Third person ‘cured’ of HIV after receiving stem cell cancer treatment

A 53-year-old man in Düsseldorf, Germany, has been declared cured of HIV by doctors after a blood stem cell transplant to treat leukaemia – the third case of this kind.

The man has no signs of active infection four years after he stopped taking antiretroviral drugs. “We don’t think there’s a functional virus present,” says Björn Jensen at Düsseldorf University Hospital.

The “Düsseldorf patient” tested positive for HIV in 2008. In 2011, he developed leukaemia that was treated with chemotherapy, but it came back the following year. So, in 2013, the blood stem cells in the man’s bone marrow that give rise to immune cells – including the cancerous ones – were killed off by chemotherapy and then replaced with donor blood stem cells.

Crucially, doctors found a donor with a mutation that disables the CCR5 receptor that HIV uses to infect immune cells.

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Stem cells as a potential treatment of neurological disorders

The ability of stem cells to participate in brain repair has been increasingly demonstrated in recent studies. Most investigations have aimed to replace damaged neurons and glia by direct transplantation or recruitment of newly generated cells in the adult. However, functional improvements were often a result of stem cell-induced self-repair and neuroprotection, rather than cell replacement. Thus, a far more pragmatic approach in the short term might be to use stem cells as chaperones for degenerating nervous tissues. Additionally, targeted delivery of therapeutic agents could be achieved by modifying stem cells to release specific drugs at the site of transplantation. Elucidation and exploitation of this new ‘stem cell pharmacology’ has the potential to revolutionise treatment of neurological diseases.

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Textiles Researchers Prepare Stem Cells to Become Organ Tissue

Nearly 3,000 people died waiting for an organ transplant in 2022, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, and more than 100,000 people remain on the waitlist. Envisioning a future without the need for donor organs, an NC State researcher is laying the foundation to grow stem cells into replacement organ tissue.

Jessica M. Gluck, an assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science in the Wilson College of Textiles, studies microenvironments in the human body. These microenvironments foster cell growth and activity, and they have different physical and mechanical properties depending on where in the body they are. 

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Progress in clinical trials of stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is the most common disease in children associated with lifelong disability in many countries. Clinical research has demonstrated that traditional physiotherapy and rehabilitation therapies cannot alone cure cerebral palsy. Stem cell transplantation is an emerging therapy that has been applied in clinical trials for a variety of neurological diseases because of the regenerative and unlimited proliferative capacity of stem cells. In this review, we summarize the design schemes and results of these clinical trials. Our findings reveal great differences in population characteristics, stem cell types and doses, administration methods, and evaluation methods among the included clinical trials. Furthermore, we also assess the safety and efficacy of these clinical trials. We anticipate that our findings will advance the rational development of clinical trials of stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy and contribute to the clinical application of stem cells.

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Stem cells: are we ready for therapy?

Cell therapy as a replacement for diseased or destroyed endogenous cells is a major component of regenerative medicine. Various types of stem cells are or will be used in clinical settings as autologous or allogeneic products. In this chapter, the progress that has been made to translate basic stem cell research into pharmaceutical manufacturing processes will be reviewed. Even if in public perception, embryonic stem (ES) cells and more recently induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells dominate the field of regenerative medicine and will be discussed in great detail, it is the adult stem cells that are used for decades as therapeutics. Hence, these cells will be compared to ES and iPS cells. Finally, special emphasis will be placed on the scientific, technical, and economic challenges of developing stem cell-based in vitro model systems and cell therapies that can be commercialized.

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Stemedica announces clinical trial for IV stem cell treatment for chronic ischemic stroke

Stemedica Cell Technologies announced the launch of a phase 2b/3 clinical trial to assess the safety, efficacy and tolerability of a single IV injection of allogenic mesenchymal stem cells in patients with chronic ischemic stroke.

According to a release from the company, the multicenter, randomized, double-blind study is expected to enroll approximately 300 individuals, who will be divided into two cohorts and receive either a single injection of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells and standard treatment or placebo and standard treatment.

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Stem Cell Therapy: A Promising Therapeutic Method for Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is one type of the most devastating cerebrovascular diseases worldwide, which causes high morbidity and mortality. However, efficient treatment is still lacking. Stem cell therapy has shown good neuroprotective and neurorestorative effect in ICH and is a promising treatment.

In this study, our aim was to review the therapeutic effects, strategies, related mechanisms and safety issues of various types of stem cell for ICH treatment. Numerous studies had demonstrated the therapeutic effects of diverse stem cell types in ICH. The potential mechanisms include tissue repair and replacement, neurotrophy, promotion of neurogenesis and angiogenesis, anti-apoptosis, immunoregulation and anti-inflammation and so forth.

The microenvironment of the central nervous system (CNS) can also influence the effects of stem cell therapy. The detailed therapeutic strategies for ICH treatment such as cell type, the number of cells, time window, and the routes of medication delivery, varied greatly among different studies and had not been determined.

Moreover, the safety issues of stem cell therapy for ICH should not be ignored. Stem cell therapy showed good therapeutic effect in ICH, making it a promising treatment. However, safety should be carefully evaluated, and more clinical trials are required before stem cell therapy can be extensively applied to clinical use.

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Kamsiyochukwu Cured of Sickle Cell by Cord Blood Transplant

This is the story of a little boy with a long name: Kamsiyochukwu Bryan Peter Ezenwa.  “Kam-si-yọ-chukwu” is a traditional Igbo name, which translates to “exactly as I asked God”. The Igbo are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Kamsiyochukwu and his family are from Nigeria, but they were living in India when he was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anaemia at the age of two years old in 2013. Sickle Cell is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. The red blood cells become sickle shaped, instead of round, and this prevents them from carrying oxygen properly. The sickle-shaped cells also tend to stick to each other, causing blockages in small blood vessels. Sickle cell patients are chronically fatigued from lack of adequate oxygen, and they have crises of pain and swelling from blocked blood vessels. Patients find themselves on a life-long regimen of blood transfusions, drugs to alter the shape of blood cells, and pain killers. Over the years, organ damage accumulates, so life expectancy is shortened.  Kamsiyochukwu’s mother, Blessing Ezenwa, learned from her son’s doctors that a stem cell transplant from a sibling could stop his pain crises and cure his Sickle Cell. She gave birth to a second son in 2018 and stored his cord blood with Cordlife Sciences India, a cord blood bank that is part of the Cordlife Group and located near Kolkata. Then in January of 2020, Kamsiyochukwu underwent chemotherapy at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi and next received a transplant of his baby brother’s cord blood stem cells. His mother says, “Since then till now, there is no crisis, no pain, no nothing, he is okay. We are back home in Nigeria.

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Stem Cell Therapy in Heart Diseases – Cell Types, Mechanisms and Improvement Strategies

A large number of clinical trials have shown stem cell therapy to be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Since the first transplantation into human patients, several stem cell types have been applied in this field, including bone marrow derived stem cells, cardiac progenitors as well as embryonic stem cells and their derivatives. However, results obtained from clinical studies are inconsistent and stem cell-based improvement of heart performance and cardiac remodeling was found to be quite limited. In order to optimize stem cell efficiency, it is crucial to elucidate the underlying mechanisms mediating the beneficial effects of stem cell transplantation. Based on these mechanisms, researchers have developed different improvement strategies to boost the potency of stem cell repair and to generate the “next generation” of stem cell therapeutics. Moreover, since cardiovascular diseases are complex disorders including several disease patterns and pathologic mechanisms it may be difficult to provide a uniform therapeutic intervention for all subgroups of patients. Therefore, future strategies should aim at more personalized SC therapies in which individual disease parameters influence the selection of optimal cell type, dosage and delivery approach.

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