Monday, June 10, 2013

Stem cell therapy cures type 1 diabetes in mice

In a study using an immune-suppressing medication and adult stem cells from healthy donors, researchers say they were able to cure type 1 diabetes in mice.


Using an immune-suppressing medication and adult stem cells from healthy donors, researchers say they were able to cure type 1 diabetes in mice.
"This is a whole new concept," said the study's senior author, Habib Zaghouani, a professor of microbiology and immunology, child health and neurology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, Mo.
In the midst of their laboratory research, something unanticipated occurred. The researchers expected that the adult stem cells would turn into functioning beta cells (cells that produce insulin). Instead, the stem cells turned into endothelial cells that generated the development of new blood vessels to supply existing beta cells with the nourishment they needed to regenerate and thrive.
"I believe that beta cells are important, but for curing this disease, we have to restore the [blood vessels]," Zaghouani said.

Could work in humans
It's much too early to know if this novel combination would work in humans. But the findings could stimulate new avenues of research, another expert says.
"This is a theme we've seen a few times recently. Beta cells are plastic and can respond and expand when the environment is right," said Andrew Rakeman, a senior scientist in beta cell regeneration at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). "But, there's some work still to be done. How do we get from this biological mechanism to a more conventional therapy?"
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes, a chronic disease sometimes called juvenile diabetes, remains unclear. It's thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and damages insulin-producing beta cells (found in islet cells in the pancreas) to the point where they no longer produce insulin, or they produce very little insulin. Insulin is a hormone necessary to convert the carbohydrates from food into fuel for the body and brain.
Zaghouani said he thinks the beta cell's blood vessels may just be collateral damage during the initial autoimmune attack.
Cured mice but still steps to improve
To avoid dire health consequences, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin injections multiple times a day or obtain continuous infusions through an insulin pump. It's estimated that 3 million US children and adults have the disease, which increased by almost one-quarter in Americans under age 20 between 2001 and 2009.
Zaghouani and his colleagues previously tested a drug called Ig-GAD2 that would destroy the immune system cells responsible for destroying the beta cells. The drug worked well to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it didn't work as a therapy when type 1 diabetes was more advanced.
"This made us question whether there were enough beta cells left when the disease is advanced," said Zaghouani. After conducting bone marrow transplants, the researchers came to a surprising conclusion. "The bone marrow cells did go to the pancreas, but they didn't become beta cells; they became endothelial cells," he said. "So, the problem wasn't a lack of beta cells or their precursor, the problem was that the blood vessels that irrigate the islet cells are damaged. That was a very novel and intriguing finding."
The immune-suppressing drug was given for 10 weeks, and bone marrow transplants were given intravenously on weeks 2, 3 and 4 after the diabetes diagnosis.
The mice were cured throughout the study follow-up of 120 days, which is about the life span of a mouse, Zaghouani said.
Zaghouani said he believes the immune attack may not be ongoing, and he hopes to give the mice bone marrow transplants without the immune-suppressing drug to see if that is sufficient to cure their disease.
Rakeman explained that while current thinking is that "a cure would need to address the immune system attack and the regrowth of beta cells," some scientists suspect that the immune system might not have initially gone after healthy beta cells. It's possible that the immune system actually targeted beta cells that had already been damaged. "This is a different way of thinking how the disease develops," said Rakeman.
Rakeman said this research might spur the development of new drug targets that could mimic the action of the stem cells. But the current research is many steps away from such a therapy for humans, according to both experts.

Dr DeAndrea | Medical Director at Regenetec - Global Leader in Stem Cell Therapy

Dr. DeAndrea is an American trained surgeon graduating from Cornell University in the USA. He uses acupuncture, aromatherapy, nutrition, herbology, Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, creative visualization, colon hydrotherapy, physical therapy, hypnotherapy, oxygen therapy, chelation and the traditional allopathic treatments to create personalized healing prescriptions for his clients. His approach is multidisciplinary and based in information, regeneration, and energy medicine. He is also on the forefront of modern medicine with stem cell therapy. Dr. DeAndrea not only treats patients with stem cells but also trains other physicians from around the world in the latest breakthroughs in stem cells.

After medical school doctor D studied Internal Medicine and General Surgery.  He wanted to understand more than one approach to medicine in an effort to bring healing methods from around the world to his patients.
He decided to learn Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Natural Medicine, Homeopathy, Oxygen Therapy, IV Therapy, Functional Medicine, Hypnotherapy, Kineseology, Yoga and Vipassana Meditation
Disheartened with Western medicine and the dangling carrot “cure” ideology he sought a method for healing.  Along the way he experienced everything from psychic healing to psychedelic shamanism.
Dr. DeAndrea has been described as a "Jack of all Trades," by his colleagues. He uses acupuncture, aromatherapy, nutrition, herbology, Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, creative visualization, colon hydrotherapy, physical therapy, hypnotherapy, oxygen therapy, chelation and the traditional allopathic treatments to create personalized healing prescriptions for his clients. His approach is multidisciplinary and based in information, regeneration, and energy medicine.
In an effort to prove that these techniques will heal the most impoverished with the greatest challenges to survive. He applied the these principles of healing, naturally, in South Central Los Angeles for 5 years in an area of the United States that is considered a hot bed for riots, gang warfare and drastic crimes.
The results were miraculous!  In 1997 NBC, ABC and Hard Copy reported that heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even AIDS cases were reversed in a little ghetto clinic when the “holy” cure was replaced with good old fashioned healing.
“Curing is for pickles, healing is for people,” says doctor D.
Above all doctor D believes healing can be fun.  In 1998, he and Woody Harrelson joined forces to open the first oxygen bar in America.
Dr. DeAndrea is co-founder of the 21 Day Detox as featured on Lifetime Television and CBS-48 Hours in 2003.  He is the author of The Fat Cure, the secrets to rapid and permanent weight loss, presently in a nationwide infomercial campaign. 
He was the Chief of Integrative Medicine for Medicann, Inc. the California state leader in alternative Integrative health education.  He was a key figure in getting Cannabis approved as medicine for people living with AIDS that could not use traditional pain relieving medications.
Dr. DeAndrea is the Holistic Health Director at TRIA Integrative Wellness Center at Piyavate Hospital, Bangkok Thailand and the Medical Director for Adsitem, Inc. the world leader in Autologous Stem Cell Therapy.
Dr. DeAndrea always integrates his medical approach with natural cures.  He lives a green life, is a surfer, loves yoga and was raised in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. 
Pioneers of a New Medicine
You probably have never heard of him or seen his face, but he is one of those renegade doctors who are part of a wave of change that is revolutionizing American medicine.  After medical school he studied internal medicine and general surgery at the State University of New York and Cornell University.  He was a candidate for one of the nation’s most renowned plastic surgery programs, but ironically became disheartened with the “dangling carrot” cure mentality of Western medicine and sought an alternative.
In an effort to find an answer to the “health care crisis” he experienced everything from psychic healing to traditional American Indian shamanism.  After years of learning to work with people as opposed to treating “conditions” it became clear to Dr. DeAndrea that a more holistic approach was needed.  As a holistic physician it has been his goal to include the individual and the environment in the healing process.
Dr. DeAndrea applied the principles of natural healing in South Central Los Angeles for 5 years after the Rodney King riots.  The results were miraculous!  In 1996 NBC and ABC reported that heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even AIDs cases could be reversed in a little ghetto clinic in Watts when the almighty “cure” was replaced with good old fashioned healing.  “Curing is for pickles, healing is for people,” says Dr. D.
In 1997 Dr. DeAndrea hosted a controversial health talk show on KPFK radio in Los Angeles that aired the cattle rancher that appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and announced a connection between “Mad Cow’s Disease” and Alzheimer’s disease in humans stimulating research in the area of food borne illness as a cause of dementia.
Above all doctor D believes healing can be fun.  In 1998 he and Woody Harrelson joined forces to open the first oxygen bar.  Using the combination of oxygen, herbs and organically grown raw food made it possible to party while giving your body a boost.  In an effort to keep the party going in 1999, Perry Ferrel- Jane’s Addiction front man and doctor D collaborated for Coachella to create the Oasis Village, an awareness healing space that became the center piece for the largest West coast concert event where participants could learn about the relationship between health and the environment.
As a holistic physician that advocates a progressive approach to medicine Dr. DeAndrea served as the chief health educator for the South Central Head Start Program where he earned the Los Angeles County Outstanding Community Service Award.  He is also medical advisor to the American Naturopathic Medical Association, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and Earth Save International.

Fountain of youth? Stem cell facelifts becoming popular

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Do you want younger looking skin without the traditional cutting and pulling of traditional face lifts? A new kind of cosmetic procedure called the Stem Cell Facelift might do the trick.
Allison Dolphin is a 54-year-old mother and grandmother who's looking to have a cosmetic change.
"For me, a traditional facelift really isn't an option because I don't want to cut and pull, and I don't wanna look like it's done," Dolphin said. "I really am looking for a more natural appearance"
So, she's sought out Dr. Nathan Newman in Beverly Hills where he does something called a Stem Cell Facelift which is just what it sounds like - a procedure that uses one's own stem cells.
"They get a mini lipo from wherever they have the extra pocket of fat that they wanna get rid of, we take the fat out from the body, process the fat, separate the stem cells, concentrate it and inject it back," Dr. Newman said.
So the patient gets the benefits of liposuction, as well as that of a facelift except on big difference.
"There's no cutting, there's no pulling, there's no stitches," Dr. Newman said. "All the areas that you've lost volume, we're gonna try to raise it up. After we've taken out the fat through a mini liposuction procedure, we process the fat and we separate out some of the fat."
The stem cells are separated using a centrifuge - just one of the steps before they're ready to be injected. The stem cells are separated out as well in this process. Although, this is only a part of what has to happen before it's ready to be injected.
"What we're going to do is add the stem cells into this syringe, and once we have them mixed, we're going to inject it into the face," Dr. Newman said.
Using body fat in procedures like this is nothing new, but the use of stem cells is. As an article in the New York Times points out, some doctors say there's little evidence proving that using the cells really makes a difference.
"Yes, fat grafting gives you a little bit of volume, but it's the stem cells that really bring it to a whole different level," Dr. Newman said. "We need the worker bees which are the stem cells so that when we inject the fat with it, it will have something to hold on to so it looks natural and looks good and not just a big lump of fat just sitting somewhere."
"The recovery was really minimal," Dolphin said. "I had somewhat felt like pressure when there was swelling, but in terms of being able to get up, I could've gone to work two days post-op."
Dr. Newman says Stem Cell Facelifts last five to 10 years and are a fraction of the cost of a traditional facelift.
(Copyright © 2013 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

Adults Can Now Save Their Stem Cells For Future Use Via Liposuction

Fat contains more stem cells than any other tissue in the body. It specifically carries embryonic stem cells, the most versatile kind.

By Daisy Lin  |  Thursday, Jun 6, 2013  |  Updated 7:55 PM PDT

The use of stem cells to treat illness is new but exploding as scientists discover innovative treatments.


Some parents save their children’s cord blood because it contains embryonic stem cells, an opportunity older Americans did not have when they were born.
But now there may be a way for adults to bank their own stem cells through liposuction.
Kevin Joseph is undergoing liposuction not because he wants to lose inches, although that is a nice side benefit.
“I exercise, I eat right. I never considered liposuction,” he said.
The main reason he’s doing this is because he thinks someday it may save his life.
Scientists have discovered that human fat contains more stem cells than any other tissue in the body.
And not just any ordinary stem cells.
As UCLA researchers recently discovered, fat contains embryonic stem cells -- the most versatile stem cells of all.
“You can, in the future, make that cell into any tissue in your body, at least that’s the potential,” said Dr. John Joseph, at the Clinical Testing Center of Beverly Hills. “They literally should be able to grow kidney – any part of your body – because it’s embryonic.”
Those stem cells in fat can now be stored for future use.
Doctors extract the fat in an hour-long procedure performed under local anesthesia. Patients don’t even have to go through a full liposuction to get the amount of fat needed to bank stem cells. A small amount will do.
“It’s a small amount – 20 CC’s – which basically is less than a shot glass,” Joseph said.
The fat is then sent to a stem cell bank called Adicyte.
“You extract the cells, then Fed Ex them overnight to the company. They then process it. Then they can freeze them 20, 30 years – probably indefinitely,” Joseph said.
Kevin doesn’t know if or how he will need the stem cells he has extracted. But he feels better knowing they will be there.
“No one knows what life’s going to bring,” he said. “Genetically, something could occur that causes something to go sideways. Now, you have the ability to correct that and continue to live a long and healthy life.”
It costs about $2,000 to extract and prepare the stem cells for banking. After that, it’s $120 a year to store the stem cells.



Grow fresh cartilage from adult stem cells

Cartilage injuries are difficult to repair. Current surgical options generally involve taking a piece from another part of the injured joint and patching over the damaged area, but this approach involves damaging healthy cartilage, and a person’s cartilage may still deteriorate with age.

“The broad picture is trying to develop new therapies to replace cartilage tissue, starting with focal defects—things like sports injuries—and then hopefully moving toward surface replacement for cartilage degradation that comes with aging,” says Jason Burdick, associate professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. “Here, we’re trying to figure out the right environment for adult stem cells to produce the best cartilage.”

Fluorescently labeled mesenchymal stem cells in a hydrogel. (Credit: Megan Farrell)
Burdick and colleagues have long studied mesenchymal stem cells, a kind of adult stem cell found in bone marrow that is capable of turning into bone, fat or cartilage cells. His group has been particularly interested in deducing the microenvironmental signals that tell these cells which way to differentiate.“As we age, the health and vitality of cartilage cells declines,” says Robert Mauck, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, “so the efficacy of any repair with adult chondrocytes is actually quite low.  Stem cells, which retain this vital capacity, are therefore ideal.”
A recent paper investigated conditions that can preferentially coax these stem cells into becoming either fat-like or bone-like cells while encapsulated in hydrogels, polymer networks that simulate some of the environmental conditions in which stem cells naturally grow.
As reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the first step in growing new cartilage is initiating chondrogenesis, or convincing the mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into chondrocytes, which in turn generate the spongy matrix of collagen and sugars that cushions joints.
One challenge in prompting this differentiation is that, despite the low density of adult chondrocytes in tissues, the actual formation of cartilage begins with cells in close proximity.
“In typical hydrogels used in cartilage tissue engineering,” Burdick says. “We’re spacing cells apart, so they’re losing that initial signal and interaction. That’s when we started thinking about cadherins, which are molecules that these cells use to interact with each other, particularly at the point they first become chondrocytes.”
To simulate that environment, the researchers used a peptide sequence that mimics these cadherin interactions, which they bound to the hydrogels used to encapsulate the mesenchymal stem cells.
“While the direct link between cadherins and chondrogenesis is not completely understood,” Mauck says, “what’s known is that if you enhance these interactions early during tissue formation, you can make more cartilage, and, if you block them, you get very poor cartilage formation. What this gel does is trick the cell into thinking it’s got friends nearby.”
To test the efficacy of their cadherin-mimicking peptide, the researchers encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells in several other kinds of gels: a regular hydrogel with no peptide; one with a non-functional, scrambled version of the peptide; and one with the peptide as well as an antibody that blocked cadherin interactions.
After a week, cells within gels containing the cadherin peptide exhibited more genetic markers of chondrogenesis than any of the controls.
A second experiment involved growing gels for four weeks, long enough for them to start developing cartilage matrix. This allowed the researchers to conduct functional tests, such as subjecting them to mechanical loads. They found the peptide-containing gels performed more like natural cartilage than the other gels.
The researchers also sectioned the gels and stained them for type-II collagen and chondroitin sulfate, molecules that are part of the cartilage matrix.  Once again, the peptide-containing gels produced more of these markers of matrix formation than the controls.
“All together,” Burdick says, “these experiments provide a thorough demonstration that this cadherin signal can improve the chondrogenesis response when presented from a synthetic hydrogel.”
“Moving forward,” adds Mauck, “it will be important to see how these early cell fate decisions translate into longer term tissue function in vivo.”
The research was support by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Stem cell therapy can replace liver transplantation

Washington: Researchers have shown that cell therapy may be used in liver disease to regenerate liver cells, according to a study.

Investigators discovered that a human embryonic stem cell can be differentiated into a previously unknown liver progenitor cell, an early offspring of a stem cell, and produce mature and functional liver cells, a daily reported.

"The discovery of the novel progenitor represents a fundamental advance in this field and potentially to the liver regeneration field using cell therapy," said the study's senior author, Valerie Gouon-Evans, PharmD, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Black Family Stem Cell Institute, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

"Until now, liver transplantation has been the most successful treatment for people with liver failure, but we have a drastic shortage of organs. This discovery may help circumvent that problem."