Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pharmaceutical Companies, Stem Cells, Technology / 12.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50687" align="alignleft" width="125"]Misti Ushio, Ph.D. Chief Executive Office Dr. Ushio[/caption] Misti Ushio, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer [caption id="attachment_50688" align="alignleft" width="125"]Michael Graziano, PhD Chief Scientific Officer TARA Biosystems Dr. Graziano[/caption] Michael Graziano, PhD Chief Scientific Officer TARA Biosystem MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Almost half of all drug recalls are due to cardiac toxicity that was not picked up during early screens. These human cardiac liabilities can go undetected because historically it has been challenging to predict how human hearts will respond to potentially cardiotoxic drugs despite rigorous testing in both animals and in vitro systems throughout drug development. Traditional in vitro systems and animal models do not translate well to humans, and human donor tissue availability is limited for in vitro testing. There is great potential for human-induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) to bridge this human translation gap, but it’s been a challenge to train these cells to recapitulate pharmacology seen in mature human heart cells. This stems from the fact that existing experimental models utilize immature human iPSC-CMs which lack relevant physiological hallmarks of adult human cardiac muscle and therefore fail to predict drug responses seen in the clinic.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Infections, Merck, Stem Cells, Transplantation / 12.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37450" align="alignleft" width="125"]Dr. Jonathan Schelfhout, PhD Director, Outcomes Research Merck & Co. Inc. North Wales, PA Dr. Schelfhout[/caption] Dr. Jonathan Schelfhout, PhD Director, Outcomes Research Merck & Co. Inc. North Wales, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The cost of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has received increased attention after it was identified as a top 10 contributor to increasing healthcare costs in an AHRQ 2016 report. Many recent studies have explored the cost of HSCT but additional research is needed on the costly complications that can follow the transplant procedure. This research is particularly relevant for inpatient decision makers, as most transplant centers receive one bundled payment for the transplant and the treatment of any complications over the first 100 days.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections, Nature, Stem Cells / 20.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Sigal PhD Clinical scientist of the Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin Investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have previously found that H. pylori can colonize gastric glands and that in colonized glands the epithelial turnover was increased. We wanted to characterize the mechanisms that control the gland turnover in the stomach. We found that Axin2, a classic Wnt target gene, marks two different subpopulations of cells with stem cell properties, one of which is Lgr5-positive and the other one Lgr5-negative. Both populations are affected by Rspondin 3, that is produced in myofibroblasts right beneath the stem cell compartment. Rspondin is crucial for stem cell signaling and knockout of Rspondin 3 in myofibroblasts results in loss of Lgr5 and Axin2 expression. Once we increased the bioavailability of Rspondin, that now could also interact with cells outside of the stem cell compartment, we noticed that the number of Axin2 positive stem cells dramatically increased. Of interest, only Lgr5-negative cells expanded in number and proliferate more, while the Lgr5-positive cells remained silenced. Infection with Helicobacter pylori leads to an expansion of Axin2-positive cells which is driven by increased expression of Rspondin3. Expansion of the long lived stem cell pool could be an explanation for how H. pylori infection increases the risk for gastric cancer.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Stem Cells, Weight Research / 25.03.2015

Timothy J. Kieffer Ph.D. | Professor Laboratory of Molecular & Cellular Medicine Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences Department of Surgery | Life Sciences Institute The University of British Columbia Vancouver BC Canada MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Timothy J. Kieffer Ph.D. | Professor Laboratory of Molecular & Cellular Medicine Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences Department of Surgery | Life Sciences Institute The University of British Columbia Vancouver BC Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kieffer: Previously we have examined the therapeutic potential of pancreatic precursor cells derived from human stem cells for insulin replacement in models of type 1 diabetes (PMID: 22740171 & PMID: 23771205). Here we sought to test the efficacy of cell-based insulin replacement in a model of type 2 diabetes, which is by far the most common form of diabetes. Key aspects of type 2 diabetes could be mimicked in immunodeficient mice, namely hyperglycemia and insulin resistance accompanied by excess body weight, by placing the mice on high fat diets. These diabetic mice were transplanted with human stem cell derived pancreatic precursor cells contained within macroencapsulation devices. The diabetic setting did not negatively impact the ability of the transplanted cells to mature into insulin-producing cells. Moreover, the cell transplants were able to significantly improve glucose homeostasis, particularly when combined with low doses of traditional anti-diabetic drugs. Intriguingly, the combined therapy also induced weight loss, such that treated mice were similar in weight to control mice reared on a low fat diet.
Author Interviews, Connective Tissue Disease, Transplantation / 03.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: ProfProf. Dr. Jacob M. van Laar Professor and Chair Dept of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology University Medical Center Utrecht . Dr. Jacob M. van Laar Professor and Chair Dept of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology University Medical Center Utrecht MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. van Laar: The results of the ASTIS-trial demonstrate that stem cell transplantation in selected patients with early, diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, a rare, autoimmune connective tissue disease, prolongs long-term survival and improves clinical manifestations (skin, lung) and quality of life, when compared to monthly infusions with cyclophosphamide. The benefits must be weighed against the risks which include early  treatment-related mortality (10% in the ASTIS-trial) and viral infections.