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Thread: ChinaSCINet and NASCINet meetings in China

  1. #1

    ChinaSCINet and NASCINet meetings in China

    I have been having only intermittent internet contact over the past five days due to multiple meetings in China.

    On the 24th of April, ChinaSCINet held a clinical outcome measures workshop in Beijing for the investigators of its 25 centers. During this meeting, we had Mary Schmitt from Thomas Jefferson teach us about the WISCI (Walking Index of Spinal Cord Injury) and Malka Itskovich from Tel Aviv University teach us about the SCIM (Spinal Cord Independence Measure). The network is adopting both of these outcome measures and this is the second workshop that we are devoting to teaching investigators how to apply these measure. During the workshop, I presented a detailed summary and update of the progress in the clinical trials and rationale for the proposed clinical trial on umbilical cord bloo mononuclear cells and lithium treatment of spinal cord injury.

    On the 25th and 26th of April, the IANR (International Association of Neurorestoratology) held its second annual meeting. Many investigators from all over the world and of course China met to present their work on various therapies of human brain and spinal cord injury. It is truly amazing how many places are now transplanting stem cells and other cells to treat spinal cord injury. Also, there are many animal studies being presented. For example, I attended a meeting called "Youth Forum", consisting of 13 presentations by young investigators and 9 of the 13 presentations were reporting positive results of olfactory ensheathing glial cell transplants in animals and humans.

    We then went to Kunming for a consensus conference on optimal rehabilitation for in the clinical trial for North American Spinal Cord Injury Network (NASCINet) centers and with the following people:
    • Kessler/UMDNJ (New Jersey). Steven Kirschblum.
    • Mt. Sinai (New York). Jean Zenca, Nurit Weiss, Tom Bryce.
    • Brackenridge Hospital (Texas). Craig Kemper, Charlotte Smith
    • Shepard (Georgia). Keith Tansey
    • Thomas Jefferson/Magee Rehabilition (Philadelphia, PA). Mary Schmitt and colleague.
    • University of Colorado in Denver. Kevin Lillihai.
    • Tzuchi Buddhist Hospital (Taiwan). Tzuyung Chen 陳子勇 and colleagues.
    • Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Wai San Poon.
    •* Rutgers. Jim Bennet, Pui Tom, Patricia Morton

    The neurosurgeons in our group spent most of yesterday in the operating room observing surgery and cell transplants to the spinal cord. The rehabilitation doctors spent much of the morning observing the intensive walking program that they have in Kunming. We have been engaged in intense discussions about what the best rehabilitation procedure that is affordable and feasible in the United States for restoring function in clinical trials of potential regenerative therapies of spinal cord injury. We are continuing the discussions today. Last night, after a really long hard day of discussion, everybody was treated to dinner and a show about minority groups in Yunnan province. Today, by the end of this morning, we will have a consensus on the rehabilitation program we will adopt in nascinet. We will then give people an afternoon to visit the stone forest (Source).

    By the way, it was really interesting seeing Jim Bennett try out the walking program in Kunming.

    Wise.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the up date Prof. Young, it looks things are going forward as they should.

    Paolo

  3. #3
    Senior Member lunasicc42's Avatar
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    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Dr. Young,

    I met with Kevin Lillihai in Denver a few years ago. He's a very enthusiastic and passionate doctor. He was ready to go to trials 2 years ago and has clinical trials experience.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky View Post
    Dr. Young,

    I met with Kevin Lillihai in Denver a few years ago. He's a very enthusiastic and passionate doctor. He was ready to go to trials 2 years ago and has clinical trials experience.
    Schmeky,

    We have become good friends and he has made the time to come to China twice with us now. He is in Kunming with me right now.

    Wise.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by paolocipolla View Post
    Thanks for the up date Prof. Young, it looks things are going forward as they should.

    Paolo
    Paolo, I forgot my little dongle that I use to transfer pictures from my camera to the computer or else I would be posting them. It has been an exhilarating meeting but incredibly hectic. I feel like a bit of flotsam being blown by a hurricane.

    Wise.

  7. #7
    How will you be going about training therapists at the 8 centers? Have they been told about the upcoming trials? Through what agency? The therapists at mount sinai are outstanding but it would be interesting to hear how they will prepare for the rehab end of these trials.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ricanstruction View Post
    How will you be going about training therapists at the 8 centers? Have they been told about the upcoming trials? Through what agency? The therapists at mount sinai are outstanding but it would be interesting to hear how they will prepare for the rehab end of these trials.

    We had a consensus conference concerning what is possible and feasible in rehabilitation centers in the U.S. and what is desirable for our trial. We will not be breaking new grounds in rehabilitation. We will be testing a cell transplant therapy and lithium. Our goal is to have an aggressive and credible rehabiltation program to maximize recovery from the treatment. We sought to standardize it. There is still a lot of work to do before we have the protocol.

    Wise.

  9. #9
    Dr. Young,
    Thank you for all you do. What a wonderful read this morning to see so many dedicated researchers and therapists from the US attending. Are you hopeful and encouraged by what you hear and see others doing or are you thinking they are jumping the gun with the transplanting of stem cells?

  10. #10
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    If he is still there, please tell Keith Tansey, hi from Harley Jerry. He was my Doc for years at UTSW before he went to Shepard.

    Sounds like a very good gathering.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

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