The latest stem cell news, interviews, blogs and commentary

New study raises doubts over the benefits of heart stem cell therapy

Summary

Numerous clinical trials have attempted to test the benefits of using a patient’s own stem cells (taken from the bone marrow) to treat heart disease. Results have been conflicting; some claim significant improvements in heart function, whilst others report none at all. A group at Imperial College London investigated the possible reasons for this inconsistency and found strange, unexplained discrepancies within reports of many of the clinical trials. They have identified a link between claimed success rates and discrepancies, casting doubts over the validity of this treatment.

- 133 reports of 49 clinical trials were investigated
- 600+ discrepancies were found
- Discrepancies ranged from minor to serious mistakes and misrepresentation of data
- Reports with the most discrepancies claimed most benefit to patients, while those without discrepancies showed no improvement in patients’ conditions 

Nature commentaries tackle current issues in regulation of stem cell therapies

Two recent opinion pieces in Nature highlight important social, ethical and regulatory issues around stem cell research. 

Spotlight on...stem cells and industry

This month we take a closer look at stem cells outside of the academic world, and their role in industry and commercialisation

Over the past four years we've developed and collected lots of information and resources about different aspects of stem cell research. This month we turn the spotlight on stem cells and industry

European Commission replies to petition against funding for research involving human embryos

The European Commission has responded to a European Citizens’ Initiative petition, reiterating its previous stance on the importance of embryonic stem cell research and potential treatments, while highlighting the existence of its ‘triple lock’ responsible research system.

Research from our partners: ethical issues, stem cell research and gastroenterology

In “Human stem-cell research in gastroenterology: experimental treatment, tourism and biobanking”, EuroStemCell ethics expert and Professor Emeritus of Lund University’s Department of Medical Ethics Göran Hermerén outlines some of the prospects for applying stem cell therapies to gastroenterological diseases, and related ethical issues.

Stem cells in the commercial world: An interview with Stephen Elliman

A lot of stem cell research happens in universities and other academic centres, but companies will play an increasing role as research progresses towards new medical applications. To get a flavour of how small companies are getting involved with cell therapy research and the challenges they face, meet Stephen Elliman, Head of Research and Development at Orbsen Therapeutics. Our partners have spoken to Steve and you can read and watch on film some of the things he told us.

Why I chose to research stem cells

My name is Jamie Reilly. I am currently undertaking a PhD at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in the National University of  Ireland Galway (NUIG). I am in my first year of a 4-year programme (in fact I only started 3 months ago, so there have been no regrets yet!). I am also an individual on the autistic spectrum, having not been able to speak until I was 5 years old, and didn't possess usable language until I was 8-9 years old.

Watch the European Parliament hearing on the "One of Us" Petition.

On the 16th of April, a hearing was held at the European Parliament to discuss a petition which seeks to ban all EU funding for research or development activities which involves the destruction of human embryos. A number of EuroStemCell partners attending the hearing. The European Commission has until the 28th of May to respond and we will keep you updated on the developments with this petition.

Stem cell comic now available in Czech

We've just completed a new translation of the stem cell comic Hope Beyond Hype, this time in Czech.

The comic is now available in seven languages - English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Czech, and watch out next month for the launch of a revised interactive version complete with new interactive activities.

All versions of the comic can be found on the Hope Beyond Hype page, or read the new Czech version now, below.

Spotlight on... induced pluripotent stem cells

This month we take a closer look at iPS cells and reprogramming 

Over the past four years we've developed and collected lots of information and resources about stem cells. This month we turn the spotlight on induced pluripotent cells (or iPS cells). First discovered by Shinya Yamanaka in 2006, iPS cells are made from adult specialised cells using a laboratory technique called reprogramming.

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