August 25, 2017 by Karen Finney An English bulldog undergoes surgery for spina bifida at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The dog is part of a pair of puppies being treated for spina bifida through a combination of stem cell therapy and surgery, research made possible through collaboration between the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and UC Davis Health. Credit: Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis
A pair of English bulldog puppies are the first patients to be successfully treated with a unique therapya combination of surgery and stem cellsdeveloped at the University of California, Davis, to help preserve lower-limb function in children with spina bifida.
Because dogs with the birth defect frequently have little control of their hindquarters, they also have little hope for a future. They are typically euthanized as puppies.
At their postsurgery re-check at 4 months old, however, the siblings, named Darla and Spanky, showed off their abilities to walk, run and play to their doctor, veterinary neurosurgeon Beverly Sturges.
"The initial results of the surgery are promising, as far as hind limb control," said Sturges. "Both dogs seemed to have improved range of motion and control of their limbs."
The dogs have since been adopted, and continue to do well at their home in New Mexico.
A major step toward curing spina bifida
Spina bifida occurs when spinal tissue improperly fuses in utero, causing a range of cognitive, mobility, urinary and bowel disabilities in about 1,500 to 2,000 children born in the U.S. each year. The dogs' procedure, which involved surgical techniques developed by fetal surgeon Diana Farmer of UC Davis Health together with a cellular treatment developed by stem cell scientists Aijun Wang and Dori Borjesson, director of the university's Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures, represents a major step toward curing spina bifida for both humans and dogs.
Farmer pioneered the use of surgery prior to birth to improve brain development in children with spina bifida. She later showed that prenatal surgery combined with human placenta-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (PMSCs), held in place with a cellular scaffold, helped research lambs born with the disorder walk without noticeable disability.
Sturges wanted to find out if the surgery-plus-stem-cell approach could give dogs closer-to-normal lives along with better chances of survival and adoption. At 10-weeks old, Darla and Spanky were transported from Southern California Bulldog Rescue to the UC Davis veterinary hospital, where they were the first dogs to receive the treatment, this time using canine instead of human PMSCs.
Another distinction for Darla and Spanky is that their treatment occurred after birth, since prenatal diagnosis of spina bifida is not performed on dogs, Sturges explained. The disorder becomes apparent between 1 and 2 weeks of age, when puppies show hind-end weakness, poor muscle tone, incoordination and abnormal use of their tails.
A unique environment for collaborative research
UC Davis is the only place where this type of cross-disciplinary, transformational medicine could happen, according to Farmer.
"It's rare to have a combination of excellent medical and veterinary schools and strong commitment to advancing stem cell science at one institution," she said.
UC Davis is also home to the One Health initiative aimed at finding novel treatments like these for diseases that affect both humans and animals.
"I've often said that I have the greatest job on the planet, because I get to help kids," Farmer said. "Now my job is even better, because I get to help puppies too."
Hopes for clinical trials in humans and dogs
With additional evaluation and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, Farmer and Wang hope to test the therapy in human clinical trials. Sturges and Borjesson hope to do the same with a canine clinical trial. They hope the outcomes of their work help eradicate spina bifida in dogs and humans.
In the meantime, the team wants dog breeders to send more puppies with spina bifida to UC Davis for treatment and refinements that help the researchers fix an additional hallmark of spina bifidaincontinence. While Darla and Spanky are very mobile and doing well on their feet, they still require diapers.
"Further analysis of their progress will determine if the surgery improves their incontinence conditions," Sturges said.
Explore further: Prenatal stem cell treatment improves mobility issues caused by spina bifida
The lower-limb paralysis associated with spina bifida may be effectively treated before birth by combining a unique stem cell therapy with surgery, new research from UC Davis Health System has found.
In a study to be presented Saturday, Jan. 28, in the oral concurrent session, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, researchers evaluated a possible regenerative patch by using ...
In a study to be presented on Feb. 5 in an oral plenary session, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Atlanta, researchers will present findings from a study titled, Cryopreserved ...
A system incorporating a smartphone app may help adolescents and young adults with spina bifida to improve their daily self-management skills, suggests a paper in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, ...
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Dallas, Texas, researchers will report findings that show that, for children with spina bifida, surgery ...
A gene related to neural tube defects in dogs has for the first time been identified by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and University of Iowa.
"Gut bacteria get to use a lot of our food before we do," says Federico Rey, a professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Then we get their leftoversor their waste.
A majority of shark fins and manta ray gills sold around the globe for traditional medicines come from endangered species, a University of Guelph study has revealed.
The "jumping genes" of maize have finally been mapped by an international team led by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The discovery could ultimately benefit the breeding ...
More evidence that our intestinal microbes are profoundly influenced by the foods we eator don't: The gut ecosystems of members of a small group of hunter-gatherers inhabiting Tanzania's Rift Valley show a strong cyclicality ...
The advent of farming, especially dairy products, had a small but significant effect on the shape of human skulls, according to a recently published study from anthropologists at UC Davis.
Biological "detectives" are tracking down biothreats such as the bacteria that causes tularemia ("rabbit fever"), but they constantly face the challenge of avoiding false positives. Sounding the alarm over a bioattack, only ...
Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more
- COVID-19 Stem Cell Therapies Pipeline, 2020 Report - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire - May 9th, 2020
- Role of science highlighted in pandemic fight - Chinadaily.com.cn - - May 9th, 2020
- UB investigators uncover cellular mechanism involved in Krabbe disease - UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff - University at Buffalo... - May 9th, 2020
- Gilbert Paterson band students to participate in worldwide documentary - Medicine Hat News - May 9th, 2020
- Heard On Sundial: Reopening Miami-Dade And The Keys, And Stem Cell Treatment For Coronavirus - WLRN - May 7th, 2020
- Researchers Convert Astrocytes to Neurons In Vivo to Treat... : Neurology Today - LWW Journals - May 7th, 2020
- Results From Pivotal Phase 2/3 Study of Emapalumab in Patients With Primary HLH Published in New Eng - PharmiWeb.com - May 7th, 2020
- BrainStorm Leases a New Cleanroom Facility at The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to Manufacture NurOwn for The European Union - GlobeNewswire - May 7th, 2020
- Characterization and Immunomodulation of Canine Amniotic Membrane Stem | SCCAA - Dove Medical Press - May 7th, 2020
- Lineage Cell Therapeutics Reports New Data With OpRegen for the Treatment of Dry AMD With Geographic Atrophy - BioSpace - May 7th, 2020
- Navigating cancer as a young adult: 'I'm trying to figure out who I am' - Stanford Medical Center Report - May 7th, 2020
- Orgenesis leads the charge at an exciting time for cell and gene therapy - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - May 7th, 2020
- DIABETES RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOUNDATION RECEIVES $3 MILLION GIFT FROM NORTH AMERICA'S BUILDING TRADES UNIONS TO FUND CELL THERAPY FOR COVID-19 -... - May 7th, 2020
- End-use Industries of Stem Cell Assay Product Witness Unparalleled Slowdown Induced by Global Outbreak of COVID-361 - 3rd Watch News - May 7th, 2020
- FDA Approves Tabrecta, the First Targeted Drug for Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and MET exon 14 - Curetoday.com - May 7th, 2020
- UAE stem cell therapy: Revolutionary treatment helps cure COVID-19 patients - Gulf News - May 3rd, 2020
- Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine ... - April 29th, 2020
- Scientists from Universities in Russia and Ukraine Collaborate to Research on New Approaches to Treat Obesity and Diabetes - QS WOW News - April 29th, 2020
- Organoids: Exploring Liver Cancer Initiation and the Possibilities of Personalized Glioblastoma Treatment - Technology Networks - April 29th, 2020
- Cell Culture Protein Surface Coating Market Competitive Analysis and Forecast 2017-2025 - Latest Herald - April 29th, 2020
- Chimerix Announces Initiation of a Phase 2/3 Study of DSTAT in Acute Lung Injury for Patients with Severe COVID-19 - BioSpace - April 29th, 2020
- Stem Cell Treatment Options | National Stem Cell Clinic - April 28th, 2020
- Impact of COVID-19 on Stem Cell Assay Market In-Depth Analysis And Forecast 2020-2027 | By Top Key Players Merck & Co., Thermo Fisher Scientific,... - April 28th, 2020
- Dr Annalisa Jenkins on healthcare and biotech investments for family offices - Campden FB - April 28th, 2020
- Researcher says stem cell activation could lie at root of health effects of many natural products - NutraIngredients-usa.com - April 24th, 2020
- Researchers use cell therapy to recover damaged brain areas in mice that suffered - Mirage News - April 24th, 2020
- Scientists explore using CAR-T and other engineered immune cells to target COVID-19 - FierceBiotech - April 24th, 2020
- Lessons for medical profession during management of covid-19 pandemic: Is there a silver lining? - Elets - April 24th, 2020
- Scientists from IKBFU, Moscow and Kiev conducted research on treating obesity - Science Codex - April 24th, 2020
- Outlook on the Worldwide Amniotic Membrane Industry to 2027 - Strategic Recommendations for New Entrants - Yahoo Finance - April 24th, 2020
- Regenerative Medicine Market With Economic Growth And Five Forces Analysis By 2024 - Kentucky Journal 24 - April 21st, 2020
- Northwestern Scientists Awarded Top Honors for Achievement in Clinical Research - Northwestern University NewsCenter - April 17th, 2020
- Campus labs produce sample-preserving fluid for COVID-19 test kits - University of California - April 17th, 2020
- Leading the Movement Towards Direct Cell Conversion: An Interview With Mogrify - Technology Networks - April 17th, 2020
- What exactly are underlying conditions? And why people with them may experience more serious illness from coronavirus - Boston News, Weather, Sports |... - April 17th, 2020
- Pandemic reveals another shortcoming in preparation: Scattershot, chaotic research for treatments - Anchorage Daily News - April 17th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market to 2027 - Global Analysis and Forecasts by Type; Treatment; Application; End User, and Geography - Salamanca Press - April 15th, 2020
- UCSD scientists find possibilities for injured brain cells to be repaired - fox5sandiego.com - April 15th, 2020
- Stem cell therapies slowly gain traction as viable treatments for brain disorders - Science Magazine - April 15th, 2020
- CareDx Introduces AlloCell: Cell Therapy SurveillanceCareDx Announces Collaborations to Develop Cellular Therapy Diagnostics - BioSpace - April 15th, 2020
- NantKwest and ImmunityBio Announce Therapeutics and Vaccines for Combatting COVID-19; Clinical Trials Anticipated to Begin This Quarter - BioSpace - April 15th, 2020
- Leading Urology KOLs Host Live Webinar Entitled The Protect PNS for OAB: A Wireless Uro-Stimulation Injectable Technology on April 29 at 5pm ET -... - April 15th, 2020
- Young-onset Parkinson's may start in the womb - Health24 - April 15th, 2020
- Horizon Research Fellow job with UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS | 203439 - Times Higher Education (THE) - April 15th, 2020
- What You Need to Know About the FDA's Approval of Opdivo-Yervoy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma - Curetoday.com - April 8th, 2020
- MSC-based therapies from Mesoblast, Cynata advance to tackle COVID-19 ARDS - BioWorld Online - April 8th, 2020
- CYTOVIA Therapeutics and MACROMOLTEK to Develop Dual-Acting Natural Killer Immunotherapy Against SARS CoV2 (COVID-19) | DNA RNA and Cells | News... - April 8th, 2020
- AlloVir Appoints Ugo Capolino Perlingieri Head of Europe and Middle East Operations - Yahoo Finance - April 8th, 2020
- What does the public know about COVID-19? - University of Miami - April 8th, 2020
- India Based Stem Cell Research Firm To Test Its Stem Cell Product For Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome (ARDS) COVID-19 - IndianWeb2.com - April 8th, 2020
- Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market 2020 Size, Share and Growth Analysis Research Report by 2025. Top Companies are... - April 8th, 2020
- Fate Inks $100M Deal With Janssen for Stem Cell-Derived Cancer Therapies - Xconomy - April 6th, 2020
- Mesoblast's remestemcel-L receives FDA IND clearance for treating COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress - Small Caps - April 6th, 2020
- Symtomax: the science behind producing high quality medical cannabis - Health Europa - April 6th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy for Colon Cancer - The Ritz Herald - April 6th, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Reconstructive Market- Industry Analysis and Forecast (2020-2027) - Publicist360 - April 6th, 2020
- Dr. Bart Rademaker Offers Free Classes On Stem Cell Therapy And The Coronavirus - PR Web - April 6th, 2020
- BioIVT Opens New Blood Donor Center to Support Boston-area Research into COVID-19 Therapies, Vaccines and Diagnostics - PRNewswire - April 6th, 2020
- Stem Cell Assay Industry - Market Demand | Recent Trends and Developments Analys - News by aeresearch - April 6th, 2020
- GoBroad Healthcare Group Commences Construction of its Research Hospital in Beijing - PRNewswire - March 30th, 2020
- Reviewing CRYO-CELL International (OTCMKTS:CCEL) and Harsco (OTCMKTS:HSC) - Redmond Register - March 29th, 2020
- Study offers potential breakthrough in the war on antibiotic-resistant superbugs - Yahoo Finance - March 26th, 2020
- European Medicines Agency Grants Orphan Drug Designation to AlloVirs Viralym-M, an Allogeneic, Off-the-Shelf, Multi-Virus Specific T-Cell Therapy -... - March 26th, 2020
- Vitro Biopharma First Quarter ended January 31, 2020 Financial Results of Operations - Benzinga - March 26th, 2020
- Over 65s and vulnerable islanders in Jersey to be put in lockdown - ITV News - March 26th, 2020
- Bone Therapeutics appoints Stefanos Theoharis as Chief Business Officer - OrthoSpineNews - March 26th, 2020
- Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market : Worldwide Business Analysis and Prediction 2020-2025 || Top Players AVRA Medical... - March 26th, 2020
- The Global Cell Culture Market is expected to grow from USD 14,923.23 Million in 2018 to USD 35,236.23 Million by the end of 2025 at a Compound Annual... - March 25th, 2020
- The Global Cell Isolation/Cell Separation Market is expected to grow from USD 5,721.23 Million in 2018 to USD 15,089.25 Million by the end of 2025 at... - March 25th, 2020
- How Crucial is the Cellular Communications Between the Detached Cancerous Cells and Fibroblast for Growing Metastasis - Spark Health MD - March 25th, 2020
- Partner Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Clinical Trial to Evaluate Leukine in Patients with COVID-19 Associated Respiratory Illness - P&T... - March 25th, 2020
- Sangamo Therapeutics: Market Cap Is At A Bargain Relative To Its Cash Position - Seeking Alpha - March 25th, 2020
- AlloVir expands its research collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine | - University Business - March 24th, 2020
- Mustang Bio Reports Full-Year 2019 Financial Results and Recent Corporate Highlights - Yahoo Finance - March 22nd, 2020
- How Skin Cells Prepare To Heal Wounds - Technology Networks - March 22nd, 2020
- Physicians Education Resource to Host Live CME Webcast on COVID-19 and Cancer Care - Yahoo Finance - March 22nd, 2020
- A timely Q&A with Bears tight end and 'resident scientist' Ben Braunecker - The Athletic - March 22nd, 2020
- Immunotherapy using 'young cells' offers promising option against cancer - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - March 21st, 2020
- Stem Cell And Regenerative Therapy Market Research Insights Global Industry Outlook Shared in Detailed Report, Forecast size 2024 - Daily Science - March 21st, 2020
- The personal and economic burden of traumatic brain injury - Eagle & Times - March 21st, 2020