Boston gets first public cord-blood bank
Donations treat deadly diseases
By Tara Ballenger
Globe Correspondent / July 20, 2009
Some 8,000 mothers who give birth at Brigham and Women’s Hospital each year can now donate blood from their umbilical cords to a public bank where it may be a match for someone facing a life-threatening disease.
Public banks, which store cord blood for the stem cells that can combat leukemia, lymphoma, and other deadly illnesses, have existed for two decades, yet they have been eclipsed in recent years by private banks that urge mothers to pay an annual fee to bank the cord blood, in case their child or a relative needs it one day.
The Brigham and Women’s donation center, which opened in late May, is the first in Boston and has so far collected 130 cord-blood donations. Two other hospitals in New England allow mothers to donate cord blood - UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and Women & Infants Hospital in Providence.
Demand for the opportunity to donate cord blood was strong among Boston women, said Dr. Robert Barbieri, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s and co-coordinator of the program. Barbieri said he received several calls each month from women asking where they could donate.
“It’s a great way to use a biological resource to give people hope for the future,’’ said Barbieri. “It’s a gift of life.’’
via Brigham and Women’s opens cord-blood bank - The Boston Globe
Adult Stem Cells Restore Sight to the Blind
By Bob Ellis on June 5th, 2009
It looks as if there may be yet another successful therapy derived from adult stem cells, on top of the more than 70 (more like 130-150 -dg) other successful adult stem cell treatments for illnesses like meningitis-related limb damage, brain injury, stroke, retina regeneration, heart tissue regeneration, angina, diabetes, bone cancer, nerve regeneration, cerebral palsy, cartilage regeneration, Parkinsons, kidney damage, liver cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis, leukemia and more.
Perhaps some blind people may soon be able to retire their guide dogs.
via Adult Stem Cells Restore Sight to the Blind
SAN DIEGO -- Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla have cured a defective gene in cells taken from patients suffering from Fanconi anemia, a disease that can lead to bone marrow failure, leukemia and other cancers, it was reported Monday. The work, published online Sunday in the journal Nature, offers the first proof that the technique used can work in human cells, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
"We haven't cured a human being, but we have cured a cell," Salk Professor Juan-Carlos Izpisua Belmonte told the newspaper. "In theory, we could transplant it into a human and cure the disease." Last month, California's stem cell institute gave Belmonte and his fellow scientists a $6.6 million grant to continue their work. One big remaining problem is preventing the reprogrammed cells from inducing tumors, the Union-Tribune reported.
via Salk Institute Announces Defective Gene Cure - San Diego News Story - KGTV San Diego
I get very worried when the government tries to force anything. my comments below the article. - dgMom of Teen With Cancer Said It Was His Decision to Flee Court-Ordered TreatmentIn Interview With Production Company, 13-Year-Old Daniel Hauser Tells Public to 'Back Off'
By SARAH NETTER and EMILY FRIEDMAN, May 26, 2009
The mother of a teenage boy stricken with cancer said it was the boy's decision to flee the family's Minnesota farm when a judge ordered him back into chemotherapy.
The mother and son on the run from chemotherapy return to Minnesota.
Now back home after nearly a week on the run, Colleen Hauser, who police said has not been charged in her 13-year-old son Daniel's disappearance, said she had no choice but to go with him.
via Mom of Teen With Cancer Said It Was His Decision to Flee Court-Ordered Treatment - ABC News
SO...the government and legal system want to give Daniel chemo for his own good
WHAT DOCTORS SAY ABOUT CHEMO:
Scientists based at McGill Cancer Centre sent a questionnaire to 118 lung cancer doctors to determine what degree of faith these practicing cancer physicians placed in the therapies they administered. They were asked to imagine that they had cancer and were asked which of six current trials they would choose.
79 doctors responded of which 64 would not consent to be in any trial containing Cisplatin - one of the common chemotherapy drugs they were trialling, (currently achieving worldwide sales of about $110,000,000 a year) and 58 of the 79 found that all the trials in question were unacceptable due to the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptably high degree of toxicity
When the cancer patient hears the doctor say "effective," he or she thinks, and logically so, that "effective" means it cures cancer. But all it means is temporary tumor shrinkage.
Chemotherapy usually doesn't cure cancer or extend life, and it really does not improve the quality of the life either. Doctors frequently make this claim though... http://www.alternativehealth.co.nz/cancer/chemo/index.htm
Besides chemo, what else do they want to give him?CHEMOTHERAPY:
The treatment can be physically exhausting for the patient. Current chemotherapeutic techniques have a range of side effects mainly affecting the fast-dividing cells of the body. Important common side-effects include (dependent on the agent):
The development of secondary neoplasia after successful chemotherapy and or radiotherapy treatment has shown to exist. The most common secondary neoplasm
is secondary acute myeloid leukemia, which develops primarily after treatment with alkylating agents or topoisomerase inhibitors.
Other studies have shown a 13.5 fold increase from the general population in the incidence of secondary neoplasm
occurrence after 30 years from treatment.
Immunosuppression and myelosuppression
Virtually all chemotherapeutic regimens can cause depression of the immune system
, often by paralysing the bone marrow
and leading to a decrease of white blood cells
, red blood cells
, and platelets
. The latter two, when they occur, are improved with blood transfusion
(a decrease of the neutrophil granulocyte
count below 0.5 x 109
) can be improved with synthetic G-CSF
-colony stimulating factor, e.g., filgrastim
, Neupogen, Neulasta).
In very severe myelosuppression
, which occurs in some regimens, almost all the bone marrow stem cells
(cells that produce white
and red blood cells
) are destroyed, meaning allogenic
or autologous bone marrow cell transplants
are necessary. (In autologous BMTs, cells are removed from the patient before the treatment, multiplied and then re-injected afterwards; in allogenic
BMTs the source is a donor.) However, some patients still develop diseases because of this interference with bone marrow.
Nausea and vomitingNausea
caused by chemotherapy; stomach upset may trigger a strong urge to vomit, or forcefully eliminate what is in the stomach.
Stimulation of the vomiting center results in the coordination of responses from the diaphragm, salivary glands, cranial nerves, and gastrointestinal muscles to produce the interruption of respiration and forced expulsion of stomach contents known as retching and vomiting. The vomiting center is stimulated directly by afferent input from the vagal and splanchnic nerves
, the pharynx, the cerebral cortex
, cholinergic and histamine
stimulation from the vestibular system, and efferent input from the chemoreceptor trigger zone
(CTZ). The CTZ is in the area postrema
, outside the blood-brain barrier
, and is thus susceptible to stimulation by substances present in the blood or cerebral spinal fluid. The neurotransmitters dopamine
stimulate the vomiting center indirectly via stimulation of the CTZ.
inhibitors are the most effective antiemetics
and constitute the single greatest advance in the management of nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer. These drugs are designed to block one or more of the signals that cause nausea and vomiting. The most sensitive signal during the first 24 hours after chemotherapy appears to be 5-HT3
. Blocking the 5-HT3
signal is one approach to preventing acute emesis (vomiting), or emesis that is severe, but relatively short-lived. Approved 5-HT3
inhibitors include Dolasetron
(Kytril, Sancuso), and Ondansetron
(Zofran). The newest 5-HT3
(Aloxi), also prevents delayed nausea and vomiting, which occurs during the 2-5 days after treatment. A granisetron transdermal patch
(Sancuso) was approved by the FDA in September 2008. The patch is applied 24-48 hours before chemotherapy and can be worn for up to 7 days depending on the duration of the chemotherapy regimen.
Another drug to control nausea in cancer patients became available in 2005. The substance P
(marketed as Emend) has been shown to be effective in controlling the nausea of cancer chemotherapy. The results of two large controlled trials were published in 2005, describing the efficacy of this medication in over 1,000 patients.
and patient groups claim that the use of cannabinoids
derived from marijuana
during chemotherapy greatly reduces the associated nausea and vomiting, and enables the patient to eat. Some synthetic derivatives of the active substance in marijuana (Tetrahydrocannabinol
or THC) such as Marinol
may be practical for this application. Natural marijuana, known as medical cannabis
is also used and recommended by some oncologists, though its use is regulated and not legal everywhere.
In particularly large tumors, such as large lymphomas
, some patients develop tumor lysis syndrome
from the rapid breakdown of malignant cells. Although prophylaxis is available and is often initiated in patients with large tumors, this is a dangerous side-effect that can lead to death if left untreated.
Some patients report fatigue or non-specific neurocognitive problems, such as an inability to concentrate; this is sometimes called post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment
, referred to as "chemo brain" by patients' groups.
Specific chemotherapeutic agents are associated with organ-specific toxicities, including cardiovascular disease
), interstitial lung disease
) and occasionally secondary neoplasm
therapy for Hodgkin's disease).
WELL...AS LONG AS IT'S FOR HIS OWN GOOD!
ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2009) — University of British Columbia researchers have discovered a "molecular key" that could help increase the success of blood stem cell transplants, a procedure currently used to treat diseases such as leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma and aplastic anemia.
During a blood stem cell transplant, donor blood stem cells - which can produce red and white blood cells and platelets - are injected into the recipient to produce new blood. The stem cells then need to travel to the thymus - an organ near the heart - and produce T-cells, a type of white blood cell that orchestrates the body's immune system.
A common problem with blood stem cell transplants is the failure of stem cells to repopulate the thymus and generate T-cells. Without T-cells the patient is unable to fight infection and post-transplant prognosis is poor.
Now Prof. Hermann Ziltener and his research team at UBC's Biomedical Research Centre have identified a molecule called S1P that can tell the thymus to "open the gates" and accept more stem cells.
"This discovery gives us a handle on determining whether the thymus will be receptive to migrating stem cells," says Ziltener, a professor in the Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "By treating patients with drugs that control S1P, scientists can now manipulate the thymic gates to either open or close."
The same team had previously identified a number of molecules that function as the thymic gates for migrating stem cells. The new study, published in the April issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine, is the first to hone in on the "key" molecule that can open the thymic gate.
Next steps in the research include finding the mechanism T-cells in blood use to control S1P formation. Researchers estimate that it would be at least five years before the discovery can be translated into a clinical test
via Molecular 'Key' To Successful Blood Stem Cell Transplants Discovered
Health & Medicine
* Stem Cells
* Prostate Cancer
* Brain Tumor
* Immune System
* T cell
* Embryonic stem cell
* Somatic cell
* Bone marrow transplant