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Stem-cell pioneer takes aim at M.S.

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    Stem-cell pioneer takes aim at M.S.

    Stem-cell pioneer takes aim at M.S.
    October 31st, 2011, 4:29 pm.

    The decades-long dream of treating debilitating injury and illness with stem cells is quickly becoming reality.

    The world’s first test on patients of a treatment using human embryonic stem cells has cleared a year of safety trials with no adverse effects, according to Geron Corp.

    Meanwhile, a second clinical trial of another stem-cell treatment has begun in Switzerland.

    Both treatments target spinal cord injuries, and both were developed by scientists at UC Irvine.

    Stem cells have the potential to develop into a variety of cell types within the body. Some are derived from embryos, stirring controversy, but their promise is undeniable: allowing the paralyzed to walk, or reversing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis.

    Hans Keirstead, whose treatment for acute spinal cord injuries became the world’s first clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells, is pushing ahead to develop new treatments, and to increase the number of people who could be helped by those already being tested.

    Q. Are you doing further work on the stem-cell treatment for acute spinal-cord injury?

    A. I’m doing a lot of work in order to expand the patient population that might benefit from the treatment. I recently published a paper (about using) the treatment around the neck. Before we showed only that it worked down near the stomach, the thoracic region. We have to show that it works in rats before the FDA will allow us to go into humans. I published a paper showing it works just as well in the cervical (neck) region, as in the thoracic. I’m pretty happy about that.


    November 02, 2011 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time
    California Stem Cell’s Hans S. Keirstead, Ph.D. One of Six Leading Innovators in the Health Industry

    World Congress of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell 2011

    IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California Stem Cell (CSC)’s Hans S. Keirstead, Ph.D., has recently been recognized as one of the top innovators in global health. This praise came in an article by genConnect highlighting six medical professionals making a difference in their respective sectors of the health industry. Dr. Keirstead was interviewed by genConnect’s creative director, Kelly Hayes, at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival.