November 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Joanne Kurtzberg

3 min read

Reading to them was one of my favorite things to do with my kids when they were little, but it’s a long way from Goodnight Moon to this week’s list of recommended reads, although “bee brain” may have got their attention. Please take a minute to complete our The Niche reader survey for a chance at a bundle of free stem cell swag including my 3 books and a t-shirt. Media James Gorman, NY Times, The Vikings Were More Complicated Than You Might Think …Read More

6 min read

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is counterintuitive In the weeks and months following a transplant, a major concern is the recipient’s immune system rejecting the “foreign” biological material. But in GVHD, the opposite happens: transplanted tissue unleashes a horde of T cells that spark a cascade of inflammation, within 100 days. Typically, GVHD follows a bone marrow transplant (BMT). Eighty Percent Mortality BMT has been used for more than half a century to treat and possibly cure certain cancers and single-gene conditions like sickle cell disease, …Read More

7 min read

A solid new, blinded placebo-controlled Phase II study from a Duke team clearly shows no benefit of cord blood for autism. Surprisingly, the team has said they are encouraged by the results. As a result, they apparently will continue this kind of work anyway despite their data. In contrast, I see the data as a probable stop sign. Few have been as upbeat over the years as this Duke team about the idea of cord blood for autism spectrum disorder. I have been one …Read More

7 min read

Amongst all that is bouncing around within the stem cell clinic maelstrom out there, one thing stands out for me as the most troubling. I’m talking about for-profit experimentation on children, such as injection of kids with unproven stem cells for autism or cerebral palsy by unproven clinics. In my opinion it’s almost always going to be risky and unethical. Doing any clinical research on children requires extra care and planning even within an FDA-approved clinical trial context. Obviously pediatric clinical trials are crucial, …Read More