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Profiles and Perspectives


April 2015
Proceedings: Consideration of Genetics in the Design of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based Models of Complex Disease
Uta Grieshammer, and Kelly A. Shepard
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:1253-1258; first published on October 30, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0191

The goal of exploiting induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology for the discovery of new mechanisms and treatments of disease is being pursued by many laboratories, and analyses of rare monogenic diseases have already provided ample evidence that this approach has merit.

April 2015
A Case for Crowd Sourcing in Stem Cell Research
Olaf M. Dekkers, Christine L. Mummery, and Ton J. Rabelink
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:1259-1261; first published on September 17, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0125

Many clinical trials of stem cell therapy over the last decade have included small study groups, limiting their scientific value and rendering their ethical justification questionable. Open-source clinical development might enhance transparency of results from stem cell research, improve data on safety outcomes, and minimize overestimation of effects caused by publication bias, which will advance progress in stem cell therapy and provide opportunities for generalizing study results.

April 2015
Intercellular Cooperation and Competition in Brain Cancers: Lessons From Drosophila and Human Studies
Indrayani Waghmare, Austin Roebke, Mutsuko Minata, Madhuri Kango-Singh, and Ichiro Nakano
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:1262-1268; first published on September 17, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0086

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a primary brain cancer with an extremely poor prognosis. Recent studies in Drosophila and mammalian models (e.g., xenografts of human cancer cells into small animals) are summarized to elucidate the intercellular interactions between apoptosis-prone cancer cells and hyperproliferative cancer cells.


April 2015
Wrongful Termination: Lessons From the Geron Clinical Trial
Christopher Thomas Scott, and David Magnus
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 0:sctm.2014-0147v1-sctm.2014-0147; first published on October 8, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0147

This study examines the major ethical and social questions raised by the cancellation of the 2010 phase I clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell-based therapy for spinal cord injury. The study provides recommendations for institutional review boards and clinical sites as they deliberate approvals of early-phase trials in frontier medicine.

April 2015
Are All Cancer Stem Cells Created Equal?
Xiujie Xie, Theodoros N. Teknos, and Quintin Pan
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 0:sctm.2014-0085v1-sctm.2014-0085; first published on August 13, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0085

Recent exciting but limited evidence supports the intriguing concept of genetic and phenotypic diversity in the cancer stem cell (CSC) population. The authors of this paper consider whether CSC heterogeneity at the inter- and intrapatient levels may be due to the cell of origin, to environmental cues, and/or to human papillomavirus infection.

April 2015

Ellen G. Feigal, Katherine Tsokas, Sowmya Viswanathan, Jiwen Zhang, Catherine Priest, Jonathan Pearce, and Natalie Mount
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:879-887 doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0122

The International Workshop on Regulatory Pathways for Cell Therapies was convened in September 2013 to discuss the nature of regenerative medicine as a rapidly evolving field with novel scientific and regulatory challenges and to highlight opportunities for potential convergence between different regulatory bodies that might assist the field’s development.

July 2014
Sarah A. Bliss, Steven J. Greco and Pranela Rameshwar
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:782-786; first published on May 15, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0013
This paper discusses how research studies could bring an understanding of the cellular and molecular interactions between the cancer stem cells and cells within the bone marrow microenvironment. This will allow for intervention to reverse dormancy for targeted treatment. The treatment will require studies within the normal organ functions to ensure treatment without toxicity.
June 2014
Geoffrey P. Lomax, Natalie D. DeWitt, Maria T. Millan and Ellen G. Feigal
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:673-674; first published on April 25, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2014-0069
The authors discuss the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s focus on state, national, and international regulatory policy issues impacting basic research and translational medicine.
May 2014
Jennifer K. Lang and Thomas R. Cimato
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:549-552; first published on March 19, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2013-0205
Recent findings have provided new insight into the interaction among hematopoietic stem cells (HSPCs), cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. The authors review studies in mice and consider the connection in humans between cholesterol and HSPCs. Recent studies represent an important avenue to determine whether the biology of humans is the same and whether antagonism of HSPC mobilization and differentiation in response to cholesterol is of benefit for prevention and regression of atherosclerosis.
May 2014
Margit Rosner, Katharina Schipany and Markus Hengstschläger
Stem Cells Trans Med 2014; 3:553-559; first published on April 1, 2014; doi:10.5966/sctm.2013-0194

The array of human pluripotent stem cells now includes embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and amniotic fluid stem cells. This article compares several aspects of these stem cell types and highlights the need for future appropriate methodological management to include a decision on the “optimal” stem cell to use for a specific application.