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Thread: Dr. Hans Keirstead speaking 8-26 in CA

  1. #11
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Racing
    That makes sense. Thanx for the heads up.

    Research For Cure is based in the Sacramento area but have had events further south in the past. They'll get down your way sooner or later C. They also have very little overhead due to volunteers near by so Dr Kiersted with his chronic work and UCI get almost every dime raised.

    And a big thank you to Outback Steakhouse for catering many of R4C's events.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  2. #12
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    N. California
    Awesome presentation! I heard Dr. Kiersted speak in DC last year and I thought I was impressed back then. His lab has made tons of progress and done a lot of heavy lifting. He is doing us all a big favor by starting chronic research so soon when everyone is telling him to go the easy route and treat acute injuries. I stopped going to the cure forum quite a while ago when the only treatments discussed seemed to be OEG, but I can honestly say that as of today I am as excited about the future as I was when I saw Dr. Mary Bunge's rats walk on TV a few months after my injury in 2001!

    Oh btw, the food was great. I think I had about 1.2 pounds of chicken (no joke). Big thanks to R4C!

  3. #13
    Anyone else attend & willing to share information?

    How many people were there? What was the Mondavi center like? Any other thoughts.....?
    Last edited by chasb; 08-28-2007 at 01:35 PM.

  4. #14
    Senior Member RoJo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Monterey Bay Area, California
    My wife & I attended the event. Let me first say that I am not a founder or member of Research for Cure(R4C). Our first exposure to this event was last year. This year we decided to volunteer our serices to the extent of our capabilities.

    The Mondavi Center is awesome. Easy to find, very accessible, very well air conditioned. This event uses only a small portion of the building. I would estimate about 150 attendees.

    The event is "come as you are". Some dress up, others do not. It started with a no-host meet & mingle featuring a silent auction offering great donated items incl. trips, fine California wine, gift baskets, amusement park tickets, jewelry, etc.

    The dinner was served buffet style in a separate room followed by a presentation by Dr. Keirstead, raffle prizes & dessert. The presentation was very interesting and his dedication to the development of treatment for chronics is inspiring. I know some fear the abandonment of research for chronics once acute treatment is available. This won't happen with Keirstead. The solution is out there and you definitely get the sense that he believes he is on the right track.

    The best improvement I would hope for is more attendees. It's a great opportunity to contribute to a "pure" organization(Research for Cure), and interact directly with Dr. Keirstead. Anyone within a reasonable distance should not pass up the opportunity next year.

  5. #15
    I am pleased to report that the Seventh Annual Research for Cure Dinner was a huge success, due to 1. Dr. Keirstead'd presentation plus his easy manner of cruising through the attendees, allowing everyone an opportunity to speak to him about their own concerns. 2. The efforts of a growing number of volunteers.
    Below is a brief synopsis of Dr. Keirstead's presentation. It lacks the details and the excitement that Dr. Keirstead has for this work, which is quite contagous.

    Keirstead worked with Dr. Thomas Lane at UCI, whose interest is multiple sclerosis, to develop a means of reducing the inflammatory response immediately after trauma or injury to the nervous system. Together they developed a treatment for multiple sclerosis, which Dr. Keirstead’s group then adapted for use in acute SCI. A phase 1 clinical trial began in 2006 on individuals with ulcerative colitus (same inflammatory mechanism that causes degeneration), and is funded by Medarex Corporation.

    Using hESCs, Dr. Keirstead’ team has had great success turning them into oligodendrocytes, with a purity level above 95%. Injection of the cells into sub-acute paralyzed rats (within 2 weeks of injury) resulted in improvement of function. Four other laboratories replicated this approach. Clinical trial dates have been pushed forward several times, as this will be the first hESC therapy clinical trial and safety is the primary consideration. Being the first trial, new procedures and standards have been created and revised and revised again. Clinical trials are now scheduled to begin in 2008, and will be funded by Geron Corporation.

    Dr. Keirstead also has a team working on scar tissue removal. Scar tissue is the reason that the oligodendrocyte treatment outlined above will only work on acute injuries - there is no scar tissue in acute injuries. If the scar tissue is removed, the sub-acute injuries become like acute injuries and treatments successful on acute injuries may be successful.

    Chronic studies are being pursued with a passion equal to my own for treatments. Motor neurons, in conjunction with cAMP and a "designer" virus, is hoped to restore function in chronic SCI (months to decades after injury). This is another wonderful example of collaboration equaling faster answers to recovery treatments. Dr. Keirstead and collaborators from California Stem Cell Inc. have put their knowledge together and now can produce clinical grade human motor neurons in large volumes at 95% purity. Dr. Keirstead has provided these cells to Dr. Doug Kerr at Johns Hopkins, and both have both begun animal testing. Because of Dr. Keirstead’s experience with the FDA during his work with Geron Corporation, the path now exists to move through the process much quicker. The first human trials are planned for babies with spinal muscular atrophy. These poor babies generally only live about 12 months, and die as a result of motor neuron death within the spinal cord. There are currently no treatments for the disease. The trials would be relatively quick, as the babies’ lifespan is so short. As with other clinical trials, once a treatment has been proven safe for humans, it can be used for other conditions.

    We all left with hope, based on science and, hopefully, a desire to help politically for increased funding for hESC research, or a desire to volunteer time in efforts to raised money or, if able, donate money towards this exciting research OR all three! : ]
    Karen M
    C 3/4 inc. central cord
    10/29/1992 - 18 years, but who counts?

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