January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

4 min read

More states have taken action against stem cell clinic-related firms in the past year than ever before and now we can add Georgia to the list. Georgia adds to growing list of state AGs suing stem cell clinics The George Attorney General Chris Carr filed suit against several related firms (going by various names over time) and their owner, Justin Paulk. The firms listed as defendants in addition to Paulk as an individual include, “Elite Integrated Medical, LLC, formerly known as Superior Healthcare of …Read More

3 min read

When you sit down to read science on the weekends lately, assuming you are not primarily a COVID-19 researcher, how much COVID stuff seeps into your reading? As I was going over some of this year’s recommended weekly reads posts here on The Niche, I’ve realized that an increasing amount of COVID-19 research has joined the list. Part of this is because of the explosion of cell therapy work and news on COVID, but also I’m just interested in the science of COVID. Before …Read More

1 min read

It’s helpful for me to learn about the readers of this blog The Niche in terms of who you are and your backgrounds. Because some people may want to vote more than once on the types of posts they like the most, I’ve allowed re-voting on that poll. Free stuff Those who participate and leave a comment or email me to indicate they did (knoepflerATucdavisDOTedu) will be entered in a random drawing for a bundle of free swag: a stem cell t-shirt and signed …Read More

3 min read

Something called, “The International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing” has issued a new report on heritable human genome editing (HHGE). The Commission was convened by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.K.’s Royal Society. This post is my initial take on the summary of the lengthy report. I hope to have time to read the full report in coming weeks and it’s possible some new perspectives may emerge. Here is my thinking as …Read More

4 min read

Another week and more great papers and interesting news in the regenerative medicine sphere including COVID-19 updates, stem cells for vision, and more. Rebuilding Corneas With Stem Cells Stem cell-based regenerative medicine arguably has shown the most promise for vision loss. A PR from Massachusetts Eye and Ear says: Doctors rebuild damaged corneas using patients’ own own stem cells for first time in US. This is interesting work. The autologous transplant method is called “‘cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cell transplantation’ (CALEC).” It involves taking …Read More

8 min read

Introduction to CAR-T cells CAR-T cells are an exciting cutting-edge technology that has been garnering great interest including in the stem cell field. Potential therapeutic uses of CAR-T, which stands for Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cells (CAR-T), are being studied in clinical trials as immunotherapies to potentially fight cancer as well as many other diseases by using one’s own immune system. The process of CAR-T therapy (see diagram below) starts off with the collection of the patient’s own T-cells through apheresis. The cells are then …Read More

5 min read

The FTC has sharply increased its oversight activities against stem cell and regenerative clinic firms. These new actions include quite a few warning letters. Here is the FTC database for COVID-19-related warning letters. Note that recently the FTC added a new, helpful option to view all of its warning letters here. It’s a good source of information. FTC warns many stem cell & related firms From USA Today, Brent Schrotenboer had this recent piece Stem cell companies sell hope with unproven medicine for COVID-19. Some …Read More

4 min read

What’s been going on in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field over the past week and what are some worthwhile things to read? Today’s post has recommended recent reads from the scientific literature and the media. I’ve also got our weekly stem cell/regenerative medicine quiz question and the answer to last week’s. You can check out last week’s recommended reads here, which has last week’s quiz question. Toward the bottom of the post there’s also a “blast from the past” link to a piece …Read More

6 min read

The FDA and its CBER branch have been doing a good job overall in the last 3+ years to tackle the unproven stem cell clinic problem, but lately on the stem cells for COVID-19 front there is reason for real concern. I believe the agency is taking on major risk overall by clearing a vast number of cell therapy trials for COVID-19 mostly without much data, but the clearance of a few programs by for-profit stem cell clinics is especially problematic in my view. FDA on …Read More

4 min read

What science and stem cell pubs are you reading right now and what do you hope to get too soon? Sometimes science means getting out in the field. Now there are no wild stem cells out there roaming the fields to catch and analyze, but there are other ways. A couple of my kids and I went out to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower a few weeks back. We brought our camera with us to try to catch some meteors with leaving the shutter …Read More