January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

spinal cord injury

2 min read

Over time I seem to collect more upbeat stories about stem cells and regenerative medicine as well as cool publications  so today’s “good news” post is a collection of these kinds of things plus one example of huge science hype. Here’s a list of past such upbeat posts. The preclinical good news in rats from my graduate alma mater UCSD, ‘New Injection Technique May Boost Spinal Cord Injury Repair Efforts‘ via stem cells. Here’s the actual Stem Cells Translational Medicine pub.from a team led …Read More

2 min read

Japan is a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and in particular in clinical translation toward the bedside. Induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based investigational therapies are rightly an area of focus in Japan given their invention by Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. Small clinical studies based on IPSC have been initiated there for several diseases including related to vision loss and Parkinson’s Disease. David Cyranoski over at Nature reports on a new, different stem cell clinical effort in Japan for vision loss with …Read More

4 min read

There is real hope for treating spinal cord injury with stem cell-based therapies in the future. However, unfortunately regulators in Japan have taken a major misstep in approving a not-ready-for-primetime mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based approach to spinal cord injury. Their decision is dangerous and unwise. In a Nature piece (linked to above) by David Cyranoski we learn that the MSC therapy in question is still unproven. There are only limited data available to support it, which are not from rigorous studies. The claimed outcomes …Read More

3 min read

Stem cell good news time…and more will be coming later this week. The stem cell and regenerative medicine world sometimes feels chaotic because so much is going on both on the positive and negative sides of things. There is a whirlwind of activity and developments, and a tendency sometimes within our arena to just avoid bad or complicated news. One mission of this blog is to try to cover the full spectrum of developments including difficult situations, but I also want to focus in …Read More

1 min read

Reportedly, Geron has decided to only focus on cancer research and for financial reasons has shut down its hESC trial for spinal cord injury. This is a very sad day for stem cell science. (Update in 2020: the firm still exists, but is working in different areas. The stock has struggled.) No more spinal cord injury patients will be treated in the Geron former clinical trial. This leaves Advanced Cell Technology as the only biotech conducting active clinical trials on hESC-based products. One has …Read More

3 min read

The severe spinal cord injury sustained by Jockey Michael Martinez and the possibility (not realized) that he might be enrolled in Geron’s hESC-based spinal cord regenerative medicine trial, have drawn recent attention to spinal cord injury. Christopher and Dana Reeve (see foundation here) as well as Don C. Reed (see site here) were instrumental in bringing attention to the significance of this injury and the importance of research to help patients with spinal cord injuries. More than 1 million Americans are living with spinal cord …Read More