Do Cinderella Cells Hold The Key to Spinal Regeneration?
For millions who are suffering with spinal cord injuries, the storybook ball seems like fable from a land far away. Many have dreamed of a day where they can walk, dance, and run just like they are supposed to. Everyone from infants all the way to seniors are affected by spinal cord disorders that have robbed them of their quality of life. Despite the odds, they wish for better days and ultimately a cure.
Cinderella had her chance to go to the ball and live happily ever after. Now scientists University of Edinburgh’s Medical Research Council (MRC) have isolated “Cinderella Cells” which have produced spinal cord, muscle, and bone tissue in the growing embryo. Developments of these lab grown human tissues are giving hope for those suffering from neuromuscular conditions such as muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and other motor neuron diseases, as this may one day serve as a viable treatment method. (For More Information on Breakthroughs like this, CLICK HERE)
The spinal cord houses the core components of the central nervous system, one of the most complex and highly organized structured systems within the body. The spinal cord is made from part of the neural tube during embryonic development. As the neural tube begins to develop, the notochord begins to secrete a factor known as ‘Sonic Hedgehog’ or SHH. This induces the development of multipotent neural crest progenitors. As a result, the spinal cord, muscle and skeleton all form from a group of “Cinderella Cells” called Neuro-Mesodermal Progenitors (NMP). It is here, where scientists at the University of Edinburgh focused their research.
Over the years, researchers have been able to differentiate cells into liver, heart, muscle, skin, nerve, bone cells, and brain tissue from stem cells in the laboratory; however these NMP “Cinderella cells”, have eluded researchers for over a century.
The team at the medical research council still believes the goal of using lab-grown spinal cord tissue to treat debilitating neuromuscular conditions is still many years away. The hope is that stem cells transformed through this natural development process will resemble those that occur naturally in the body increasing the likelihood that transplants will integrate in patients.
It is advances like this that are laying the framework for future innovations and enabling scientists to treat diseases with stem cells. Stem cells are offering clues to the cellular causes of certain diseases and it is now up to future studies to piece those clues together. (Learn more about Stem Cells by CLICKING HERE or Read Below)
HHS Identifies the “Next Evolution of Medical Treatments”
Healthcare is experiencing a growing crisis as conventional treatments reach their limitations and the United States develops an ever growing aging population. In this medical environment new and alternative strategies are needed. Stem cell based therapies are being evaluated for the treatment of a wide range of disorders. It is estimated that 132 million individuals in the United States alone may benefit from stem cell based therapy with the largest impact on patients with cancer, diabetes, autoimmune, cardiovascular and neurological disorders. Other patients likely to benefit include those with osteoporosis, severe burns, and spinal cord injuries. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified regenerative medicine as the “next evolution of medical treatments.”
The world’s first advanced stem cell education program was created to fill the growing need for knowledge on stem cells and regenerative medicine amongst physicians and healthcare professionals. This comprehensive program is guided by regenerative medicine pioneer and stem cell expert Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj and features instruction from the top scientists & physicians practicing in the field.
The Advanced Stem Cell Education Program (ASTEP) contains over 150 hours of lectures and video content designed to give you the most comprehensive understanding of this incredible aspect of medicine currently available. However, if you wish to target your education to areas of specific interests, you can select from one of the six subspecialty courses offered. Each subspecialty course contains lectures that cover the general biology of stem cells and the regulations of stem cell therapies to ensure proper understanding the course material.
In addition to the immense content included in the A-STEP program and its subspecialty courses, we offer a unique opportunity to learn about the practical applications of stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine. This practical module includes fifteen application-based lectures from leading stem cell physicians, practical demonstrations, and distinct stem cell preceptorship with Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj.
To find out more about the Advanced Stem Cell Education Program, CLICK HERE, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. – ASTEP currently features both online modules and an in-person preceptorship. For more information please click here for our information request form.
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What Breast Cancer Survivors Need to Know About Stem Cells
By Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj M.D.
The fight against breast cancer is a winnable fight. With modern advances in treatment, increased awareness, and early detection, the survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is on the rise.
According to the American Cancer Society, women diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer have a 100% survival rate. Even stage 3 cancer has a 72% survival rate over a period of 5 years. From all indications, it seems that we are winning the fight against breast cancer.
Life after Breast Cancer. What happens after you beat breast cancer? Ask any breast cancer survivor and you’ll immediate find out that nothing is ever the same. Ask a breast cancer survivor who has lived over 20 years post-diagnosis, and you’ll learn that total lifestyle change is required. Reckless choices such as eating a poor diet, not exercising, and excessive stress damage the body that the immune system in a way that the body can no longer take.
The Dangers of Recurrence. Even more alarming is the risk of recurrence, not of breast cancer, but of other types of cancer, most notably leukemia. Studies analyzing SEER data, patients who receive chemotherapy and radiation have an increased risk for cancers such as:
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
During breast cancer treatment, the bone marrow is affected with chemotherapy and radiation, causing significant damage to the immune system. While good diet and exercise are steps that everyone can take, often a patient’s damaged immune system allows diseases like AML and MDS to proliferate.
Overall, the risk of developing leukemia post-chemotherapy amongst breast cancer patients is anywhere between 8-17%. In women aged 20-49, the risk of MDS was 30 times that of the normal population.
This is quite alarming because younger people would expect longer survival periods and a higher quality of life. Yet in younger people, we are seeing higher rates of MDS than even people who are in the 65-74+ age brackets.
The Robin Roberts Effect. This is exactly what happened to Robin Roberts, the beloved news anchor from ABC’s Good Morning America. In August of 2007, at the age of 46, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and immediately had surgery. By January of 2008 she had completed eight chemotherapy treatments, followed by more than six weeks of radiation treatment.
Four years later, she was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a form of leukemia. Her personal battle brought the risk of cancer recurrence to millions and a public will to effectuate change. Be the Match Registry, a nonprofit organization run by the National Marrow Donor Program, experienced a 1,800% spike in donors the day Roberts went public with her illness.
Difficulty Finding a Match. However, those donors for the National Marrow Donor Program would not necessarily be able to access their own cells should they need a stem cell transplant for a blood cancer like MDS. Many times patients with cancer are not able to find an unrelated matching donor from the national donor program (your own cells are always a 100% match for you). Factors such as race and ethnicity play huge roles in determining the eligible donor pool for a particular patient. Minorities are historically underrepresented when it comes to the National Marrow Donor Program.
The Proactive Stem Cell Approach. As breast cancer survivors become more educated on these risks, many are opting to privately collect and store their own healthy adult stem cells post-chemotherapy and radiation, and not rely on potentially finding a donor if their cancer recurs. The idea behind this strategy is that the adult stem cells form the basis of the immune system. When cancer recurs, typically patients have seen their immune function decrease, with markers such as Natural Killer Cell function taking significant drops.
Natural Killer Cells are cells within the immune system that are responsible for killing cancers and other tumors within in the body. As the function of Natural Killer Cells increase, the body’s ability to defend itself against cancers rises as well.
Studies have shown that patients who have received autologous stem cell transplants have improved patient outcomes, faster recovery times, and better long term disease free survival, compared to patients who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation alone.
Having your adult stem cells in the bank is a safety net for breast cancer survivors. If a patient were to ever be diagnosed with a leukemia or a blood cancer, their banked adult stem cells would a powerful tool in the fight against cancer.
Currently the cost of this type of procedure can vary between $15,000-$45,000. For the most part, these procedures are not covered by Medicare or private insurance. As more patients decide to take these types of proactive steps for their health, the cost is anticipated to drop. However, don’t let the cost of the procedure convince you into waiting to collect and store your stem cells.
The Value of the Immune System. As we age our immune system gradually weakens over time. Starting around the age of 30 our immune systems are in a slow gradual decline until somewhere between the ages of 65-74. At that point, our immune system takes a significant drop. In essence, the longer you wait to collect and store your adult stem cells the weaker your immune system will be.
In addition to collecting and storing your stem cells, breast cancer patients should also monitor their immune systems on an annual basis. While many blood tests such as a CBC may turn up normal, there are abnormalities within the immune system that do not show up on regular diagnostic tests. Tracking the immune system gives a great indicator as to the body’s ability to fight cancer and other diseases.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 Risk. Females who have the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 gene for breast cancer, like Angelina Jolie, also fall into the category of those who need to have their immune system checked annually. While the presence of the gene indicates an increased risk for breast cancer, the mere presence of the gene doesn’t guarantee that you will get breast cancer. That’s why it is so important to monitor the immune system. If an abnormality within the immune system presents itself, it can be dealt with early before the spread of a cancer. While some females are opting for invasive mastectomy surgery, like Angelina Jolie, others are choosing to monitor their immune system before taking such drastic action.
Stem Cell Uses. As the benefits for stem cell therapy evolves, so will the amount of uses that are available for your banked adult stem cells. With over 2,000 U.S. Clinical Trials using adult stem cell therapies, there is clear evidence to show that an individual’s own stem cells have a significant capability for growth, repair, and regeneration of damaged tissue and cells in the body. Currently there are more than 70 accepted uses for adult stem cells including the treatment of many blood cancers, bone marrow failures, and immune disorders. For breast cancer patients, the risks are not just from the recurrence of breast cancer itself. With an impaired immune system, female breast cancer survivors are at an elevated risk for other types of cancer and illnesses. That’s why all breast cancer survivors should seriously consider banking and storing their healthy adult stem cells before it is too late.
As seen on CNN Money
Can enough money buy you eternal youth?
June 19, 2014: 9:38 PM ET
A bath in donkey’s milk, the blood of children, tortoise scrotum soup — the list of anti-aging treatments goes back centuries.
No need to go that far.
It turns out, the best kind of anti-aging treatment is inside one’s own body, and the rich are taking advantage of it, exploring the latest research in new technologies, genome mapping and stem cell treatments.
Among them is Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, a large investor of the Ellison Medical Foundation, which supports research exploring the biology that underlies aging and age-related diseases. And there’s billionaire Peter Nygård, who says he wants to live forever (or die trying), and has suggested he’s found the keys to immortality in stem cell research.
Some doctors agree that stem cells are a key part of chasing youth.
“If you’re a wealthy guy and haven’t stored your stem cells, I think you’re a total idiot,” said Dr. Lionel Bissoon, a New York City physician who sees a number of stressed out, wealthy patients.
For the long term he recommends stem cell storage, which works as a sort of rainy day insurance. The cells are extracted, preferably when the patient is on the younger side — around 30 is said to be a good age — and can then be used to boost an immune system or help to rebuild damaged organs later.
Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj stores cells at his South Florida Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Institute in Boynton Beach, Fla.
“People are looking and finding ways to be able to help them to live longer to spend the money they’ve earned,” he said.
To continue reading the article CLICK HERE.
The “Secret Sugars” that are creeping into your immune system…and destroying it
People discovered the sweetly satisfying taste of sugarcane on an island in New Guinea nearly 10,000 years ago, and since then, it has ubiquitously sprinkled itself around the world in forms of candy bars and unexpected places like barbeque sauces. When people first picked the raw cane, they chewed on the hard stem until an explosion of sweetness saturated their taste buds and hooked their senses. It spread like wildfire from island to island until it reached the mainland and by 500 A.D., it was already being processed into powders and used as medicine to treat ailments that ranged from headaches to impotence.
Today, it infamously laces its way through our pastries and Piña Coladas, but what about the other less obvious sugar-laden foods? Nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, and dentists alike have warned of sugar’s power to raise energy levels only to plummet soon after and cause a spiral of bad eating habits.
Harvard Medical School has found that even if you aren’t overweight from a diet of sugar and high-calorie fats, it can still increase your risk of dying from heart disease. They reached that startling conclusion after a 15-year study revealed participants who ate 25 percent or more of their calories in sugar, more than doubled their risk of dying from heart disease than those whose diets included 10 percent of sugar. (Learn what sugar is doing to our heart and our immune system at our next webinar)
Where are they getting all of this sugar? Many are getting sugar from sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks, which account for more than one-third of our national added sugar consumption. However, there are some who are unintentionally having sugar binges with foods that are saturated in sugar, such as sneaky snacks, sauces, and sandwich buns.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the average person on a 2,000-calorie diet to consume no more than 10 teaspoons of sugar each day, or the equivalent to a 12-ounce soda. Sugar is the quiet chameleon of our food system. It changes forms from sucrose, corn sweeteners, glucose, dextrose, honey, maple sugar, and molasses. It’s guilefully hidden in pizza bread, hot dogs, soups, crackers, canned vegetables, mayonnaise, and peanut butter. (Learn more foods with hidden sugar)
Health advocates turn their backs on added sugars, which are sugars that are literally added to foods or beverages when they’re processed or prepared, because of their emptiness. Added sugars contribute no nutritional value to our diets and are thus essentially useless. But yet we’re consuming almost 152 lbs. of sugar each year, which is equal to 6 cups or 3 lbs. a week. Two hundred years ago, the average American only ate 2 lbs. of sugar each year, according to the USDA. Thanks to our demand, the supply brings us sugar shockers that are ready to ruin our diets everywhere.
Our bodies can only handle 20 grams of sugar a day for adult women and 36 grams of sugar a day for adult men, according to the American Health Association. Anything extra is turned into fat in our bodies unless it’s used as energy in an intense workout or other physical activity, Miller says.
The top 6 “SNEAKY SUGARS” in supposedly healthy diets are:
1.Odwalla Original Superfood Drink: 37 grams of sugar, 190 calories
2.McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: 32 grams of sugar, 290 calories
3.Starbucks Greek Yogurt and Honey Parfait: 30 grams of sugar, 260 calories
4.Ocean Spray Craisins: 29 grams of sugar, 130 calories
5.Yoplait Yogurt, Strawberry: 26 grams of sugar, 170 calories
6.Power Bar Performance, Chocolate Peanut Butter: 26 grams of sugar, 240 calories
If you enjoyed this piece, please click here to register for our next stem cell webinar on diet and the immune system which will be held this Wednesday June 11th at 5pm Eastern Daylight Time. You can also scroll down and learn more about our Stem Cell Webinar.
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Food IS Medicine – The Impact of Diet on Your Immune System (Stem Cells)
Are we really what we eat?
A common misnomer was that diet played a very little role in disease management and prevention. As long as you took medication XYZ your particular ailment would be held in check. You could slam down three Big Macs a day and it wouldn’t make a difference.
Thankfully we know better these days and have seen the impact that diet has on our bodies. From bacterial growth, problems in digestion, to hormonal imbalance, our diets are playing more of a role that you probably think.
Even worse is when our body has to utilize the power of its immune system to undo the damage inflicted by poor foods that stimulate the production of inflammatory cytokines. As inflammation proliferates in the body we end up seeing thing such as hyperinsulinism, weight gain, and overall immune dysfunction.
Conversely, those with a proper diet have been shown to have lower risk factors for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so much more. In addition, individuals who have undergone a diet overhaul have seen in many cases their immune function go up.
In this webinar we will discuss how the immune system plays a role with diet, and potential ways that we might have improving stem cell function and overall immune function with diet. New clinical and laboratory data will be discussed that highlights key concepts in this process.
Come and join me and physicians from around the world this June 11th as we explore evidence based information on diet and the immune system, discussing some of the latest breakthroughs and studies in patient care.
What: Stem Cell Webinar: Aging & The Immune System
When: June 11, 2014 5PM Eastern Time
Where: Online – Click Here to Register or paste link below into your browser
If you get out what you put in, then people should really start to examine the harmful impacts of eating a poor diet.
To sign up for the free webinar please visit the link below:
Cost: Physicians & Medical Professionals can attend free – RSVP today
Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj
South Florida Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Institute
Stem Cells, Aging, & The Immune System
Do Stem Cells Hold the Key to Unlocking the Mystery Behind Aging?
As much as the medical community has been trying to cure major diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes, etc., could it be that the real disease to understand is aging? As our immune system ages and decreases in function we start to see dysfunction both internally and externally.
Internally, we see critical markers such as Natural Killer Cell function and Naïve T Cells decrease. Externally, as patients age, we see wrinkled skin, slowness of movement, and increased susceptibility to infection.
In this webinar we will discuss how the immune system ages, the manifestations that it has in the body, and potential ways that we might have of either slowing down or even reversing the immune aging process. New clinical and laboratory data will be discussed that highlights key concepts in this process.
Come and join Dr. Dipinarine Maharaj MD this Wednesday April 9th as we discuss evidence based information on stem cells, aging, and the immune system.
What: Stem Cell Webinar: Aging & The Immune System
When: April 9, 2014
Cost: Physicians & Medical Professionals can attend free – RSVP today