Day Two of the Int’l Conference: Reports from the Front Lines of Stem Cell Therapy Around the World

Day Two: April 23, 2010

stem cell conference international

The conference speakers, organizers and some attendees.

Our second day of the International Conference of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine for Neurodegenerative Diseasesbegan with a talk by Dr. Wise Young, of Rutgers University (USA), entitled, “Lithium Effects on Blood and Brain Stem Cells,” in it he summarized the clinical trial design for using umbilical cord blood stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury in China and the US.

dr. wise young

Dr. Wise Young speaking during the morning session

Dr. Young served as the chair for the morning session, which started with a talk by Dr. Henrich Chen (Taiwan) entitled, “Transplantation of Size-Sieved Stem Cells Compositing with Fibrin Glue after MCA0 in Conscious Rat.”

Professor Honmou

Dr. Osamu Honmou and Dr. Kuo-Liang Yang sip tea during a break at the conference.

Followed by Dr. Osamu Honmou (Japan) with a talk entitled, “Intravenous Transplantation of Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Bone Marrow into Stroke Patients, and Application for Spinal Cord Injury” in which Dr. Honmou, surprised attendees with promising case reports of stroke patients that exhibited over-night improvement in MRI brain scans after receiving their own bone marrow stem cells.

Professor Yi Ren

Dr. Yi Ren accepting a certificate of appreciation from Dr. Tang-Yuan Chu of Tzu Chi University.

The afternoon session was chaired by Dr. Tang-Yuan Chu of Tzu Chi University, and began with talks by Dr. Dah-Ching Ding(Taiwan), “Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Support Prolonged Expansion of Human Embryonic Stem Cells without Tumorigenesis,” and Dr. Chia-Ning Shen (Taiwan), “Porphyrin Homeostasis Maintained by ABCG2 Transporter Regulates Self-Renewal of Embryonic Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells.”

Next, Dr. Yi Ren (Rutgers University, USA), gave talk on, “The Role of Macrophages in Control of Teratoma Development after Embryonic Stem Cell Transplantation in Spinal Cord,” in which Dr. Ren showed how macrophages (a naturally occurring white blood cell) can actually promote tumor formation when embryonic stem cells are injected into a spinal cord injury by stimulating blood vessel development. Tumor formation has emerged as a major hurtle to most stem cell therapies, therefore Dr. Ren’s results on the effectiveness of macrophage inhibitors are promising.

Dr. Waisang Poon
Dr. Waisang Poon with a certificate of appreciation from Tzu Chi University.

The day was wrapped up by Dr. Waisang Poon (Hong Kong), “Cell Therapy for Spinal Injury: The Surgical Perspective,” in which he detailed the clinical trial protocol by ChinaSCINet for placing the stem cells near the site of the spinal cord injury, demonstrating the innovative and unique cooperation among Chinese surgeons participating in the innovative technology for the trial. These methods will hopefully provide useful information for the US trials being planned.

taroko gorge
The conference organizers and speakers on a tour of beautiful Taroko Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan.

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