Research from the Babraham Institute, reported in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, provides new insights into how our immune system produces T cells, a type of white blood cell that is an essential part of the body's immune surveillance system for fighting infection. The findings pave the way for a new means of making purified T cells, which gets over one of many hurdles faced in the use of T cells in regenerative medicine and transplantations, and in addition will open up new avenues of research and applications in drug and toxicity testing in industry. This international collaboration of immunologists draws together academic and commercial researchers from the UK, Japan, GlaxoSmithKline USA and a Da Vinci exchange student from Italy.
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have cleared a major technical hurdle to making umbilical-cord-blood transplants a more widely-used method for treating leukemia and other blood cancers. In a study published in the Jan.17 edition of Nature Medicine, Colleen Delaney, M.D., and colleagues describe the first use of a method to vastly expand the number of stem/progenitor cells from a unit of cord blood in the laboratory that were then infused into patients resulting in successful and rapid engraftment. The relatively small number of stem cells in cord blood units (about one-10th the number a patient receives from a conventional transplant) has been a reason that cord blood transplants take much longer to engraft than standard stem cell transplants from donors.
Scientists in Texas are reporting development of a first-of-its-kind cloth that releases nitric oxide gas - an advance toward making therapeutic socks for people with diabetes and a wrap to help preserve organs harvested for transplantation. The study is in ACS' Chemistry of Materials, a bi-weekly journal. Kenneth Balkus and Harvey Liu note in the new study that nitric oxide (NO) helps increase blood flow and regulates a range of other body functions. Scientists have tried for years to find practical ways to store and deliver NO for use in medicine. However, they have had difficulty finding a suitable material that allows controlled delivery of NO.
Georgia's Kidney Care Community Praises Introduction Of Legislation To Improve Patient Access To Quality Kidney Dialysis And Transplant Care
Members of Georgia's kidney care community - including patients, physicians, providers, and kidney transplant groups - today applauded State Senators Don Thomas (R-Dalton) and Ed Harbison (D-Columbus) for introducing bipartisan legislation to help approximately 2, 000 Georgians suffering from kidney failure who are having difficulty accessing health insurance for their dialysis care or needed transplant medications. If enacted, this legislation could result in a positive fiscal impact of approximately $20 million over five years for Georgia's Medicaid system. In addition to helping people with kidney failure, the legislation will also help any Georgia citizen who is under 65 and has Medicare as a result of a disability.
An NHS roadshow takes to the streets this week to call on people to prove their support for organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR). The roadshow is part of a UK-wide campaign to close the gap between the number of people who say they'd be willing to accept an organ if they needed one - 96% - and those who have pledged to donate by joining the ODR, currently 27%. New research from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) shows a divide between those who think they have already signed up to be an organ donor and those who are actually registered. In London, a recent NHSBT survey revealed that 29% of people think they are on the ODR whereas the actual proportion is 23%.
A new predictor of cornea transplant success has been identified by the Cornea Donor Study (CDS) Investigator Group. New analysis of data from the 2008 Specular Microscopy Ancillary Study (SMAS), a subset of the CDS, found that the preoperative donor cell count of endothelial cells, previously considered to be an important predictor of a successful transplant, did not correlate with graft success. Instead the study found that a patient's endothelial cell count six months post-cornea transplant is a better indicator of subsequent failure of the graft rather than the donor's cell count. These results offer an additional, reliable indicator of success that surgeons can use for monitoring patients at the six-month milestone after transplantation.