Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fat Stem Cells Turn to Muscle: A Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy?

New research published in the journal Biomaterials by University of California, San Diego researcher Adam Engler suggests fat-derived stem cells that are developed on a stiff surface transform into mature muscle cells. This remarkable discovery could lead to new treatments for muscular dystrophy in the future.

Fat stem cells and bone marrow stem cells were grown on surfaces with different degrees of hardness ranging from very hard bone-like surfaces to very soft brain tissue-like surfaces.

The researchers found that the fat derived stem cells were much more likely (up to fifty times) to exhibit proteins that are essential to the cells becoming muscle tissue.

Yuk Suk Choi, a post-doc team member, says that the fat-derived stem cells seem to proliferate better than bone marrow cells when introduced to the hard surfaces. “They are actively feeling their environment soon, which allows them to interpret the signals from the interaction of cell and environment that guide development,” explained Choi.

Unlike bone marrow stem cells, stem cells from fat fused together to form myotubes. Although this phenomenon has been observed in the past, it has never been observed at such a high degree by Engler in the lab. Myotubes comprise an essential step in muscle formation.

Next, Engler and his team plan to observe how fused cells from fat perform in lab mice which are afflicted with a particular form of muscular dystrophy.

However, Dr. Engler cautioned, “From the perspective of translating this into a clinically viable therapy, we want to know what components of the environment provide the most important cues for these cells."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stem Cell Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis - "Everyone got their wish, plus more

  "...Everyone got their wish, plus more."
  Shelley Sims

Stem cell therapy patient, Shelley Sims, discusses her improvements following stem cell treatments at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. Shelley has reduced her medications from thirteen to two. She reports significantly decreased fatigue that has enabled her to start playing racquetball with her son as well as coach his basketball team - things she could never do before treatment.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young girl from Hawaii making remarkable progress after stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy

  Sarai beginning to walk. She could not even stand before treatment.

Sarai Nathan suffers from mild spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She came to the Stem Cell Institute at the beginning of August 2011 when she was about 16 months old. The following is a transcription of a phone call interview with Sarai's mother, Elisabeth. It took place on January 18, 2012 about 5 1/2 months after her stem cell treatments.

How is Sarai doing since receiving stem cell therapy five months ago?

She's walking with very, very little support. Ever since we got the stem cell transplant, there's been tons of progress. The major thing that I relay to people is that the stem cell treatment kind of put the cells in place to rebuild everything.

We flew right from the stem cell treatment to a place called the Napa Center and did a three-week intensive [physical therapy] program four hours per day and she was a completely different person four weeks later.

Once the stem cells migrated and rebuilt, all-of-the-sudden she was able to able to do all these things crazy quickly. It was unbelievable. She went from not being able to sit to sitting, standing and cruising furniture by herself; without any assistance at all and she couldn't even lift up her trunk prior to coming to Panama. Out of 100% being fully recovered, I would say she has had an 85% recovery since before the stem cells.

I know that the stem cells kind of laid the ground work for that progress to be made but I definitely believe that doing the intensive right after the stem cells sealed the deal. I don't think it was just the stem cells. I think that doing one right after the other made the progress amazing.

Did you try any other kinds of treatments before stem cells?

We tried hyperbaric [oxygen treatments] which worked but I noticed that the results regressed a little bit after a few months. It would make her spasticity better and then little by little I'd notice it start to come back 3 -5 months later. The whole thing was very expensive and time consuming though.

How did you find out about the Stem Cell Institute?

I am really active on a lot of Yahoo groups and I read about the parents who had positive results with stem cells and many had good experiences with the Stem Cell Institute. So I called them and they were really on top of getting back to me and answering all of my questions.

And my dad, who has a background in law enforcement, had it checked out as well because he said that he wouldn't pay some crooks to inject my kid at some random place in Panama. After everything checked out, he helped me pay for it. And I am so glad that we got to do it.

What is your opinion of the doctors and medical staff at the clinic?

We tell people all the time that it was the best medical care we've ever received since our daughter was born. The hospitals, doctors, they were all far superior in patient care. They were prompt, professional, loving and they still check in with us all the time.

And the IV, I've never seen someone nail an IV that quickly. Randy Bowen [MD], who did all of her IV injections was just so good. My daughter had a huge crush on him and on the second day, actually started handing him her arm. Instead of crying when she was about to get an injection, she would look a little scared and just hand him her arm like, "Alright, just get it over with." She was only 16 months old so it wasn't like she could talk or anything.

What do her doctors and therapists at home think?

Well, I didn't tell her pediatrician that we were going because I knew that he would try to talk me out of it. So I made an appointment right when we got back from the stem cells and the intensive. [at the appointment] I had her sitting on the table by herself and he walked in and said, "Oh, my God! What did you do?" I told him that we actually took her to get a stem cell transplant and he said, "This is the most amazing, miraculous thing I have ever seen. She's a completely different kid. Where did you go?"
He was asking me about all the information for the clinic; everyone's name and number. He also said, "I would have tried to talk you out of it so I am so glad you didn't tell me. What happened to your child is unbelievable and it makes me want to fight and advocate for stem cells." He's been specializing in neuro-developmental delays for a long time and said that he would everything he could for the rest of his life to advocate for this therapy.

Now the center that did her intensive [physical therapy]...the things they said were, "I've never seen a child progress so quickly." They watched her spasticity go away and they also watched her strength increase and all her therapists just kept saying, "It's not usual for a kid to progress this quickly. She is doing exceptionally well." All of our therapists - when we got home to Hawaii - they said the same things, "This is like a completely different child. This is unbelievable."

And they asked me, of course, where we went.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Significantly Improve Cardiac Mortality Rate in Heart Disease Patients

Texas Heart Institute researcher, Emerson Perin MD, PhD revealed that heart patients who were treated with bone marrow-derived adult stem cells died at a significantly lower rate that those who did not receive stem cells. Dr. Perin's scientific findings represent yet another positive step in the ongoing fight against heart disease.

Dr. Perin is the Director of Clinical Research for Cardiovascular Medicine and Medical Director for the Stem Cell Institute at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas. Dr. Perin's study showed that patients treated with stem cells were 90% less likes to die from an adverse cardiac event than patients who were not treated with stem cells.

"We obtained remarkable results from our study in which we injected stem cells derived from the bone marrow of a healthy donor into patients with heart failure. Heart function and exercise capacity improved in some cell-treated patients. Most importantly, cell therapy significantly reduced cardiac adverse events, including death. Three of 15 (20%) control patients died of cardiac causes, whereas only 1 of 45 (2%) cell-treated patients had a cardiac-related death. Despite the small numbers, our findings showed that cell therapy significantly improved cardiac mortality," said Dr. Perin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Spinal Cord Journey - Stem cell therapy stories from three spinal cord injury patients

A short film about three spinal cord injury patients who share their stories of tragedy, hope and recovery following stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. See them demonstrate their improvements by lifting themselves up, standing and even walking.


Welcome to Adult Stem Cell Therapy blog sponsored by the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.  This blog will showcase scientific advances in adult stem cell research and thearpy.  It will also highlight stem cell patient news, stories and videos.