Mexican clinic promotes stem cell therapy to treat range of diseases ~ Xinhua, english.news.cn, Nov 10, 2015.
MEXICO CITY, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) – A Mexican clinic is promoting a stem cell therapy to treat a range of diseases, from diabetic foot to arthritis and pulmonary fibrosis.
Esther Arroyo Conde, who turns 78 in a few weeks, is a case in point. She suffers from arthritis, osteoarthritis, or cartilage wear, in both knees, which make it difficult to walk, and especially climb stairs.
After only a couple of sessions of stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, she is able to walk better and be more independent.
“It’s my third consultation and I’m feeling quite good,” Arroyo told Xinhua as she waited for her appointment at Cambium Therapies, a private clinic in south Mexico City specializing in advanced cell therapy.
“There was a time when I couldn’t walk without straps, but thanks to god and the treatment, I can now walk and go up the stairs,” she said.
Arroyo said the treatments have improved her quality of life.
The Mexico’s private medical center, which opened just three months ago, is the first of its kind in the capital.
The stem cells used to treat patients can be obtained from a variety of sources. Initially harvested mainly from bone marrow and umbilical chords, they can now also be gotten from “the fatty tissue of the patient or a donor,” resident biologist Ricardo Rangel Martinez said.
Image taken on Nov. 4, 2015, of the biologist Ricardo Rangel Martinez, operative director of the laboratory of the clinic “Cambium Therapies”, an integral center specialized in alternative regenerative medicine in advanced cell therapy, manipulating a container with stem cell cultures, in Mexico City, capital of Mexico. (Xinhua/Pedro Mera)
Rangel, who specializes in the cryopreservation of stem cells at the clinic’s own cell bank, believes the therapy “is going to spark a medical revolution” as it is applied to an ever increasing number of ailments.
The process to regenerate knee cartilage, for example, can also be used in cosmetic facial treatments, and involves first extracting both blood and fatty tissue from the patient via a mini liposuction before obtaining the stem cells.
The stem cells can be injected intravenously or directly into the area to be treated, and begin to have regenerative effects almost immediately, he said.
Stem cells are unique because they can develop into different types of cells when “young,” such as muscle cells, brain cells or red blood cells, and can work to repair organs or tissue from the inside.
Controversy swirled around the stem cell therapy when it focused almost exclusively on embryonic stem cells derived from human embryos, but has died down as science develops other sources, such as adult stem cells or amniotic stem cells.
Image taken on Nov. 4, 2015, of a medic applying stem cell to a pacient in treatment of regeneration of knee joint, in the clinic “Cambium Therapies”, an integral center specialized in alternative regenerative medicine in advanced cell therapy, in Mexico City, capital of Mexico. (Xinhua/Pedro Mera)
- Date: May 6, 2015
- Source: Salk Institute for Biological Studies
- Summary: Scientists have discovered a new type of stem cell that could potentially generate mature, functional tissues. They report using these new stem cells to develop the first reliable method for integrating human stem cells into nonviable mouse embryos in a laboratory dish in such a way that the human cells began to differentiate into early-stage tissues.
Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered a novel type of pluripotent stem cell — cells capable of developing into any type of tissue — whose identity is tied to their location in a developing embryo. This contrasts with stem cells traditionally used in scientific study, which are characterized by their time-related stage of development.
In the paper, published May 6, 2015 in Nature, the scientists report using these new stem cells to develop the first reliable method for integrating human stem cells into nonviable mouse embryos in a laboratory dish in such a way that the human cells began to differentiate into early-stage tissues.
“The region-specific cells we found could provide tremendous advantages in the laboratory to study development, evolution and disease, and may offer avenues for generating novel therapies,” says Salk Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, senior author of the paper and holder of Salk’s Roger Guillemin Chair.
The researchers dubbed this new class of cells “region-selective pluripotent stem cells,” or rsPSCs for short. The rsPSCs were easier to grow in the laboratory than conventional human pluripotent stem cells and offered advantages for large-scale production and gene editing (altering a cell’s DNA), both desirable features for cell replacement therapies.
To produce the cells, the Salk scientists developed a combination of chemical signals that directed human stem cells in a laboratory dish to become spatially oriented.
They then inserted the spatially oriented human stem cells (human rsPSCs) into specific regions of partially dissected mouse embryos and cultured them in a dish for 36 hours. Separately, they also inserted human stem cells cultured using conventional methods, so that they could compare existing techniques to their new technique.
While the human stem cells derived through conventional methods failed to integrate into the modified embryos, the human rsPSCs began to develop into early stage tissues. The cells in this region of an early embryo undergo dynamic changes to give rise to all cells, tissues and organs of the body. Indeed the human rsPSCs began the process of differentiating into the three major cell layers in early development, known as ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. The Salk researchers stopped the cells from differentiating further, but each germ layer was theoretically capable of giving rise to specific tissues and organs.
Collaborating with the labs of Salk Professors Joseph Ecker and Alan Saghatelian, the Izpisua Belmonte team performed extensive characterization of the new cells and found rsPSCs showed distinct molecular and metabolic characteristics as well as novel epigenetic signatures — that is, patterns of chemical modifications to DNA that control which genes are turned on or off without changing the DNA sequence.
“The region selective-state of these stem cells is entirely novel for laboratory-cultured stem cells and offers important insight into how human stem cells might be differentiated into derivatives that give rise to a wide range of tissues and organs,” says Jun Wu, a postdoctoral researcher in Izpisua Belmonte’s lab and first author of the new paper. “Not only do we need to consider the timing, but also the spatial characteristics of the stem cells. Understanding both aspects of a stem cell’s identity could be crucial to generate functional and mature cell types for regenerative medicine.”
- Jun Wu, Daiji Okamura, Mo Li, Keiichiro Suzuki, Chongyuan Luo, Li Ma, Yupeng He, Zhongwei Li, Chris Benner, Isao Tamura, Marie N. Krause, Joseph R. Nery, Tingting Du, Zhuzhu Zhang, Tomoaki Hishida, Yuta Takahashi, Emi Aizawa, Na Young Kim, Jeronimo Lajara, Pedro Guillen, Josep M. Campistol, Concepcion Rodriguez Esteban, Pablo J. Ross, Alan Saghatelian, Bing Ren, Joseph R. Ecker, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte.An alternative pluripotent state confers interspecies chimaeric competency. Nature, 2015; DOI: 10.1038/nature14413