Weekly reads: big Retraction Watch news, stem cells & metastasis, an FDA approval, Iowa AG sues clinic

Retraction Watch has been a great resource for those of us who have been following research misconduct. They widely cover and conduct research on retractions, corrections, and other developments in this space. Unfortunately, there’s been plenty to write about even just within the stem cell and cell therapy arena, which is my primary interest.

Think of Piero Anversa, STAP cells, and Paolo Macchiarini, just to name a few examples.

Before I continue with the weekly reads, please check out our Stem Cell YouTube channel and subscribe. We hit 900 subscribers and our next goal is 1000.

I just posted a new video, included below, that gives a simple overview of human brain organoids and their challenges.

Retraction watch
Retraction Watch founders Adam Marcus (left) and Ivan Oransky.

Retraction Watch

Now there’s news of a big change for Retraction Watch.

The Retraction Watch Database becomes completely open – and RW becomes far more sustainable, Retraction WatchCross-ref, which describes itself this way, “We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better” has purchased the Retraction Watch database. Based on the financial details of the deal, RW has now become financially sustainable, which is great news.

As just one example of the usefulness of the database, recently I was able to use it to get data on stem cell retractions vs. other kinds of retractions such as in the cancer field, another area of my work.

Other recommended stem cell & regenerative reads

A vertebral skeletal stem cell lineage driving metastasis, Nature. This is a very important article linking spine stem cells to cancer bone metastasis via a novel secreted factor. From the abstract, “Multiple lines of evidence indicate that vSSCs contribute to the high rates of vertebral metastatic tropism observed in breast cancer, owing in part to increased secretion of the novel metastatic trophic factor MFGE8.”

Iowa Attorney General sues over misleading door-to-door stem cell therapy, KIMT3It’s great to see state AGs taking action on unproven stem cell clinics. It would help if state medical boards did more too. Still, state AGs can make a big difference and they often win their cases and/or get settlements to return money back to customers. Iowa has taken action before including against Travis Autor. In the new stem cell case:

“Phony door-to-door stem cell therapy treatments are the target of a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird.

Bird is accusing Biologics Health, LLC, Summit Partners Group, LLC, Rylee Meek, and Scott Thomas of falsely advertising such therapies and making misleading claims regarding the effectiveness of their services.”

Stem Cell Network announces $1 million in funding to further support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, Stem Cell Network.

BioLineRx Announces FDA Approval of APHEXDA™ (motixafortide) in Combination with Filgrastim (G-CSF) to Mobilize Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Collection and Subsequent Autologous Transplantation in Patients with Multiple Myeloma, Press Release.

Ian Wilmut, Scientist Behind Dolly the Cloned Sheep, Is Dead at 79, NYT.  I’ve written before about how Ian Wilmut had Parkinson’s Disease. He reportedly died of Parkinson’s-related complications. Very sad news. Recently there has been some encouraging news on some early steps in trying to develop cell therapies for Parkinson’s including by BlueRock and Aspen Neuroscience has started a Phase 1 trial. There’s hope for the future.

A step closer to in vivo editing of haematopoietic stem cells, Nat Rev Drug Disc.

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