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Universal Stem Cell Product Could Overcome Key Challenges in Donor Organ Transplants
Date:7/9/2013

Durham, NC (PRWEB) July 09, 2013

An international team of researchers published results demonstrating that a universal stem cell product increases the long-term survival of organ transplants in instances when the cell donor is neither related to the organ donor nor the organ recipient. Their approach also appears to alleviate the need for ongoing immune suppression.

In addition, the research demonstrates that the transplanted organ retained its immunologically privileged state during a subsequent transplantation into another naïve recipient.

The research, led by a team of transplant specialists at the University Hospital in Regensburg, Germany, developed the approach using a special class of stem cells referred to as multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs). The MAPCs, collected from the bone marrow of a healthy donor, display a range of regenerative abilities and are already being used in clinical trials in several other areas, including for bone marrow transplant support, as well as for treating damage from stroke and heart disease and for certain autoimmune conditions. The study was conducted jointly with scientists at Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, and with a U.S.-based biotechnology company, Athersys Inc., in collaboration with scientists from the National Center for Regenerative Medicine based in Cleveland, Ohio.

“The immunological attributes of MAPCs make them a promising candidate for providing immunomodulatory support after organ transplantation,” explained Marc Dahlke, M.D., Ph.D., a lead investigator in the groundbreaking study that appears in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine. “In contrast to other cell types, MAPCs can be expanded in a manner that makes them amenable to large-scale production, potentially making them an optimal choice for routine clinical use — especially in the so-called ‘third party’ scenario in which the cell donor is unrela
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