How old can we get? It might be written in stem cells - Harvard Gazette

Science is working on it.

Aging is as much about the physical processes of repair and regeneration — and their slow-motion failure — as it is the passage of time. And scientists studying stem cell and regenerative biology are making progress understanding those processes, developing treatments for the many diseases whose risks increase as we get older, while at times seeming to draw close to a broader anti-aging breakthrough.

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Cellular Immunotherapy – A New CelBank Application

A white paper for CelBank owners


When Wayne and Vin first founded Next Healthcare in 2009, the company was at the forefront of the emerging field of regenerative cellular therapeutics. Over the next 5 years, this meant mainly the use of stem cells and other healing cells as they exist in the body in their natural state.
This work has come into the clinic and is now widely used in orthopedics, cosmetic surgery, heart disease and other fields.
In the meantime, medical leaders in molecular biology have learned how use genetic tools to activate the immune system to fight a person’s specific cancer. This field is referred to a cellular immunotherapy.
Many of you have asked me in the past if stem cells can cure cancer. Except as part of blood cancer therapy, they cannot. But CAR T-cells can. You have T-cells in your CelBank. We thought you should know more about this work.

The Immune System

If you have attended any of my seminars, you have heard my talk about the immune system. This is one of the better understood of the body’s cellular-based systems.

The main actors in the immune system are white blood cells, so called because they do not contain hemoglobin, the molecule that makes red cells red. The white cells come in dozens of types with all sorts of functions in body maintenance. Some remove bacteria, some our own deceased or damaged cells and tissues.

Several types have the special property of learning to recognize disease-causing viruses or bacteria. Collectively they are called the adaptive immune system. (1)

When you receive a vaccination, you are being exposed to a very weak disease causing agent that causes your adaptive immune system to learn to destroy these agents whenever they appear. This is why you can avoid becoming sick with the flu before ever being exposed to a new virus strain. Your body received a “warning” and could defeat the virus before it made you sick. Pretty cool, right?

Well, it gets better. Cancer cells, which are your own cells gone bad, aren’t detected as invading disease agents because they are your own cells. So, adaptive immunity doesn’t happen, normally, in cancer.
But cancer cells ARE different than normal cells. These differences can be taught to a special class of white cells called T-cells. And when they are taught, these T-cells will destroy all the cancer cells of that type in your body.

A New Tool to Treat Cancer

Through a process called adoptive cell transfer (2), cells called Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells are created (3). The CAR T-cell now has the property of being able to recognize your cancer cells through certain chemical markers found on the surface of the cell. The CAR T-cells are created in a cell processing lab and then returned to the patient for the therapy.



A New Opportunity for CelBank Owners

At this point, the proceed has been proved effective in very difficult cancers in small human clinical studies. It will likely be about 4 years before large scale human studies are undertaken. Then another 4-5 for FDA approval (this is a biological drug.)
But remember the premise of CelBank. Younger cells process better. So if you get cancer in 15 years, you can use your younger cells for a better CAR T-cell outcome.
While you didn’t know this option would exist at the time of your bank, your faith in advances in the field of cellular therapy continues to look like a good decision.

By Dennis O’Brien, President, Next Healthcare Inc.






For More Information

Scientific summary of human clinical work with CAR T-cells (professional material)

Survey on human T-cell clinical work with solid tumor (professional material)

Woman’s blindness apparently reversed by stem cell treatment

Sitting on the front steps of her Cockeysville, Md., home a year and a half ago, Vanna Belton was startled and thrilled when her eyes focused on a car’s license plate. Essentially blind for more than five years, she suddenly could read the numbers and letters.

“When I realized I could see the license plates, we started walking around the neighborhood reading them,” said Belton, recalling the excitement she and her fiancee felt at that moment. “We drove around and read store signs. The Pennsylvania Dutch Market. The tanning salon.”

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Stem Cell Transplants Offer First-Ever MS Treatment That Reverses Disability

Only 2 years after getting a stem cell transplant, half of volunteers showed improvement in their disability scores — a first for any MS therapy.

Dr. Richard K. Burt performed the first hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) for a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient in the United States at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Now Burt, Chief of the Division of Medicine-Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Diseases at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, is making headlines again.

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Are embryonic stem cells and artificial stem cells equivalent?

Experimental "trick" lets researchers compare embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells in new way

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found new evidence suggesting some human induced pluripotent stem cells are the “functional equivalent” of human embryonic stem cells, a finding that may begin to settle a long running argument.

The findings were published this week in Nature Biotechnology.

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Companies offer athletes hope with questionable stem cell treatments - USA Today

Featuring CelBank advisor Dr. Joseph Purita

For a minimum price of $15,000, several professional athletes recently received a curious new medical treatment in New York.

It’s called “The Soup” — a mixture of human cells that includes stem cells derived from a patient’s own fat. If it works the way they hope, The Soup can help repair injuries that otherwise might require surgery — damaged knees, elbows, hips, necks and more.

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Cel-Topics: Can your own cells save you from heart disease?

Dear Friend of CelBank,

We're pleased to introduce you to Cel-Topics, a new educational series from CelBank. Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies are creating new treatments for diseases, injuries and chronic conditions that are already changing peoples' lives for the better. In our series, we will bring you relevant articles to keep you up to date on clinical studies, we'll introduce you to the scientists who are creating life-changing therapies and the people who have been impacted by regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies. Please send us your suggestions and topics you would like us to cover – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Adult stem cells are the key to new heart disease treatments
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 610,000 Americans die of some form of heart disease and approximately 735,000 people in the U.S. have a heart attack each year. Currently, there are medications and implantable devices to treat heart rate and rhythm problems and bypass surgery and stent implantation to help people whose cardiac arteries are blocked, but while these treatments can be effective, they do not treat the underlying damage that a heart attack or heart failure cause to the heart itself.

Researchers at several medical centers of excellence around the country, including the Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Regenerative Medicine Clinic at Cedars-Sinai, are involved in clinical trials to explore how adult stem cells can open new paths to safe, effective treatments that repair the physical damage that cardiovascular disease causes to the heart.

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