Volume 14.31 | Aug 12

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TOP STORY
ST2 as a Marker for Risk of Therapy-Resistant Graft-versus-Host Disease and Death
No plasma biomarkers are associated with the response of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) to therapy after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. Researchers compared 12 biomarkers in plasma obtained a median of 16 days after therapy initiation from 10 patients with a complete response by day 28 after therapy initiation and in plasma obtained from 10 patients with progressive GVHD during therapy. [N Engl J Med] Abstract | Press Release
Induce Neural Progenitor Cells Faster and More Effectively - Watch New Technical Video
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Induction of Intestinal Stem Cells by R-Spondin 1 and Slit2 Augments Chemoradioprotection
Scientists tested whether the induction of adult stem cells could repair chemoradiation-induced tissue injury and prolong overall survival in mice. They found that intestinal stem cells (ISCs) expressed Slit2 and its single-span transmembrane cell-surface receptor roundabout 1 (Robo1). Partial genetic deletion of Robo1 decreased ISC numbers and caused villus hypotrophy, whereas a Slit2 transgene increased ISC numbers and triggered villus hypertrophy. [Nature] Abstract | Press Release

Second Allograft for Hematologic Relapse of Acute Leukemia after First Allogeneic Stem-Cell Transplantation from Related and Unrelated Donors: The Role of Donor Change
Researchers performed a retrospective registry study on 179 second allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantations (HSCT2s) given for relapse after first hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT1) from matched related donors or unrelated donors, using identical or alternative donors for HSCT2. Separate analyses were performed according to donor at HSCT1. [J Clin Oncol] Abstract

Identification of a Titin-Derived HLA-A1-Presented Peptide as a Cross-Reactive Target for Engineered MAGE A3-Directed T Cells
Researchers developed an affinity-enhanced T cell receptor directed to a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*01-restricted MAGE A3 antigen for use in adoptive therapy. They present a description of the preclinical in vitro functional analysis of the MAGE A3 T cell receptor, which failed to reveal any evidence of off-target activity, and a full analysis of the post-serious adverse event in vitro investigations, which reveal cross-recognition of an off-target peptide. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract

Inhibition of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Teratoma Formation by Small Molecules
Having identified a unique human embryonic stem cells signature of pro- and antiapoptotic gene expression profile, scientists hypothesized that targeting human pluripotent stem cell-specific antiapoptotic factor(s) (i.e., survivin or Bcl10) represents an efficient strategy to selectively eliminate pluripotent cells with teratoma potential. They report the successful identification of small molecules that can effectively inhibit these antiapoptotic factors, leading to selective and efficient removal of pluripotent stem cells through apoptotic cell death. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

STAT3-Mutations Indicate the Presence of Subclinical T Cell Clones in a Subset of Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome Patients
Large granular lymphocyte leukemia (LGL) is often associated with immune cytopenias and can co-occur in the context of aplastic anemia (AA) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). In STAT3 mutated AA patients, an interesting trend toward better responses of immunosuppressive therapy and an association with the presence of HLADR15 were found. [Blood] Abstract

Dynamic Compaction of Human Mesenchymal Stem/Precursor Cells (MSC) into Spheres Self-Activates Caspase-Dependent IL1 Signaling to Enhance Secretion of Modulators of Inflammation and Immunity (PGE2, TSG6 and STC1)
Researchers demonstrated that MSC spontaneously aggregated into sphere-like structures after injection into a subcutaneous air pouch or the peritoneum of mice. [Stem Cell] Abstract

Stem Cell Transplantation for Follicular Lymphoma Relapsed/Refractory after Prior Rituximab
Through the National Comprehensive Cancer Network lymphoma outcomes study, 184 patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma who underwent autologous stem cell transplant (SCT) or allogenic SCT following disease relapse after prior rituximab-based therapy were examined. [Cancer] Abstract

Transplantation of Human Fetal-Derived Neural Stem Cells Improves Cognitive Function Following Cranial Irradiation
Past studies demonstrated the capability of cranially transplanted human embryonic and neural stem cells to functionally restore cognition in rats 1 and 4-months post-head-only irradiation. The present study employed an FDA-approved fetal-derived human neural stem cell line capable of large scale-up under good manufacturing practice. [Cell Transplant] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Intravenous Administration of Human Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived AC133+ Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Rat Stroke Model Reduces Infarct Volume: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Histological Findings
Previous studies have indicated that stem/progenitor cells derived from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) improve functional recovery in stroke models. Researchers examined the effect of hUCB AC133+ endothelial progenitor cells on stroke development and resolution in a middle cerebral artery occlusion rat model. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

The Timing of Neural Stem Cell-Based Virotherapy Is Critical for Optimal Therapeutic Efficacy When Applied with Radiation and Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Glioblastoma
Scientists report that applying oncolytic virus-loaded neural stem cells together with ionizing radiation and temozolomide can increase the median survival of glioma bearing mice by approximately 46%. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

A New System for High-Throughput Cell Isolation Directly from Whole Blood
 
REVIEWS
Cancer Gene Discovery: Exploiting Insertional Mutagenesis
The authors describe various insertional mutagens focusing on their advantages/limitations and discuss the new and promising tools that will improve the insertional mutagenesis screens of the future. [Mol Can Res] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the cell, gene and immunotherapy research field.

Register for new mouse/rat HSC CFU training course.
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Vical Phase III Trial of Allovectin® Fails to Meet Efficacy Endpoints
Vical Incorporated announced top-line results from a Phase III trial of Allovectin® (velimogene aliplasmid), an investigational intratumoral cancer immunotherapy, in patients with metastatic melanoma. The 390-subject trial failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement vs. first-line chemotherapy for either the primary endpoint of objective response rate at 24 weeks or more after randomization or the secondary endpoint of overall survival. [Vical, Inc.] Press Release

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2013
 
POLICY
Famous HeLa Cells Get Genetic Close-Up, and New Data-Sharing Rules
Five months after it was hastily removed from the Internet in the face of harsh criticism, the genome of the widely used HeLa cell line is back online. Not only that, but it is also now sequenced at the highest level of resolution yet for a cancer research cell line. But scientists who want to use those data must now ask for permission from a committee that includes descendants of the woman whose cells were taken-without her consent-62 years ago. [U.S. National Institutes of Health] Press Release

House Panel Trains Sights on Unregulated Stem-Cell Therapy in the Philippines
The vice chairman of the House blue-ribbon panel is set to deliver a privileged speech Monday ahead of hearings on the current state of things in the stem cell therapy practice in the Philippines, where experts warned earlier the “fad-like” atmosphere poses serious threat to public health and safety. [Congress of the Philippines] Press Release

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BUSINESS
Sanguine BioSciences Announces Distribution Partnership with AMS Biotechnology
Sanguine BioSciences announced a distribution partnership with AMS Biotechnology to make its products and services available to researchers in Europe. Sanguine collects and de-identifies biospecimen, medical history and other data from patients diagnosed with severe and chronic diseases for use in biomarker research. [PR Newswire Association LLC] Press Release

Stem Cell Therapeutics Acquires an Exclusive Option to License Prostate Cancer Stem Cell Assets
Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. announced that it has entered into an option agreement to exclusively license worldwide rights to a series of prostate cancer stem cell assets from the University of York, United Kingdom. The assets originate from research funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) and conducted in the YCR Cancer Research Unit, University of York, under the direction of Professor Norman Maitland. [Stem Cell Therapeutics] Press Release

Athersys Announces Grant to Support Clinical Advancement of Its MultiStem® Regenerative Medicine Program for Heart Attack Patients
Athersys, Inc. announced that it has received a SBIR Fast Track grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which will support a Phase II clinical study evaluating the administration of MultiStem® therapy to patients who have suffered a heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction. The grant is expected to provide up to $2.8 million in support over the course of the study in connection with study progress and milestone achievement. [Athersys Inc.] Press Release

Pilot Clinical Study into iPS Cell Therapy for Eye Disease Starts in Japan
RIKEN announced the launch of a pilot study to assess the safety and feasibility of the transplantation of autologous induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium cell sheets in patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration. [RIKEN] Press Release

ASU-Mayo Research Project Targets Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis
Improved diagnosis for people afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome is the goal of a research collaboration led by an Arizona State University biomedical engineering faculty member and a Mayo Clinic physician. Marco Santello and Mark Ross were recently awarded a grant of $93,000 from Mayo’s Center for Regenerative Medicine to advance their effort to quantify the effects of carpal tunnel release surgery on patients’ recovery of sensorimotor hand function. [Arizona State University] Press Release

Stratatech Awarded BARDA Contract Valued Up to $47.2 Million for Advanced Development of StrataGraft® Skin Tissue for Thermal Burns
Stratatech Corp. announced that it has been awarded a contract valued at up to $47.2 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The contract is for the advanced clinical and manufacturing development of StrataGraft® skin tissue, the Company’s flagship skin replacement product, as a medical countermeasure to treat patients with severe thermal burns. [Stratatech Corp.] Press Release

Cardium Reports on New Excellagen-Based Stromal Cell Research for Wound Healing with Orbsen Therapeutics under European FP7 REDDSTAR Diabetes Initiative
Cardium Therapeutics announced that it has entered into an agreement with Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd and the National University of Ireland, Galway, to utilize Cardium’s Excellagen® pharmaceutically-formulated gel as a delivery agent for Orbsen’s proprietary stromal cell therapy in pre-clinical studies for the potential treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. [Cardium Therapeutics] Press Release

Northwest Biotherapeutics Receives Regulatory Decision that Will Enable Its Phase III Brain Cancer Trial to Proceed in Germany
Northwest Biotherapeutics announced that it has received a decision from the German regulatory agency under which the company’s Phase III clinical trial will be able to proceed in Germany after the Company makes three modifications, none of which affect the body of the trial or the bases for seeking product approval. [Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

Kite Pharma Appoints Leading Cancer Immunotherapy Experts to Its Scientific Advisory Board
Kite Pharma Inc. announced the appointment of three leading experts in the areas of immunotherapy, chimeric antigen receptor technology, and gene therapy to its Scientific Advisory Board. [PR Newswire Association LLC] Press Release

BioRestorative Therapies Receives Approval to Conduct Retrospective Safety Study on Its Bulging/Herniated Disc Procedure
BioRestorative Therapies, Inc. announced that it has received approval from the Western Institutional Review Board to complete a retrospective safety study on selected subjects previously treated by the Company’s brtxDISC™ bulging and herniated disc procedure. [BioRestorative Therapies, Inc.] Press Release
 
NIH
Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium Research Projects (RFA-DK-13-012)

Limited Competition for the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium Coordinating Center (RFA-DK-13-505)

Implementation of the Revised International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals (NOT-OD-13-096)
 
CBER
Circular of Information for the Use of Human Blood and Blood Components
 
REGULATORY
Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Guidance for Industry: Oversight of Clinical Investigations — A Risk-Based Approach to Monitoring
 
EVENTS
NEW Advances in Cellular Assays & Cell Culture
May 14-15, 2014
Barcelona, Spain


Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Research Technologist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurosteroids and Neural Stem Cells in Developing Brain (Children’s National Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Human Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoiesis (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Tenure-Track Position – Cell Biologist (McGill University)

Postdoctoral Positions – AIDS Vaccine and Human Gene Therapy (GeneCure Biotechnologies)

Postdoctoral Appointee – Cell Cycle Regulation in Tumor Stem Cells (Rutgers University, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey)

Research Associate – Cardioprotection and Myocardium Repair by Gene or Cell Therapy (University of Louisville)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Therapy and Epigenetics of Retina (University of Pittsburgh, Ophthalmology)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Tissue Engineering (School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Immunology (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Research Scientist/Senior Research Officer – Monoclonal Antibodies (Bioprocessing Technology Institute/A*STAR)

Director of Cell Processing Facility (S L Collins Associates, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)


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