Category Archives: Stem Cell Doctors

Scots tot, 3, battling rare blood cancer to receive stem cell donations from anonymous American woman – The Scottish Sun

A TODDLER battling a rare form of blood cancer will receive life-changing stem cell, from a US donor.

Adeline Davidson, three, has been receiving weekly blood transfusions to keep her alive.

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She has been diagnosed with myelodysplasia, an extremely rare form of blood cancer that affects only one in 250,000 children.

Doctors have now identified a donor assessed as a 9/10 match who is female and lives in the United States.

Under existing regulations, Adelines parents Stephanie and Jordan, from Alness, Easter Ross, will not be able to find out any more about the woman who could change their daughters life for at least two years after the transplant.

Mrs Davidson said news of the match, which came via the Anthony Nolan register she has personally encouraged many people to sign up to, was relayed to her by a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

She said: My mind was going crazy. All we know is that she is an American we know nothing more than that.

"You hear stories about people meeting their donors.

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"The most mind-blowing thing for me is that this person who we dont know will pass on some of her DNA to Adeline.

Its good news but it does bring new anxieties.

"Our focus now is keeping Adeline away from bugs and infections. She needs to be healthy.

All being well Adeline, will be prepared for the transplant which can help restore the bodys ability to make blood cells next month and undergo the procedure in March.

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Stephanie said: The support has been amazing. The messages we have got have been lovely and kept us going.

"It shows you there are good people out there. A lot of people say Im calm.

"It is what it is and you just need to keep a positive mind and be strong for her.

"Now its a waiting game.

There was another surprise for Adeline when she was invited aboard the Maersk Resilient oil rig, one of the giant landmarks dotting Invergordons shoreline.

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Crew members seeking a worthy local cause for money they wished to donate had asked around on shore and been pointed in the Davidsons direction.

As well as the invitation for a tour of the rig capable of drilling to a depth of 30,000ft and sleeping 120 people Adeline was given a 1,000 donation on behalf of crew members.

The delighted youngster, who may be the youngest ever guest to have boarded the rig, relished the jaunt in the company of her mum and granny Lorraine, whose has also championed her cause on a number of fronts.

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Stephanie Davidson said: It was brilliant, we got to see around the whole rig.

When they handed over a 1000 cheque, the family who face regular long overnight hospital trips to Glasgow were bowled over.

Ms Davidson said: We were not expecting that much."

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Adeline is also sister to nine-month-old twins, Josie and Jude.

Stephanie is charting Adelines journey on the Instagram feed @adelinebluesjourney_x and says messages of support there mean the world to the family.

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Scots tot, 3, battling rare blood cancer to receive stem cell donations from anonymous American woman - The Scottish Sun

Scots toddler who needs weekly blood transfusions to receive life changing stem-cells from US donor – Daily Record

A young Scots tot battling a rare form of cancer is to receive life-changing stem cell, from a US donor.

Adeline Davidson, 3, suffers from myelodysplasia, an extremely rare form of blood cancer that affects only one in 250,000 children.

Since her diagnosis, Adeline has been receiving weekly blood transfusions to keep her alive.

A female who lives in the United States has been identified as donor and doctors have assessed as a 9/10 match.

Adeline's mum Stephanie, from Alness, Easter Ross welcomed the news of the match.

She said: My mind was going crazy. All we know is that she is an American we know nothing more than that. You hear stories about people meeting their donors.

"The most mind-blowing thing for me is that this person who we dont know will pass on some of her DNA to Adeline."

Its good news but it does bring new anxieties. Our focus now is keeping Adeline away from bugs and infections. She needs to be healthy.

Under existing regulations, Stephanie and Adeline's dad Jordan, will not be able to find out any more about the woman who could change their daughters life for at least two years after the transplant.

All being well Adeline, will be prepared for the transplant which can help restore the bodys ability to make blood cells next month and undergo the procedure in March.

Stephanie said: The support has been amazing. The messages we have got have been lovely and kept us going. It shows you there are good people out there.

"A lot of people say Im calm. It is what it is and you just need to keep a positive mind and be strong for her. Now its a waiting game.

There was another surprise for Adeline when she was invited aboard the Maersk Resilient oil rig, one of the giant landmarks dotting Invergordons shoreline.

Crew members seeking a worthy local cause for money they wished to donate had asked around on shore and been pointed in the Davidsons direction.

As well as the invitation for a tour of the rig capable of drilling to a depth of 30,000ft and sleeping 120 people Adeline was given a 1,000 donation on behalf of crew members.

The delighted youngster, who may be the youngest ever guest to have boarded the rig, relished the jaunt in the company of her mum and granny Lorraine, whose has also championed her cause on a number of fronts.

Stephanie Davidson said: It was brilliant, we got to see around the whole rig.

When they handed over a 1000 cheque, the family who face regular long overnight hospital trips to Glasgow were bowled over.

We were not expecting that much, said Mrs Davidson, who is also mum to nine-month-old twins, Josie and Jude.

She is charting Adelines journey on the Instagram feed @adelinebluesjourney_x and says messages of support there mean the world to the family.

Excerpt from:
Scots toddler who needs weekly blood transfusions to receive life changing stem-cells from US donor - Daily Record

If you want to ban fetal tissue research, sign a pledge to refuse its benefits – USA TODAY

Irving Weissman and Joseph McCune, Opinion contributors Published 7:00 a.m. ET Jan. 24, 2020

Severe Trump administration restrictions mean millions of Americans of all political and religious stripes won't benefit from fetal tissue research.

Last summer the Trump administration curtailed federal funding of medical research using human fetal tissue; the new rulestook effect Oct. 1. More recently, the administration addedrestrictions that are even more severe.

Immediately, important work at two NIH-supported labs in Montana and California that are fighting the AIDS epidemic stopped because they were testing new medications against HIV using mice with human immune systems derived from human fetal tissue. In the near term, all National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of research using fetal tissuewill likely cease.

More than 30years ago, we invented SCID-hu mice for biomedical research on diseases affecting humans, by implanting human fetal blood-forming and immune system tissuesinto mice whose immune systems had been silenced. The implanted immune tissues came from an aborted fetus, and allowed our otherwise immune-deficient mice to exist and be vulnerable to viruses that infect humans.

Tissues from living infants would not have worked;they are too far along in development and nearly impossible to obtain. This mouse model (and later versions of it) became the only living system, outside of a human, in which advanced therapies for diseases like AIDS and other viral infections could be evaluated before they were given to people.

Our work with human fetal tissue proceeded with the highest level of caution and vigilance. We received advice from bioethicists, clergyand government officials, which led to the establishment of strict guidelines that are still used today. No woman was asked or paid to terminate a pregnancy, the termination process was unaltered, and the women were asked for donation of the organs only after they had decided to terminate the pregnancy. Thus, obtaining the fetal tissue for medical research had no impact on ending pregnancies.

Since then, mice with transplanted human fetal tissues have been successfully used by scientists to identify blood stem cells and to devise treatments now availableor in clinical trialsfor cancer, various viral infections, Alzheimers disease, spinal cord injuries, and other diseases of the nervous system. Such diseases kill or cripple many Americans including pregnant women, fetusesand newborn infants. Many of them have only a short window of opportunity wherein a new therapy can treat them, and a delay can be fatal.

National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on Oct. 21, 2013.(Photo: *, Kyodo)

The Trump administration's new rules are tantamount to a funding ban. In academic labs, the experiments are done by students and fellows in training, and the new rules block any NIH-funded students or fellows from working with human fetal tissue. Those who imposed the banmust bear responsibility for the consequences: People will suffer and die for lack of adequate treatments.

Americans pay the price:Trump administration's 'scientific oppression' threatens US safety and innovation

At a December 2018 meeting at NIH,after hearing scientific evidence about alternative research methods such as the use of adult cells, experts concluded that the use of fetal tissue is uniquely valuable. Nonetheless, the administration severely restricted the use of fetal tissue, thereby denying millions of Americans the fruits of such research Americans of all political stripes, since deadly viruses and cancers do not care who you vote for.

These restrictions subvert the NIH mission, which is to advance medicine and protect the nations health. To the extent that it was motivated by the religious beliefs of those in charge, it bluntly transgresses the American principle of separation of church and state. As a result, both believers and non-believers will die.

Of course, all who take the Hippocratic Oathto "do no harm,"which includes all medical doctors, will always offer and deliver all types of therapies that are available.

Restricting science: Trump EPA's cynical 'transparency' ploy would set back pollution science and public health

However, we believe that thoseresponsible forthis de facto ban, and perhapsthose who agree with them, should personally accept its consequences. We challenge them tobe true to their beliefs. They should pledge to never accept any cancer therapy, any AIDS medication, any cardiac drug, any lung disease treatment, any Alzheimers therapy, or any other medical advance that was developed using fetal tissue including our mice. Its a long list, one that you can learn about from us here. Should this apply to you, be faithful and be bold: Take the pledge.

Irving Weissman is a Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology and the Director of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell at Stanford University School of Medicine. Joseph McCune is Professor Emeritus of Medicine from the Division of Experimental Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The views expressed here are solely their own.

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If you want to ban fetal tissue research, sign a pledge to refuse its benefits - USA TODAY

Advancells Group & IFC Concluded their 3-Day Workshop on Regenerative Medicine – APN News

Published on January 23, 2020

New Delhi:On Saturday, January 18th, 2020, the Advancells Group & the International Fertility Center together ended their first workshop Sub-Specialty Training in Application of Regenerative Medicine (S.T.A.R. 2020). The three-day workshop had specialized doctors, medical practitioners, learned scientists of Advancells, the leaders in cell manufacturing & processes and IFC, one of Indias most prestigious Fertility institute who were joined by candidates with MBBS/BAMS/BHMS/BPharma & Masters degree in Life Sciences.

The key-note speaker of the workshop was Dr. Rita Bakshi, founder and chairperson of International Fertility Centre, the oldest fertility clinic and one of the most renowned IVF clinics in India, one of the organizers of the event. Participants also had a privilege to listen to Dr. Sachin Kadam, CTO, Advancellsand gain hands-on experience in the preparation of PRP; Liposuction method; and Bone Marrow aspiration. All these techniques were talked about at length and demonstrated in the form of manual & kit-based models to help the candidates gain exposure.

Dr. Punit Prabha, Head of Clinical Research and Dr. Shradha Singh Gautam, Head of Lab Operations at Advancells successfully set the base of stem cell biology for the participants who were experts in gynecology field, stem cell research and pain specialist. With the help of detailed analysis of Application of PRP for Skin rejuvenation; Preparation of Micro-fragmented Adipose Tissue and Nano Fat & SVF (Stromal Vascular Fraction) from Adipose Tissue; and Cell Culturing and Expansion in a Laboratory, applicants understood the application of stem cells in aesthetics, cosmetology, and anti-aging.

Vipul Jain, Founder & CEO of Advancells Groupsaid, Educating young scientists about stem cells is important for us. With this workshop we wanted to discuss and share the challenges and lessons we have learned in our journey of curing our customers. We wanted to establish more concrete knowledge base in the presence of subject matter experts and help our attendees in more possible ways. We are hopeful to have successfully achieved what we claimed with this workshop.

Given the resounding success of the Sub-Specialty Training in Application of Regenerative Medicine (S.T.A.R. 2020), its hoped that the future events shall offer even greater wisdom to the participants by helping them improve and the lead the community into the age of greater awareness.

Continued here:
Advancells Group & IFC Concluded their 3-Day Workshop on Regenerative Medicine - APN News

How to Improve on a Good Year for Global Health | by Melvin Sanicas – Project Syndicate

The discovery of new viruses, vaccines, and treatments in 2019 was the result of investments in global surveillance, cross-sector partnerships, and scientific advances. At a time when misinformation is calling into question the validity of facts, the world needs to support science more than ever.

ZURICH Measles went viral in 2018, infecting nearly ten million people worldwide and claiming 142,000 lives. Poor vaccination coverage and large pockets of unvaccinated children resulted in devastating outbreaks in many parts of the world, including in countries that had high vaccination rates or had previously eliminated the disease. Last year, the United States reported its highest number of cases in a quarter-century, while four European countries Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece, and the United Kingdom lost their measles-free status following protracted outbreaks.

Moreover, two studies demonstrated how a measles infection reduces the levels of pre-existing antibodies against other pathogens like flu or pneumonia. So, children who recover from measles become more vulnerable to other infectious diseases.

Fortunately, measles was not the only big global health story of 2019. The year also was full of exciting discoveries of new viruses, vaccines, and treatments that again proved the value of science.

Virus research made significant strides last year. For starters, scientists in Japan discovered the Medusavirus, so named because it can turn amoebae into stone-like cysts. Its genome is among the largest and most complex viral genomes ever found. Separately, researchers identified a new tick-borne illness the Alongshan virus in a group of patients in Inner Mongolia. For the first time, an insect RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus, the Providence virus, was found to have the ability to infect plants and mammalian cells suggesting that plants could act as reservoirs of human viruses. Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities reported the first case of dengue attributed to sexual transmission in an area without vector mosquitoes.

In addition, a mysterious polio-like disease known as acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, has emerged in the US in recent years, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting over 600 cases since 2014. Immunological studies published last year linked this new disease to two enteroviruses. Researchers also associated a common human herpes virus (HHV-6) and the Epstein-Barr virus with multiple sclerosis, linked adenovirus C with type I diabetes, and found that a human papillomavirus infection increases the risk of breast cancer. Another study found that the brains of Alzheimers patients had higher levels of the HHV-6 and HHV-7 viruses than healthy brains, while levels of viral RNA tracked the severity of clinical symptoms. More research is needed to discover exactly what roles, if any, these viruses play in the progression of these diseases.

Vaccines also advanced in 2019. For starters, the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration approved Ervebo, the first Ebola vaccine. Trials had shown the vaccine to be 100% effective in preventing transmission of the disease to people who had been in close contact with those infected. Another Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, was also tested during 2019 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the second-largest outbreak of the disease began in August 2018.

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Meanwhile, the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium completed a large field study in Nepal which showed that the typhoid conjugate vaccine is safe, immunogenic, and effective, and could significantly reduce typhoid infection among high-risk groups. In addition, the World Health Organization prequalified a more affordable pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that could help to widen protection against a leading cause of deadly childhood pneumonia.

Finally, new and improved treatments provided some of the best global health news of the year. In particular, the final results of a study called Pamoja Tulinde Maisha (Together Save Lives) in the DRC showed that two experimental Ebola treatments based on monoclonal antibodies were nearly twice as effective as the standard treatment. When patients received the new treatments shortly after the onset of symptoms, deaths decreased by almost 90%. For the first time, therefore, Ebola ceased to be a death sentence.

Moreover, gene therapy staged a comeback in 2019, mainly featuring adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors, and lentiviral vectors derived from HIV. Early last year, doctors in the US used lentiviral gene therapy to cure children afflicted with a severe immunodeficiency. And the previous December, a phase 1/2 human-based clinical trial of another lentiviral gene therapy stopped painful episodes of sickle cell disease, and relieved nearly 80% of patients of the need for therapeutic blood transfusions.

Also last year, the FDA approved the AAV-based Zolgensma gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy. Other AAV-based experimental therapies, including one for temporal lobe epilepsy and another for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, were tested on animals with promising results.

The discovery of many new viruses, vaccines, and treatments in 2019 was the result of investments in global surveillance, cross-sector partnerships, and scientific advances. But much more needs to be done. For example, we are only beginning to understand the impact of climate change on the emergence of infectious diseases and on the social and environmental determinants of health.

Science may have been successful last year, but it still needs support. This should include more high-quality education in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), increased funding of global research collaborations, and continued government support for innovation and research and development. At a time when misinformation is calling into question the validity of facts, the world also needs better science communication including higher-quality science reporting by the mass media.

This year started with a mysterious outbreak in Wuhan, China, involving individuals who have contracted a novel coronavirus. The coming weeks or months will, one hopes, bring answers to some key questions, including how the virus is acquired, whether those who have died or are critically ill have other medical conditions that explain the severity of illness, and many others. Science helped the world with the pandemic H1N1, SARS, and Ebola viruses, and science will once again help the world overcome this new threat.

The world is on the cusp of further, previously unimaginable medical discoveries and innovations. By supporting science and highlighting its positive impact, we can make 2020 an even better year for global health.

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How to Improve on a Good Year for Global Health | by Melvin Sanicas - Project Syndicate

Sentencing rescheduled in case connected to Indy doctor’s murder – WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) A teen facing burglary charges in a case connected to the murder of a beloved Indianapolis doctor will have to wait to be sentenced.

Tarius Blade was charged with two counts of burglary and one count of burglary resulting in a bodily injury. He pleaded guilty to the charges in January 2019.

The charges stem from an incident November 2017 that resulted in the murder of Dr. Kevin Rodgers in his Eagle Creek-area home.

Blade's sentencing, initially scheduled for Friday, has been rescheduled to Feb. 7 after the judge received last-minute impact letters. Rodgers' family was at the Friday hearing.

Prosecutors say Blade and other teens broke into Rodgers' home, then shot and killed him during a confrontation. Blade, now 17, was 15 years old at the time. He is being tried as an adult for his crimes.

Rodgers was asleep at the time of the burglary. A source tells Eyewitness News that Rogers heard noises in the house and called his wife at work asking about their expected gutter repairs being done. After learning there were no repairs scheduled for that day, he went downstairs to investigate the noise.

That's where we are told he met one of the teens in the kitchen. Rodgers suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and then a second to the head. The shooting was execution style, according to sources close to the investigation.

A source tells Eyewitness News was in the car when the shooting happened. The group had allegedly stolen rings from Rodgers' home. The suspected shooter reportedly said he had to shoot Rodgers because the doctor saw his face.

Sources told Eyewitness News that the teenagers got together on the morning of Nov. 20, 2017 to do a series of home burglaries. Their plan was allegedly to drive around looking for what they considered nice homes to break into, spending as little time at each location as possible.

Their method of operation, according to one source, was to ring the door bell once they spotted a target home. A source tells Eyewitness News if someone answered they would pretend to be in the neighborhood to raise money for a charity and ask for a donation. If no one answered then they would reportedly break in.

Eyewitness News has also learned one of the reasons prosecutors have been successful obtaining guilty pleas is because of a video the teens made of themselves in the car the morning of their alleged crime spree. A source tells Eyewitness News the video shows the teenagers waving guns and singing to a song with lyrics about "doing a lick." Thats slang for committing a crime more specifically, some kind of robbery or burglary.

We are told the video shows all the suspects together participating in the recording. IMPD Homicide Detectives more than likely obtained the video after being granted a search warrant for their cell phones and other property as part of the investigation.

Eyewitness News has also learned that the same teens are suspected in one burglary prior to the Rodgers murder followed by two break-ins at homes after the murder.

Several of Blade's family members plan to make statements after a judge accepts his guilty plea and before he's sentenced. Prosecutors expect to have at least four people make victim impact statements before the sentence is handed down.

The suspected driver in the incident is also scheduled to go before a judge on a guilty plea for felony burglary on Feb. 7.

Continued here:
Sentencing rescheduled in case connected to Indy doctor's murder - WTHR

UAB scientist studies aging through gray hair, says hair could be rejuvenated – AL.com

Gray hair got you down? Scientists may have a cure for that.

Okay, maybe not a cure. But, more information about why youre going gray, and what can be done about it.

Dr. Melissa Harris, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birminghams Department of Biology, has spent the last ten years studying melanocyte stem cells and what happens when they fail.

Harris runs a molecular biology lab at UAB and uses CRISPR gene editing tools, single-cell sequencing studies, and network analysis algorithms. She uses gray hair as a model for aging, because she doesnt always need a microscopeshe can see the state of your melanocyte stem cells right away. If hair is all one color, Harris said, the melanocyte stem cells are healthy; but if there are grays mixed in, something isnt right.

Gray hair isnt always an inevitable part of aging, the university said. Through Harris research, shes learned that age isnt the only reason these cells fail, and now Harris is working with gray-haired mice to show there could be a way to bring the cells- and hair pigments- back to life. Shes doing that by working with a biotech startup to study an experimental compound that appears to restore hair color long-term in those mice.

Harris work applies to autoimmune diseases and to melanoma, but she said her primary goal is to understand why somatic stem cells (those found in muscles, bones, and organs that are responsible for tissue regeneration, immune defense, hair color and more) start to fail as a person ages. Most of those stem cell populations are hard to work with in the lab, Harris said, but melanocyte stem cells are an exception.

Does hair graying cause you to die? Harris said. No, you can watch melanocyte stem cells from birth to the end. But, she added that the same cant be said for cells like hematopoetic stem cells, which pump red blood cells in bone marrow. You cant live long without them, Harris said.

Her research will reveal more about the bodys aging process and the life cycles of those stem cells.

Harris is often known as the gray-hair lady in the lab, but she stresses that her gray hair research has bigger implications. Everyone gets gray hair It is considered a vanity science, she said. I am not an abnormally vain person My lab has picked the model that is the most appropriate method to investigate what happens to stem cells as we age.

The work has earned her a grant from the NIHs National Institute of Aging. A paper published by her lab in 2018 showed that MITF, a certain protein that is the master regulator turning on pigmentation genes also represses the innate immune system, according to UAB. The university said when Harris worked with the MITF-deficient mice with a virus, the melanocyte stem cells suffered and the mice got gray hair. The study was globally recognized, and featured in several publications.

Perhaps, in an individual who is healthy yet predisposed for gray hair, because they produce less MITF, getting an everyday viral infection is just enough to cause the decline of their melanocytes and melanocyte stem cells, leading to premature gray hair, Harris told UAB News.

Harris started working with the biotech startup when she was contacted by them last year. They were developing an experimental compound that would regrow hair, and they wanted to know if she would test it on her mice. Harris said she was skeptical, but she conducted a small trial.

It worked. Harris said when she tests gray-haired mice with the compound, she sees hair color come back.

Some gray hairs could be rejuvenated, the university said, through compounds to stimulate the cells. (Courtesy, UAB)

And we can take these same mice, pluck the hair and when new hairs grow out they retain the higher level of pigmentation, suggesting this is permanent, she said. This compound is reprogramming the stem cells, taking them to a younger state, allowing them to start up again.

Harris and Joseph Palmer, one of her doctoral students, are also studying a theory that the melanocyte stem cells spend most of their time in a dormant state, and that the cells can possibly be stimulated.

(Spanish doctors in a study) suggested that some melanocyte stem cells are retained in gray hairs, Harris said. We thought that once you go gray the stem cells are all lost theres no going back. But presumably they can be reactivated. That study means, according to Harris, there may be therapies to reactive the cells, and the compound shes working with alongside the startup could be a promising way forward, according to UAB.

We have an opportunity with this company to find out what are the potential ways we can fix a broken system, Harris said. Were always looking at whats broken and rarely do we get to go in the other direction, towards tissue rejuvenation. So this is exciting.

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UAB scientist studies aging through gray hair, says hair could be rejuvenated - AL.com

Blood drive to honor Franklin child with cancer – Daily Journal

The tiny body seemed consumed by tubes and wires and monitors.

Just one day prior, Stephanie and Cody Smith had learned the terrible truth about why their 18-month-old son, Charlie, had been so sick recently. He had neuroblastoma, a cancer that forms on the nerve endings. Scans revealed cancer was on his kidney, lungs, bone and lymph nodes.

To stem the aggressive cancer, his doctors immediately got to work, putting in catheters, taking bone marrow biopsies and preparing for the start of intense chemotherapy. Charlie lay in his hospital bed eating Cheetos Puffs, his favorite food, and sitting with his parents.

"It was hard when we got the news," Stephanie Smith said. "I tried to be calm and collected; I had to be strong for my baby. But its been hard."

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The past two months have come straight out of a nightmare for the Smith family. Since Charlie was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in November, each day brings uncertainty.

The Franklin family has spent 49 of the last 60 days at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Charlie has gone through rounds of chemotherapy, suffering through fevers, mouth sores, extreme fatigue and nausea that wracked his small body. His treatment will last over the next 18 months, and will include chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, blood transfusions, radiation and immunotherapy.

But despite everything theyve been through, the Smiths remain resolute that Charlie will get better. They have relied on their faith, and an army of supporters who have stepped forward to help them in their worst time, to get them through.

"It was amazing to see so many people come up and love on us. It has taught us to be generous people; weve always thought we were generous people, but when you see the number of people who care for you and pray for you and support you, its really amazing," Stephanie Smith said.

The Smiths have partnered with Versiti Blood Center of Indiana to host a blood drive in Greenwood Saturday. The Cheering for Charlie event will be held from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., to help increase blood supplies for patients such as Charlie who rely on transfusions to survive.

Every two seconds, someone needs life-saving blood, whether theyre bravely battling disease like Charlie, undergoing surgery or are victims of trauma," said Duane Brodt, spokesman for Versiti. "People need people since blood cant be manufactured."

For most of his life, Charlie was a happy-go-lucky toddler. He loved to smile and laugh, beaming joy. Where his 3-year-old brother Henry was more of a wild child, Stephanie Smith said, Charlie seemed to always be in a pleasant, good mood.

His parents described him as their "happy baby."

Thats what made his lethargy, lack of appetite and gradual decline in health so concerning.

"He was learning how to walk over the summer, and started getting sick," Stephanie Smith said. "We just thought it was a virus; we didnt think of the worst."

Charlie developed a low-grade fever, wasnt eating well and was falling asleep unexpectedly while playing with toys. He wasnt acting like himself, Stephanie Smith said.

During a visit to his pediatrician, the doctor found a hard area on Charlies abdomen, and recommended doing some blood tests and taking an X-ray. Those tests only led to more questions he had severe range anemia and elevated levels of platelets in his blood. But the doctor didnt have any conclusive answers as to what was causing it.

Stephanie Smith, a nurse at Franciscan Health, started hearing warning bells in her mind. That, combined with a mothers intuition, convinced her that they needed to take Charlie to Riley Hospital for Children. After 12 hours in the emergency room, and dozens of tests, doctors found a large tumor in Charlies abdomen.

"Sometimes, when kids are diagnosed with cancer, they can go home and be in and out of the hospital for treatment, but Charlie was really sick. The tumor was pushing on his kidney, damaging his kidney, so we had to stay in the hospital," Stephanie Smith said.

The pathology lab at Riley Hospital for Children confirmed the tumor was neuroblastoma. The cancer forms in immature nerve endings, often in the adrenal glands located near the kidneys and is most common in children age 5 and under, according to the American Cancer Society.

But the cancer is very rare; only about 800 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Neuroblastomas grow and spread very rapidly, so treatment would have to be aggressive, doctors explained to the family. Charlies oncologist recommended starting with two rounds of focused chemotherapy, followed by the extraction of his red blood cells for stem cell transplants, then another three rounds of chemotherapy.

Two different stem cell transplants would be held about a month apart, and Charlie would start radiation treatment. Immunotherapy, which jolts the immune system into targeting and killing cancer cells, would be the final part of the regimen.

Almost immediately, Charlie started his chemotherapy.

"It grows so quickly, that we had to be aggressive. The beginning was pretty intense," Stephanie Smith said.

The treatment was hard on Charlies young body. He developed mouth sores and didnt want to eat, and his nausea left him miserable. The Smith family essentially relocated to the hospital, staying with him constantly.

But at the same time, their friends and family, as well as complete strangers, stepped up to offer help. A meal train was set up to provide the family with food, and prayers came from all directions.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $36,000 for the family. A community Facebook page has more than 5,000 members.

"We had a rally of people come around us," Stephanie Smith said. "We couldnt have done it without all of the people who have come together."

Charlie has completed his first four rounds of chemotherapy, and on Jan. 20, he was able to return home with his family to wait for surgery to remove the tumor in his abdomen. That operation is tentatively going to be early to mid February.

In the meantime, the family has been soaking in the opportunity to be together somewhere besides the hospital. They have also been working to plan the blood drive being held on Saturday.

Charlie has relied on blood transfusions throughout his treatment, and a blood drive would be a way to raise awareness of the importance of those transfusions to cancer patients, Stephanie Smith said.

"Charlie received quite a few blood products, especially early on in his treatment. He had 12 transfusions in these 2 1/2 months. For his little body, thats a lot," she said. "Being a nurse, I didnt realize the number of cancer patients who need blood products. Its so important. So this was a way to let people know that."

Stephanie Smiths sister, Shelby Richards, knew people who had organized drives with their friends and helped the family get the Cheering for Charlie drive going.

The drive is a perfect opportunity to remind people that blood donations are vitally important, Brodt said. Versiti Blood Center of Indiana needs to collect at least 560 blood donations every day to support the need at its 80 hospital partners throughout the state, he said.

"So our Cheering for Charlie will truly make a difference and help save lives," Brodt said.

For the Smith family, the drive is a way to give back for all the love theyve been shown.

"Its really cool for us to see how many people have signed up, and also be advocates for other people who need blood, to just get the word out there about how important it is," Stephanie Smith said. "Its encouraging for us to see people come out to support Charlie and kids like him."

If you go

Cheering for Charlie blood drive

What: A blood drive honoring Charlie Smith, an 18-month-old Franklin child diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerve cells.

When: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Versiti Blood Center of Indiana, 8739 U.S. 31 S., Indianapolis

Who can donate: Generally, anyone in good health age 16 and up can donate. Make sure you do not have a cold, flu or sore throat at the time of donation.

How to schedule an appointment: Go to Versiti.org/Indiana

Information: Learn more about Charlie on the Cheering for Charlie! Facebook group page.

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Blood drive to honor Franklin child with cancer - Daily Journal

Advancells Group & IFC Concluded their 3-Day Workshop on Regenerative Medicine – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN - ForPressRelease) 11

New Delhi 23rd January 2020 On Saturday, January 18th, 2020, the Advancells Group & the International Fertility Center together ended their first workshop Sub-Specialty Training in Application of Regenerative Medicine (S.T.A.R. 2020). The three-day workshop had specialized doctors, medical practitioners, learned scientists of Advancells, the leaders in cell manufacturing & processes and IFC, one of India's most prestigious Fertility institute who were joined by candidates with MBBS/BAMS/BHMS/BPharma & Master's degree in Life Sciences.

The key-note speaker of the workshop was Dr. Rita Bakshi, founder and chairperson of International Fertility Centre, the oldest fertility clinic and one of the most renowned IVF clinics in India, one of the organizers of the event. Participants also had a privilege to listen to Dr. Sachin Kadam, CTO, Advancells and gain hands-on experience in the preparation of PRP; Liposuction method; and Bone Marrow aspiration. All these techniques were talked about at length and demonstrated in the form of manual & kit-based models to help the candidates gain exposure.

Dr. Punit Prabha, Head of Clinical Research and Dr. Shradha Singh Gautam, Head of Lab Operations at Advancells successfully set the base of stem cell biology for the participants who were experts in gynecology field, stem cell research and pain specialist. With the help of detailed analysis of 'Application of PRP for Skin rejuvenation'; 'Preparation of Micro-fragmented Adipose Tissue and Nano Fat & SVF (Stromal Vascular Fraction) from Adipose Tissue'; and 'Cell Culturing and Expansion in a Laboratory', applicants understood the application of stem cells in aesthetics, cosmetology, and anti-aging.

Vipul Jain, Founder & CEO of Advancells Group said, 'Educating young scientists about stem cells is important for us. With this workshop we wanted to discuss and share the challenges and lessons we have learned in our journey of curing our customers. We wanted to establish more concrete knowledge base in the presence of subject matter experts and help our attendees in more possible ways. We are hopeful to have successfully achieved what we claimed with this workshop'.

Given the resounding success of the Sub-Specialty Training in Application of Regenerative Medicine (S.T.A.R. 2020), it's hoped that the future events shall offer even greater wisdom to the participants by helping them improve and the lead the community into the age of greater awareness.

Advancells Group Advancells is leading the field of stem cell therapies in India and abroad, with representative offices in Bangladesh and Australia. The company provides arrangements for stem cell banking and protocols for partner doctors and hospitals which they can use for treating the patients using regenerative medicine. With a GMP compliant research and processing center that works on different cell lines from various sources such as Bone Marrow, Adipose Tissue, Dental Pulp, Blood, Cord Tissue etc. Advancells also intends to file a patent for this processing technology soon.

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Advancells Group & IFC Concluded their 3-Day Workshop on Regenerative Medicine - MENAFN.COM

How will technology shape and disrupt our health care this decade? – Times Union

Technology has always been able to revolutionize industry and inspire new possibilities. But in health care, the implications feel much grander. New technologies can be not just life-changing, but literally life-giving.

Progress in the last decade, for example, gave doctors the ability to target disease more precisely than ever before, and to personalize treatment based on an individuals unique genetic profile. Biotechnology, or technology that harnesses the power of living organisms, gave us new therapies to treat cancer and rare diseases, whose sufferers have long felt ignored by health researchers.

Even the less-grand stuff like watches that track your sleep cycles and apps that save you unnecessary trips to the emergency room have exciting implications for the future of health care.

As we turn the page on a new decade, the Times Union asked experts to predict the ways in which technology will help us cross new frontiers in science, health and medicine.

Telemedicine

The use of virtual technology to deliver health care has grown exponentially as providers realize that much of what they do such as triage, examinations, treatment and counseling can be done just as well over a screen.

And while some people prefer to get their care face to face, its just not feasible for everyone. Nor is it cost-effective.

Everyone is looking for more value out of health care, said Keith Algozzine, founder of United Concierge Medicine (UCM), a virtual emergency room service based in Troy. Whether you think the quality isnt what it should be or cost is too high or access or convenience to care isnt ideal, telemedicine can help all of those things.

Employers are flocking to Algozzines UCM service, whose emphasis on triage means people dont wind up at the emergency room for chest pain thats really heartburn or an infection that requires a simple prescription antibiotic.

Getting patients the right care at the right place at the right time tends to save money, said Algozzine, whose company has seen 100 percent year-over-year revenue growth since its founding in 2014.

So where is the next frontier in telemedicine? Algozzine believes theres untapped potential in the world of follow-up care.

Yes, if you need surgery you need to go in and physically see a surgeon, he said. Thats never going to happen virtually. But why do you need to drive back in for routine follow-ups when you can do it using this technology? Follow-up done this way can be done at a fraction of the cost, for a fraction of the time.

Regenerative medicine

If youve ever heard of stem cells, designer cells, or CAR-T therapy, then youve heard of regenerative medicine.

The branch of medicine that involves regrowing, repairing or replacing damaged and diseased organs and cells was worth $28 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to over $81 billion globally by 2023, experts predict.

Part of the reason is the ongoing success of clinical trials in this area. Stem cell therapy which relies on cells that ultimately develop into blood, bone and brain cells, among other cell types has been effective at treating patients with cancer and blood disorders.

The other reason is its potential to treat a whole host of conditions and diseases.

Essentially what is happening is youre producing tissue at the same rate that it would be produced by the body, at best, said Deepak Vashishth, director of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutes Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.

But Vashishth believes scientists can take it one step further.

People are copying or mimicking what nature already does, but what if we could beat nature in some ways and do it faster?

He used the example of a professional football player whos forced out of play by a fractured bone.

Bone will take two to three months to regenerate itself and for a fracture to heal, he said. What if we can make it heal in a month? That would be transformative in terms of health care costs. In regenerative medicine, that concept has not yet been applied.

Smart buildings

The concept of a self-monitoring, self-regulating smart home is not new. In fact, plenty such homes already exist, allowing owners to turn off the coffee pot or adjust the temperature while away at the office or headed out on vacation.

The potential for reduced energy waste has driven a lot of recent growth in the field. But Vashishth believes buildings of the future could be built to monitor and even regulate their occupants health.

Think of an office building where your body temperature is constantly being monitored as you move around. If there is flu going around, it will detect that raised body temperature. It could know before you know.

A less pleasant to think about, but still practical application involves smart toilets. Equipped with sensors and artificial intelligence systems, a toilet could measure your urine flow and test for blood, protein and other indicators that might identify an infection or medical condition early on, he said.

Such toilets are currently in development in some parts of the world.

Your environment need not be passive, either. Aside from monitoring, buildings could be equipped with technology or biomaterials that help regulate your health, as well, Vashishth said.

In 2014, for example, RPI unveiled itsfirst public-scale prototype of a special green wall, featuring large panels of densely packed plants that could improve air quality by enhancing the air filtration that naturally occurs in plants.

Its the kind of interdisciplinary work the intersection of science and architecture that RPI is increasingly known for.

Fundamentally these things could change how we live, Vashishth said. And then the question becomes, once we dont have to care so much about our health, what can we do with our lives?

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How will technology shape and disrupt our health care this decade? - Times Union