IN THE NEWS - VOLUME 1 - ISSUE 8 - APRIL 22, 2015

‘Device-less’ cell transplant allows safer, more effective treatment of Type 1 diabetes
April 22 - EDMONTON - Dr. James Shapiro and his team at the University of Alberta are developing a safer and less invasive way to transplant insulin-creating cells for treatment of Type 1 diabetes. The “device-less” method involves inserting a small tube under the skin, which triggers the body’s natural response against alien objects. [more]

Life with graft-vs.-host disease: When the transplant is just the beginning
April 21 - How researchers are trying to combat this common, often debilitating side effect of treatment [more]

New T cell–based immunotherapy shows promise for lethal stem cell transplant complication
More than 60 percent of patients with Epstein-Barr virus–associated lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV-LPD) that was not responding to standard rituximab (Rituxan) treatment responded to a new type of immunotherapy called Epstein-Barr virus–specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (EBV-CTL) therapy, according to data from two clinical trials presented at here the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, April 18-22. [more]

China faces uphill battle in organ donation campaign
Donor shortages are an international problem but the number of organ donors in China is extremely low for a country with a population of more than 1 billion.[more]

Experts probe use of stem cells to treat hockey legend Gordie Howe
It's a question that has captivated sports fans and scientists. Did a radical stem cell treatment help Gordie Howe recover from a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and almost ended his life last year? A W5 documentary crew teamed up with a top Canadian scientist to find out -taking cameras inside the San Diego company that made Gordie's stem cells and the Mexican clinic where he received treatment. [more]

New Paradigms for Organ Preservation in Heart and Lung Transplantation
NICE, FRANCE--(Marketwired - April 18, 2015) - During the 35th Annual International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Meeting and Scientific Sessions, April 15-18 in Nice, France, several abstracts were presented calling attention to the novel approaches in heart and lung organ preservation including the supercooling of organs for transplant. The study found that keeping an organ at below-freezing temperatures could extend preservation time by further slowing metabolism. The study, conducted on rat livers, found that supercooling of the organ can more than triple the length of time organs currently can be preserved. Additional studies presented added new data in organ preservation.[more]

New class of drugs targeting blood glucose level could benefit individuals with type 2 diabetes
April 22 - The team directed by François Pattou is developing innovative therapies to control the more severe forms of diabetes, a disorder characterised by a high blood sugar levels, i.e. chronic hyperglycaemia. To treat type 1 diabetes, the laboratory is conducting projects based on the production of human islets, which are transplanted into patients. [more]

Immune cells support good gut bacteria in fight against harmful bacteria
An immune cell protein, ID2, is critical for the maintenance of healthy gut microbiota and helps these good bacteria fight off harmful bacteria, report scientists from the University of Chicago. The study, published in Immunity on April 21, suggests that novel therapeutics or microbiota transplantation could be used to promote the development of good gut microbiota to indirectly kill harmful bacteria for patients with recurrent gut infection. [more]

Duke/UNC Collaboration Trying to Fix Human Ailments at Molecular Level
Researchers have gutted and replaced the insides of viruses with human genes, fashioning miniature couriers that can travel into cells to replace defects that underlie genetic diseases like hemophilia. They have also taken advantage of bacteria’s ability to recognize and chop up the DNA of invading pathogens, hijacking this defense system to edit the genome of any cell or species at will. Merging these two approaches – gene therapy and genome editing – could revolutionize medicine by enabling clinicians to essentially fix human ailments at the most basic molecular level. Recently, Duke’s Charles Gersbach, PhD, and UNC’s Aravind Asokan, PhD, received a $50,000 grant to combine these technologies into a completely new treatment for the progressive neuromuscular disorder muscular dystrophy. The award is part of an effort by the sister CTSAs to combine resources and expertise to tackle problems that impact human health. [more]

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