stem cell researchers:

Commercial antibodies are often an essential component in stem cell research, but inconsistency in antibody quality often slows the research process. The new 1DegreeBio Stem Cell Portal is designed to address this issue, as researchers can find validation data and community reviews of stem cell antibodies, helping them identify the right product for their experiments.

This is a great initiative! Long-awaited, and, finally arrived!

3. Biotechnology professionals more likely won’t go for stem cell treatments offshore
@GENbio posted an article about stem cell tourism. The most interesting part to me is a poll, attached to the post. Here is a snap shot of results:

4. Downstream processing in clinical cell manufacturing
The Cell Culture Dish posted a nice overview of technologies, which used for downstream processing in cell therapy manufacturing:

Downstream processing techniques are optimized and well defined for traditional biopharmaceutical manufacturing where the final product is secreted antibody or recombinant protein. Cell therapy applications are much more challenging, as the final product is the cell itself. This means that extra care must be taken in all steps to ensure cell viability is maintained.

5. Donor cell-derived carcinoma after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
It is well known that leukemic patients after hematopoitic stem cell transplantation have higher probability of developing so called “secondary solid malignant tumors” than general population. The reasons for this observation remain unknown. Conditioning regimen (irradiation and chemotherapy drugs) or donor cells – both could play a role. There are very few reports, which indicate a possible link between donor cells and secondary malignancies. The recent report from Japanese group provides a proof that at some cases we have to blame donor cells. The authors analyzed 5 clinical cases and used two techniques (anti-AE1/3 immunofluorescence and FISH) to identify cells of donor’s origin:

we identified a secondary cancer arising from engrafted donor peripheral blood cells. Our observations suggest that transfused peripheral blood cells and bone marrow cells are involved in the development of cancer after allogeneic PBSCT. As methods that have been developed in this study enable determination of the origin of secondary tumors that develop after allogeneic HSCT, further analysis is warranted in a larger number of cases with secondary cancer developing after HSCT.

6. Long-term safety of iPS cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)
RPE cells is the only type of cells, derived from pluripotent stem cells, which currently have been tested in clinical trials. Advanced Cell Technology has a few trials, assessing embryonic stem cell-derived RPE in eye diseases. Recently, Japanese researches announced the plans for the first iPS cell trial in eye disease in the next year. So, the safety of pluripotent stem cell-derived RPE is a big deal. The recent study has assessed a safety and efficacy of human iPS cell-derived RPE in mouse model:

Our study provides the first direct evidence of functional recovery in a clinically relevant model of retinal degeneration using iPS transplantation and supports the feasibility of autologous iPS cell transplantation for retinal and macular degenerations featuring significant RPE loss.

7. Cancer stem cell culture and assays
BD published a very good review “Culture and Assay Systems Utilized for Cancer Stem Cell Research” (.pdf). This review is very well written and worth your attention.

That’s all guys! Have a nice week!


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