Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan have succeeded in inducing human embryonic stem cells to self-organize into a three-dimensional structure similar to the cerebellum, providing tantalizing clues in the quest to recreate neural structures in the laboratory.
Bone marrow transplantation is a life-saving therapy for patients with blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma. However, the depletion of the patient’s immune system prior to transplantation can put patients at risk of for an infection by a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) that can be life threatening in these immune-compromised individuals. Now, researchers have found that a very small subset of anti-viral immune cells, transplanted along with a donor’s blood stem cells, could be enough to fight and even prevent the disease caused by CMV.
Stem cell transplants may be more effective than the drug mitoxantrone for people with severe cases of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published in the February 11, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Now 3D printing implants is a complicated business as it is, but the jaw is particularly difficult to reproduce. After all, it’s completely filled moving parts that need to work perfectly – humans can get by with a limping leg, but they need to eat and drink. Dr Yoav Leiser and his team therefore relied on CT scanning and 3D printing to produce a 3D printed titanium ‘Patient Specific Implant’ (or PSI), and the procedure proved to be very successful. Surgery was performed by Leiser and Professor Adi Rachmiel, director of Rambam’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Scientists from the Dresden University of Technology have made a giant stride in the field of regenerative medicine, having successfully grown spinal cord-like tissue in the lab from embryonic stem cells. Although mouse cells were used, the study raises the possibility that one day, with further development, this technique could be used to help patients with spinal cord injuries.
A stroke therapy using stem cells extracted from patients’ bone marrow has shown promising results in the first trial of its kind in humans. Five patients received the treatment in a pilot study conducted by doctors at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and scientists at Imperial College London.
Transplantation linked with better treatment success and longer survival, but more early hospitalizations
Compared with long and frequent home hemodialysis, kidney transplantation may allow kidney failure patients to be successfully treated and to live longer, but it may also increase their risk of being hospitalized within the first year. Those are the findings of study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The results support the need to encourage transplantation for potential candidates who are receiving home hemodialysis, but they also indicate that long and frequent home hemodialysis provides good outcomes for patients.
Scientists at A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) have discovered a new class of lipids in the leukemia cells that are detected by a unique group of immune cells. By recognising the lipids, the immune cells stimulate an immune response to destroy the leukemia cells and suppress their growth. The newly identified mode of cancer cell recognition by the immune system opens up new possibilities for leukemia immunotherapy.
Researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection.
One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process.
“The rejection of transplants and grafts by host bodies is a huge hurdle for medical researchers,” said R. Michael Roberts, Curators Professor of Animal Science and Biochemistry and a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center. “By establishing that these pigs will support transplants without the fear of rejection, we can move stem cell therapy research forward at a quicker pace.”
In a published study, the team of researchers implanted human pluripotent stem cells in a special line of pigs developed by Randall Prather, an MU Curators Professor of reproductive physiology. Prather specifically created the pigs with immune systems that allow the pigs to accept all transplants or grafts without rejection. Once the scientists implanted the cells, the pigs did not reject the stem cells and the cells thrived. Prather says achieving this success with pigs is notable because pigs are much closer to humans than many other test animals.
“Many medical researchers prefer conducting studies with pigs because they are more anatomically similar to humans than other animals, such as mice and rats,” Prather said. “Physically, pigs are much closer to the size and scale of humans than other animals, and they respond to health threats similarly. This means that research in pigs is more likely to have results similar to those in humans for many different tests and treatments.”
“Now that we know that human stem cells can thrive in these pigs, a door has been opened for new and exciting research by scientists around the world,” Roberts said. “Hopefully this means that we are one step closer to therapies and treatments for a number of debilitating human diseases.”
Roberts and Prather published their study, “Engraftment of human iPS cells and allogeneic porcine cells into pigs with inactivated RAG2 and accompanying severe combined immunodeficiency” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Source: MU News Bureau
In a worldwide first, brain surgeon Dr. Bon Verweij of the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht successfully replaced the complete skull of a 22-year-old woman with a 3D-printed, tailor-made plastic skull in a surgical procedure that lasted 23 hours.