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Thread: Dr Young Stem Cell Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member DNikolai's Avatar
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    Dr Young Stem Cell Question

    Someone told me the other day that in order to be considered a candidate for Stem Cell research the injury needs to be incomplete. Actually what they said was that the SC needs to have some kingd of connection still present and not be severed.
    Is this fact?

  2. #2
    The short answer is No, that is not correct. Many of us here on CC have severed cords and we hope that one day it will be possible to correct this.
    Repairing a severed cord will be more difficult than a contused cord but it should be possible. To fill the gap and allow the axons to grow across the gap some type of polymer scaffold wil be needed. There have been several tested in animals. Scar tissue, growth factors, remylation all need to be addressed regardless of the type of injury. Dr. Davies actually does his research using severed cords in rats.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DNikolai
    Someone told me the other day that in order to be considered a candidate for Stem Cell research the injury needs to be incomplete. Actually what they said was that the SC needs to have some kingd of connection still present and not be severed.
    Is this fact?
    DNikolai,

    I don't know who you were talking to and what clinical trials you are referring to. Geron is planning a clinical trial involving human embryonic stem cells and they say that they will be implanting cells that have been predifferentiated to be oligodendroglial cells (cells that myelinate axons). If true, this suggests that they are hoping to myelinate axons that are still crossing the injury site. In this case, I suspect that they will want to treat patients who are "incomplete" or still have some axons that cross the injury site. However, according to news stories, they want the trial to determine whehter the treatment is "safe" and will be implanting the cells into people with "irreversible" injuries (Source). I don't know what that means.

    On the other hand, clinical trials that are planning to use stem cells to try to stimulate regeneration will probably want to treat patients with "complete" spinal cord injury. For example, at the ChinaSCINet, we would like to know whether umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells and lithium will stimulate regeneration and, funds permitting, will include both "complete" (ASIA A) and "incomplete" (ASIA B and C) patients in the trial.

    So, the answer to your question is yes and no. Some trials aiming at remyelination will probably want to target subjects that are "incomplete" while other trials aiming at regeneration will want to treat subjects that are "complete", as well as "incomplete". It all depends on the trial.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 10-17-2006 at 04:43 PM.

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