New York Woman Feels Good Enough to Dance After Stem Cell Treatment

The life of a New York woman was almost destroyed because of a root canal treatment that became infected. Once an active individual, the infection spread causing Ann to have difficulty breathing as the bacteria multiplied and spread towards her heart. Her heart began to fail when one of her heart valves stopped functioning properly.

Ann was rushed to have immediate valve repair once the doctors found the source of the problem which was initially mistaken for pneumonia. She grew sick of being tired all the time as the months following surgery became a struggle.

A company in Bangkok, Thailand was reporting success using a patient’s own adult stem cells to treat cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease, and congestive heart failure. The woman investigated further, intrigued by the possibility of getting her life back. Ann had made up her mind to the extent of 50/50, but the tipping point came when over Thanksgiving, she couldn’t pick up her grandson.

2007-07-31T00:00:00+00:00 July 31st, 2007|Heart Failure, News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

Woman’s Heart Rebuilt with Stem Cells

She was at a wedding last summer when she suffered her fourth heart attack. Carron was hanging Japanese lanterns as part of her job when the 58-year-old event planner and mother of two felt the familiar pain in her chest. The doctor told her that she was on her last string and the next time could be her last. An evaluation showed that she was getting less than 50% efficiency from the right side of her heart. Stents didn’t work so they tried a defibrillator. When those measures proved unsuccessful, a heart transplant list got another name.

“All I could do was cry,” she says. “I just thought, ‘I’m about to die.’ There’s 100,000 people waiting for a heart.”

As autumn approached, her condition worsened.

“I couldn’t walk 20 feet without being on somebody’s arm,” Morrow says. “I couldn’t go to the mall. My legs just wouldn’t carry me. I knew I had really gotten worse.”

Her church rallied and offered support.

“Each time I’ve had one of these heart attacks, the church has surrounded me in prayer,” she says.

Carron’s health records were eventually sent to Texas thanks to her nurse. She had been researching adult stem cell therapy and had watched over Carron since her third heart attack. It was during her research that she learned of a groundbreaking study at the Texas Heart Institute.

“Within a month’s time, I was in Texas,” she says.

But the study would be limited, with only 30 people admitted. There would be 10 placebo patients, and 20 stem cell patients.

“I started praying,” Morrow says. “They called me at a quarter to five.”

More than a decade ago, the research began in Brazil, and now Carron would be involved with it.

The treatment was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and for the surgery to take place, she had to sign liability papers.

“My next choice was just to drop dead, so I signed everything,” she says, “and had full confidence in that group.”

Carron when into surgery on October 14th, 2006 – her birthday. From her left hip, 50cc of bone marrow was removed and stem cells were cultivated from the tissue. She was back in surgery only four hours later, and the right side of her heart was injected with 30 million stem cells.

Carron had a great deal of traveling to do after the procedure. She remained in Texas for nine days, but had to return every two weeks until January. All her plane trips were paid for by a local businessman who as a catering client of hers.

“I knew within two months something was going on,” Morrow says. “I could sing a whole song at church.”

By December, she “was plating food as hard as any other chef there.”

In April, “I had a huge wedding in Jackson, Mississippi. We put in 80 hours that week. My sister said, ‘Carron, you know you have the stem cells.'”

It was confirmed the following week in Texas: “This little bitty envelope had ‘stem cell’ in it.”

To measure her progress, she had another CT scan performed on her heart. She went to the University of Alabama for the scan this month, the same place where she was informed of her bleak outlook only a year ago.

“The doctor calls and says, ‘Ma’am, the right side of your heart is normal.'”

She had the scan results faxed to Montgomery because she was sure there had been a mistake.

“I was in la-la land for several days.”

On June 7th, she was on PBS in a featured documentary.

“I told the doctor, ‘I don’t understand why we have this huge political mess going on about stem cells,'” Morrow says. “I’m living proof that adult stem cells work far better than embryonic. And why should embryonic even be in discussion?”

“I’m here to say, ‘I’m living proof. It saved my life.”

“I’m just doing great.”

Her defibrillator is no longer needed, an $85,000 remedy that completely failed. Less than $600 was needed to culture Carron’s stem cells.

“This is going to revolutionize heart disease.”

“This community has been such a strength for me,” she says. “I am just so blessed. I feel so undeserving. I am not a perfect person. I just am overwhelmed with how good God is to me.”

“I have been given an opportunity

2007-07-30T00:00:00+00:00 July 30th, 2007|Heart Disease, News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

How to Mend a Broken Heart: Stem Cells

According to a team of researchers, stem cells may help repair damaged tissue after a heart attack.

Stem cells played a significant role in repairing damaged hearts in a study that was conducted using mice. But whether it is cells from elsewhere in the body or actual heart cells that are doing the repair is a continuing point of investigation.

So that their heart muscle cells could be stained with a fluorescent protein, Richard Lee of the Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues genetically engineered mice.

Around 80 per cent of the heart muscle cells in young mice picked up the stain. Demonstrating that heart muscle cells are not normally replaced in life, the stain level remained the same as the mice aged stated researchers. But, suggesting that new muscle cells are formed in response to injury was a drop to 70% in stained cell count when heart attacks were induced in the mice.

Lee thinks that a limited ability to self-heal would characterize the adult mouse heart and align it with the study results.

“The mechanism to activate cardiac regeneration is present, but it’s inadequate,” he says. “Could that be because mammals don’t have enough [heart] stem cells? There are other theories as well. We need to understand what is holding the system back, so that we can devise a strategy to turn that brake off.”

But Kenneth Chien of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is not yet convinced that Lee’s team has identified heart stem cells in the mice. Heart stem cells were only first discovered last year, and although the paper provides many answers, Chien thinks it also raises several questions.

“The evidence is circumstantial because the data is not related to finding the pool of new cells and tagging it, but simply showing that the existing pool changes,” Chien says. “The most important question now is: can you identify that new pool? Are they pre-existing immature cardiac muscle cells? Or are they [stem cells] from the heart or elsewhere in the body?”

2007-07-29T00:00:00+00:00 July 29th, 2007|News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

Dilated Cardiomyopathy Treated Using New Adult Stem Cell Treatment

The condition of “heart muscle disease” is often referred to as cardiomyopathy. Often leading to heart failure or sudden death, it occurs in both women and men. Cardiomyopathy is also a term describing a series of disorders causing primary heart muscle dysfunction. There is no known cure for this condition, of which the most common form causes 10,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Now adult stem cells may be the treatment answer for this condition. A Bangkok, Thailand, based company claims to have developed a treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy. Patients are typically characterized by low energy, pain, restricted activity, brevity, and cost. But patients can travel to Bangkok to for stem cell treatment and possibly leave the aforementioned symptoms behind.

A Michigan man named Jason is perhaps the clinics biggest success.

By the time Jason was 15, he had a pacemaker. By 21 he was diagnosed as having cardiomyopathy and by 25 he had a defibrillator in place and an ejection fraction of just 8-10 percent. Jason was born with an atrial septal defect. Now 34, Jason calls himself lucky. Adult stem cell therapy freed him from the domination and restrictions of heart failure. He says he feels so much better that if he started training, he thinks he could do a triathlon.

As he was removed from a heart transplant list, his mother searched for help. As he went back and forth to specialists having his medications reviewed, since that is all he was left with. He constantly felt depressed and tired since some of the medications had unpleasant side-effects. Then his mother found the stem cell clinic. After being examined by Dr. Patel from the University of Pittsburgh, he was on his way to Bangkok. Dr. Patel felt that adult stem cells could help Jason.

A small amount of blood was withdrawn from Jason once he arrived in Bangkok. Stem cells were harvested from the blood and injected directly into his heart muscle at the Bangkok Heart Hospital. Jason knew his life was changing only a short month later.

“My heart was beating better, more rhythmically, and I had more energy,” he said. “After six months I was up and flying, feeling 100 percent different. I could mow the lawns, take walks, ride a bike with my kids, lift weights — do whatever I liked,” he said. “I’m always on the go with our fifth child on the way and always busy as a full-time parent.”

Jason is very happy to spend time advising other cardiomyopathy sufferers of the power of positive thinking and he has always enjoyed a huge level of support from his family and friends.

“Always try to be positive,” he counsels. “There is hope. Take care of your diet and help get the word out that adult stem cell therapy is worth getting done. It’s nothing like what you would have thought.”

Jason talks to other patients about his treatment, which is not available in the United States, and explains what it is like to fly to Thailand and receive stem cell injections.

Continuing research is revealing encouraging clinical outcomes for adult stem cell use for the treatment of many different conditions. Soon, more patients will be aware of the option to travel abroad to Thailand as well as other countries for treatment. Those patients will know that skilled doctors in world-class hospitals can perform this procedure which is straightforward and effective; and that they cannot be harmed by a therapy that uses their own adult stem cells.

2007-07-25T00:00:00+00:00 July 25th, 2007|Heart Failure, News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

Corneal Disorders Treated Using Novel Adult Stem Cell Method

Cornea stem cell growth was demonstrated by a new technique at the Area of Cellular Therapy of the University Clinic (University of Navarra). Researchers demonstrated the efficacy of adult stem cells in this capacity.

70 rabbits, which served as test animals, were treated for diseases of the cornea using stem cells. The technique was developed by Dr. Ana Fern

2007-07-22T00:00:00+00:00 July 22nd, 2007|News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

Japanese Adult Stem Cell Research May End Embryo Debate

The scientific community’s brief obsession with cloning experiments for stem cell research is about to end if the speculations surrounding the headlines from the June 7 journals Nature and Stem Cell are indeed the major breakthrough they seem to be. The published findings reveal that Japanese researchers have produced embryo-like stem cells from the somatic cells of mice.

“Neither eggs nor embryos are necessary. I’ve never worked with either,” said the papers author Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in an interview with the London Times. At a conference on stem cell research at the University of Manchester, Yamanaka presented his findings this week.

The cells were made to have the same qualities as a stem cell taken from a very early-stage embryo. The pluripotency was achieved by introducing four proteins which “reprogram” the nuclear DNA in mouse skin cells.

In order to renew and replace tissues in the body, stem cells are used. Thus, healing injuries and curing diseases have become a focus of researchers who are trying to develop new medical applications by using stem cells. Success in experimental treatments of Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, as well as many other conditions has been accomplished with adult stem cells. These cells are now commonly used in some forms of cancer treatment.

Stem cells found in the body are limited in the different types of tissues they can produce. Many researchers support this assessment, especially those who focus on embryonic stem cells research. The pluripotency of embryonic stem cells is an attractive characteristic.

However, the “holy grail” of stem cell research, the equivalent of “transforming lead into gold” could accurately describe the Japanese team’s findings if they are indeed accurate. The discovery of a method of creating pluripotent stem cells exactly matched to the patient without killing an embryonic human being would be one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research.

Numerous false alarms have transpired over the years with scientists claiming to have discovered a way to work with embryonic stem cells without actually destroying or harming the embryo itself. None of the potential breakthrough’s were a true departure from harming embryos but it seems that the Japanese research team has made this leap.

When asked if whether he thought the Japanese research was another false alarm, Dr. John Shea answered that the paper appeared to present a legitimate breakthrough. Shea said he was still being cautious, but that the research could lead to an ethical solution to the embryo and cloning debate.

Shea, who is a medical ethics consultant to Canada’s pro-life lobby, Campaign Life Coalition said that, “the Japanese team has produced pluripotent embryo-like stem cells similar to blastomeres, those cells found in the earliest stages of embryonic life, but have not created embryos.”

2007-07-20T00:00:00+00:00 July 20th, 2007|News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

$2.4 Million Dollars Awarded for MS Research Using Bone Marrow Stem Cells

CBC News

A $2.4-million grant was awarded to two Ottawa researchers for their work in fighting the chronic and often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord that is multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Harry Atkins and Dr. Mark Freedman will continue a closely watched clinical trial involving an experimental bone marrow stem cell transplant therapy. Their team was awarded the money by The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Improvements in the ability to walk and see have been among the most dramatic observations of their MS research along with data on MS symptoms slowing down.

“The idea behind this clinical trial is to replace the diseased immune system with a new one derived from the patient’s own bone marrow stem cells,” said Atkins, a scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, and a bone marrow transplant specialist at the Ottawa Hospital.

“First, we purify and freeze the patient’s stem cells, then we use strong chemotherapy to destroy their existing immune system,” he said. “We then transplant the purified stem cells back into the patient.”

“It takes time, but eventually these stem cells will form a completely new immune system — one that does not attack the brain and spinal cord — we hope.”

Researchers say that applying the procedure to treat autoimmune diseases such as MS is novel, but a similar procedure has been used to treat certain types of blood cancer for more than 25 years.

“We hoped that this therapy would halt or slow the progression of MS, and in the patients examined so far, it seems to have worked,” Freedman said. “In addition, some patients have experienced substantial improvements in their ability to see and walk.”

“This was unexpected, and it suggests the exciting possibility that the therapy may be contributing to some sort of repair or regeneration. With this funding, we can investigate this further.”

The knowledge gained could lead to significant improvements in the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases, even though the therapy is highly experimental researchers said.

Making it the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada, between 55,000 and 75,000 Canadians have multiple sclerosis. People are typically diagnosed with MS between the ages of 15-40.

Stiffness of muscles, extreme fatigue, speech problems, loss of balance, double or blurred vision, bladder and bowel problems, or even partial or complete paralysis can be among the unpredictable and varying symptoms that a person with MS can experience.

Stem Cells from Expected Baby Brother will Treat Sibling with Motor Neuron Disease

To treat their 20-year-old son, a Monmouthshire couple is planning to use the stem cells derived from the umbilical cord blood of their expected child.

Julian and Joanna are expecting their baby in September, their soon to be newborn son is already named Rhys, and his cord blood will be a match for the 20-year-old Michael.

41-year-old Julian is the biological father of Michael. Joanna, who is 27, is Julian’s current partner. Despite Joanna not being Michael’s biological mother, the cord blood from Rhys will still be compatible.

Since the treatment is illegal in the UK, the family will travel to the United States instead.

Since the illness was diagnosed, Michael has suffered from muscle wastage and experts believe the cells could reverse the damage.

The plan is to fly stem cells to Newcastle University in Boston after they have been extracted and frozen from baby Rhys’ umbilical cord blood. Once in the Boston, the cells will be implanted into Michael’s spinal cord.

Without treatment Michael would not live to see his 21st birthday the doctors said.

The knowledge that stem cells could be used to treat motor neuron disease came to Joanna’s attention when she was researching on the internet while she was six-weeks pregnant.

She said: “Mike’s best chance is to have cells from a donor who is a close genetic match. The best he is going to get is from his own brother even though he is not born yet.”

“To get a match otherwise could take three or four years and Michael doesn’t have years, he only has months.”

“It’s a race against time but Rhys will have a DNA link. We know it’s a long shot and we are all hoping against hope.”

Julian said: “This disease is meant to affect old people. Not my young and healthy son.”

Michael suffers from extreme fatigue and is losing mobility in his hands as well as the rest of his limbs.

The Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA) say most sufferers die within two to five years of diagnosis – with half dying within 14 months.

Julian said: “When doctors first diagnosed Mike, none of us knew what it was.”

“Then when we did some research, we couldn’t get our heads round it. This disease is meant to affect old people. Not my young and healthy son.”

“It would be just amazing if little Rhys saved Michael. Rhys will be our miracle baby.”

Motor neuron disease tends to affect men slightly more than women and is most common among people aged 50 to 70. In the UK, the condition affects about 5,000 individuals.

The nerve cells which control muscle activity begin to breakdown causing the progressive disorder.

Symptoms of the disease include difficulties breathing, swallowing, and speaking, as well as the loss of mobility and muscle-wasting.

In the U.S. and Canada, motor neuron disease is being treated with stem cell therapy.

Since doctors are split on its effectiveness, it has yet to be approved by UK health authorities.

A spokeswoman for the MNDA said: “We are not for or against the treatment but it is at very early stages and not proven that it can have any effect on motor neuron disease.”

2007-07-18T00:00:00+00:00 July 18th, 2007|News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|

$2.4 Million Dollars Awarded for MS Research Using Bone Marrow Stem Cells

A $2.4-million grant was awarded to two Ottawa researchers for their work in fighting the chronic and often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord that is multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Harry Atkins and Dr. Mark Freedman will continue a closely watched clinical trial involving an experimental bone marrow stem cell transplant therapy. Their team was awarded the money by The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Improvements in the ability to walk and see have been among the most dramatic observations of their MS research along with data on MS symptoms slowing down.

“The idea behind this clinical trial is to replace the diseased immune system with a new one derived from the patient