Jackie Stollfus Overcomes Systemic Lupus: "Adult stem cells saved my life"

When doctors told Jackie Stollfus she might not be able to have children, she was devastated.

“I wanted it so bad. My whole life I dreamed of being a mom. And then I learned it might not happen," says Jackie. Her husband Brian says the Texas couple had to get through some low moments. “It was pretty rough for a while there, being told that we may not be able to have a child.”

Genetically modified skin grown from stem cells saved a 7-year-old boy's life

Scientists reported Wednesday that they genetically modified stem cells to grow skin that they successfully grafted over nearly all of a child's body — a remarkable achievement that could revolutionize treatment of burn victims and people with skin diseases.

The research, published in the journal Nature, involved a 7-year-old boy who suffers from a genetic disease known as junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) that makes skin so fragile that minor friction such as rubbing causes the skin to blister or come apart.

By the time the boy arrived at Children's Hospital of Ruhr-University in Germany in 2015, he was gravely ill. Doctors noted that he had “complete epidural loss” on about 60 percent of his body surface area, was in so much pain that he was on morphine, and fighting off a systemic staph infection. The doctors tried everything they could think of: antibiotics, changing dressings, grafting skin donated by his father. But nothing worked, and they told his parents to prepare for the worst.


New Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Study Shows Progress with Parkinson’s Disease

Ever since human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were first successfully grown in the lab in 1998, Parkinson’s Disease has featured prominently as one of the major diseases that such cells would supposedly eliminate.

The actor Michael J. Fox, himself a Parkinson’s sufferer, became a prominent advocate for federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR), and he founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) to promote and fund such research.

Kansas Stem Cell Center Close To First Clinical Trial

An adult stem cell center established by the Kansas Legislature in 2013 is almost ready for its first clinical trial.

Buddhadeb Dawn, executive director of the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, told legislators Tuesday that the trial will focus on treating graft-versus-host disease and will begin after final approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Our goal was to do this (trial) in January, but we got delayed because of different things,” Dawn said during a hearing of the House Health and Human Services Committee. “So we are now hoping to start it perhaps in summer.”

Based at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, the stem cell center has analyzed trials done elsewhere and hosted a clinical trial sponsored by a biotech company that uses modified stem cells from bone marrow to treat stroke.

Adult stem cell research far ahead of embryonic

A few months ago, Dr. Thomas Einhorn was treating a patient with a broken ankle that wouldn't heal, even with multiple surgeries. So he sought help from the man's own body.

Einhorn drew bone marrow from the man's pelvic bone with a needle, condensed it to about four teaspoons of rich red liquid, and injected that into his ankle.

Four months later the ankle was healed. Einhorn, chairman of orthopedic surgery at Boston University Medical Center, credits "adult" stem cells in the marrow injection. He tried it because of published research from France.

Einhorn's experience isn't a rigorous study. But it's an example of many innovative therapies doctors are studying with adult stem cells. Those are stem cells typically taken from bone marrow and blood — not embryos.