Eli Cured of Sickle Cell by Stem Cells from Brother

When Eli was born in 2010, his parents were delighted to finally have a child. They had been trying to conceive for years and had gone through multiple fertility treatments. But challenges soon confronted them when Eli was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease shortly after birth. Sickle Cell Disease causes red blood cells to be sickle-shaped and stiff, instead of round and flexible. The sickle cells do not carry oxygen well, causing the patient to feel chronic fatigue. Sometimes the sickle cells stick to each other and form clumps that block blood vessels; this is very painful and can be dangerous depending on where in the body it happens. There is a misconception that Sickle Cell Disease is only a problem in Africa, but it is also the most common inherited disease in the United States1. Sickle Cell Disease is caused by a genetic mutation; when both parents are carriers there is a 25% chance that their child will inherit two copies of the mutation and have the disease.

Currently the CDC estimates that 1 in 13 African Americans are carriers and 1 in 365 African American babies have the disease2. Sickle Cell impacts other ethnic groups as well, and altogether there are 100,000 Sickle Cell patients in the US2. Also, many people do not realize that Sickle Cell can impact the health-related quality of life for the patient’s entire family, especially the parents of a child with Sickle Cell3. It turned out that Eli had a more severe case of Sickle Cell Disease. He was frequently anemic from low red blood cell counts. He became sick easily and had pain crises when a blood vessel became blocked. Often his parents had to take him to the hospital emergency room and sometimes he was admitted to the hospital for long-term stays. His parents consulted with expert doctors at both Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to come up with a treatment plan that would give Eli a normal life. They knew that a stem cell transplant could cure Eli, and that a sibling would be the best donor. Finally, Eli’s parents welcomed his baby brother Gus and made sure to save his cord blood at birth. On top of having the cord blood, Gus matched Eli close enough genetically to be a bone marrow donor as well.

By now it was 2020, and Eli was nearly 10 years old. But due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there were multiple delays and Eli did not get his stem cell transplant until May of 2021. The family decided to take advantage of all their options and go ahead with a combined transplant of both cord blood and bone marrow from baby Gus. Within a year after the stem cell transplant, Eli had normal blood counts and there was no sign that he was ever diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease. Eli has had zero pain crises and no hospital visits since his transplant.

“Since the procedure, he’s been flying with amazing colors. The doctors couldn’t be more happy that everything has gone so well. And we couldn’t be happier either!” – Eli’s Mom

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The Personalized Stem Cells That Could One Day Treat Parkinson’s and Heart Failure

Could an injection of lab-cultured brain cells, created from a person’s own cells, reverse symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? That’s an idea that Aspen Neuroscience Inc., a startup based in San Diego, plans to test in human trials later this year.

In patients with Parkinson’s, neurons die and lose the ability to make the chemical dopamine, leading to erratic, uncontrollable movements. Aspen Neuroscience will test if the newly injected cells can mature into dopamine producers, stopping the debilitating symptoms of this incurable disease, says Damien McDevitt, the company’s chief executive officer. Tests in animals have shown promise, the company says.

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A review: therapeutic potential of adipose- derived stem cells in cutaneous wound healing and regenaration

adipose tissue stem cells

As the most important barrier for the human body, the skin often suffers from acute and chronic injuries, especially refractory wounds, which seriously affect the quality of life of patients. For these refractory wounds that cannot be cured by various surgical methods, stem cell transplantation becomes an effective research direction. As one of the
adult stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells play an indispensable role in the repair of skin wounds more than other stem cells because of their advantages such as immune compatibility and freedom from ethical constraints. Here, we actively explore the role of adipose-derived stem cells in the repair of cutaneous wound and conclude that it can significantly promote cutaneous wound healing and regeneration. Based on a large number of animal and clinical trials, we believe that adipose-derived stem cells will have a greater breakthrough in the field of skin wound repair in the future, especially in chronic refractory wounds.

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