These superbugs have several names. They include carbapenem-resistant entero-bacteriaceae or CRE; and necrotizing fasciitis (more commonly known as the deadly flesh eating disease) and are often referred to as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) staph infections.
In March 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert saying lethal germs are on the increase. Many of these superbugs emerge in hospital and other healthcare settings where patients are at a greater risk of infection due to invasive medical devices being used and patients having weak immune systems and open wounds. However, in more recent years some superbugs have been making their way into the community.
“These are nightmare bacteria that present a triple threat,” said Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “They’re resistant to nearly all antibiotics. They have high mortality rates, killing half of people with serious infections. And they can spread their resistance to other bacteria.”
It is also concerning that very few pharmaceutical companies are creating blockbuster antibiotics due to the huge costs involved. The economics just aren’t there, said David Nix, a Professor at the UA College of Pharmacy.
In the first half of 2012, nearly 200 hospitals treated at least one of these infections, Frieden said. About 4% of hospitals have had at least one patient with CRE, along with 18% of long-term, acute-care hospitals, the CDC said. The country has only a narrow “window of opportunity” to act before it’s too late to halt the superbugs’ spread, Frieden said.
What You Can Do To Reduce Risks
According to a recent study undertaken by the University of Arizona, your computer keyboard has more than 20,000 microbes per square inch — at least 400 times more germs than a toilet seat.
Wash your hands regularly throughout the day, and for at least 20 seconds at a time.
Clean your personal items regularly (i.e. cellphone, tv remote control, keyboard and mouse) with alcohol swabs or sanitizer wipes.
Always wash hands before and after using the restroom and visiting community facilities and retail outlets (i.e.the gym, coffee and retail shops, schools, grocery stores, the Post Office, hospitals etc).
Keep any open skin areas covered until they are completely healed. Clean open areas with Peroxide every night, along with an antibiotic ointment.
If you come into contact with wounds, bandages, skin drainage, or any type of bodily fluids be sure to wear gloves, and carry out proper hand washing immediately afterwards.
Do not share any personal items with anyone.
If you are a patient at a hospital or medical facility, ask your caregiver to wash his/her hands before touching you. Some caregivers can transmit MRSA from patient to patient.
Keep strengthening your immune system and keep your adult stem cells activated. These two fundamentals have been scientifically proven to be the very essence of life and good health. Stem Cell Worx Intraoral Spray is designed specifically for this purpose.
Watch the video below where Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, warns of a major increase in the number of bugs that are resistant to antibiotics.
Hannah receives a visit from her parents at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria after receiving a new windpipe using her own adult stem cells.
A South Korean-Canadian toddler has been given a life-saving windpipe transplant made from plastic fibres and some of her own stem cells.
Hannah Warren, aged two, was born without a trachea and is now the youngest person to ever receive a bio-engineered organ, after an operation in the United States.
She had spent her life in an intensive care unit in Seoul, with a feeding tube keeping her alive. Doctors had initially given Hannah little chance of surviving.
The nine-hour transplant was a life-saving surgery for the child, who was unable to breathe, speak, swallow, eat or drink on her own since birth.
Because the procedure used stem cells from her own bone marrow rather than a donor organ, her immune system is unlikely to reject the transplant. Doctors said she could return home and lead a normal life within months.
“The most amazing thing, which for this little girl is a miracle, is that this transplant has not only saved her life, but it will eventually enable her to eat, drink and swallow, even talk, just like any other normal child,” said lead surgeon Paolo Macchiarini of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
“She will go from being a virtual prisoner in a hospital bed to running around and playing with her sister and enjoying a normal life, which is a beautiful thing.”
Scientists hope the stem cell-based therapy will diminish reliance on human organ donors and the associated risks of immune system suppression.
“We are crossing frontiers with these transplants,” Macchiarini said in a statement.
Clinical trials using adult stem cells continue for those who have ALS Disease.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
20,000-30,000 people in the United States have ALS, and an estimated 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with the disease each year. ALS is one of the most common neuromuscular diseases worldwide, and people of all races and ethnic backgrounds are affected. ALS is 60% more common in men than women, primarily affecting those males between the ages of 35 and 65.
Patients who took part in the first clinical trial will receive a second implantation to the cervical, or upper, region of the spine – where the nerves that control breathing reside. Most ALS patients die of respiratory failure as these nerves die or are damaged by the disease.
“We believe that the cells and the route of administration are safe,” says Feldman, who is the principal investigator of the trial and the director of the U-M’s A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, U.S.A. “The FDA go-ahead to bring these patients back for re-dosing is a further validation of that.” The trial is funded by Neuralstem, to which Dr. Feldman is an unpaid consultant.
Click video below.
Further details are available at: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-05/clinical-trial-fights-ALS/56791326/1
Pre-clinical research has generated very promising findings using adult stem cells from bone marrow for the treatment of diabetic wounds.
Research carried out by scientists at the National University of Ireland Galway is published in this month’s official journal of The American Diabetes Association. The work was led by researchers at the University’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland.
Chloe suffers from cerebral palsy and could barely crawl as a symptom of a stroke.
Chloe recently received adult stem cell treatment using her own stem cells. Click the video below to see Chloe’s remarkable improvements since receiving adult stem cell treatment. Her parents banked her own adult stem cells at birth from her cord blood that were used.
Chloe is now able to stand, run and dance around the house.
A WCBS news report by health correspondent, Dr. Max Gomez.
Article Contributor: John Farrell, Forbes Contributor Covering Science and Technology
Michael Phelan is the CEO of SevOne. My Forbes colleague Tomio Geron recently wrote about his fast-growing IT company and Phelan contributed a guest post earlier this year at Eric Savitz’s CIO Network.
Phelan also has multiple sclerosis. Frustrated by the limited effectiveness of standard drugs for MS, he decided to try something more radical.
He traveled to a clinic in Panama and had infusions of adult stem cells generated from his own body fat.
It worked so well, he’s going back for another treatment.
After my last post, highlighting some research on the potential adverse consequences of adult stem cell treatments, some readers, including Phelan, protested that such studies represented but a small fraction of the thousands of successful treatments people were getting offshore, and that I was overlooking the patient’s perspective.
I asked if he’d be interested in recounting his own story in more detail. Our Q&A was conducted by email.
Q: When did you first show symptoms of MS?
A: My symptoms started 7 years ago, in my late 40s. I’m 56 now.
Q: I’m assuming you began by seeking standard medical therapy. Can you tell me a bit about this, which drugs, and what led you gradually (or more speedily) to try a stem cell therapy?
A. I still use standard medical therapy. I have the best Neurologists in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and Jefferson. I was on Copaxone for 5 years. Last month I started on Gilenya. Unfortunately, the approved, standard drug therapy has not been effective for me. I considered the Tysabri® (natalizumab) risks too high.
Q. Before going abroad, you attempted to get into some clinical trials here in the U.S. Can you tell me about the clinical trials you registered for–and whether they explained why you did not qualify?
A. The first: Stem Cell Therapy for Patients With Multiple Sclerosis Failing Interferon A Randomized Study
The evaluation process is not funded; therefore I paid approximately $10,000 for travel to Chicago, for tests, MRI’s, etc. The opinion of the investigators was the risk related to aggressive chemotherapy was not worth the potential gain because I was 55 years old, and the MRI evidence did not confirm enough recent disease activity. The treatment is most effective in active, early stages. My stage was questionable.
A second clinical trial: Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Transplantation in MS. The research team is headed up by Jeffrey Cohen, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research. I did not qualify because I would be over 55 at the end point. This study is very similar to the treatment that I received in Panama.
Q. How did you come to learn about the Stem Cell Institute in Panama?
A. I researched Pubmed, talked to physicians involved in U.S. studies and reviewed conference publications. I first learned about the Stem Cell Institute from Dr. Roger Nocera, author ofCells That Heal Us From Cradle To Grave.
I also noted that the Medical Director of the Stem Cell Institute was published: Non-expanded adipose stromal vascular fraction cell therapy for multiple sclerosis.
Plus I read and viewed many personal testimonies of patients, such as famous Texas High School football coach,Sam Harrell.
Q. You mentioned your first treatment at the Institute has helped restore functionality. Could you explain in detail?
A. I had visual problems for over a year before treatment, including double vision. After my first treatment in May of 2012, my vision problems resolved and I was able to continue driving. My mental and physical energy improved dramatically. I had urinary problems, including urgency and frequency, both resolved after treatment. Plus, I had reduced spasticity, less headaches and improved balance. I went from a 10-minute treadmill, 2mph limit to a 30 minute, 2.5 mph limit.
Q. What was your experience like at the Stem Cell Institute?
A. The care I received at the Stem Cell Institute and Hospital Punta Pacifica was excellent. They had a much more personal, detailed approach than I ever experienced in America. It really felt like “care”. The mini-liposuction was done at the Hospital Punta Pacifica in Panama, a Joint Commission International Accredited Johns Hopkins-Managed Hospital.
Q. Did you consider going to Celltex Therapeutics in Texas–which was discussed this week in Nature?
A. I certainly considered Celltex, but was concerned about FDA interference.
This is a big story. Perhaps, the biggest story in our lifetime. We are learning very quickly how the body heals. I’m grateful to have access to treatment. But, this should be available to everyone.
America is way behind. A recent study in Korea applied the same treatment: autologous, fat derived MSCs to Alzheimer’swith unprecedented results.
We got off track in America because adult stem cells are confused with embryonic stem cells. So, you have religious and financial interests halting progress in America. Adult stem cells can’t be patented, limiting the financial incentive. Plus, there are conflicted stem cell “experts”, whose research is in embryonic stem cells, spreading misinformation about adult stem cells.
As a result, the FDA created a new “minimally manipulated” threshold, which gives them authority over a medical procedure. This is a crime against ill people who can’t afford to travel overseas for treatment. America should be fast tracking this treatment, not slowing the adoption process to the crawl involved in drug approval.
Phelan’s case is a hopeful one. As this week’s issue of Nature points out:
Arnold Caplan from Case, did pioneering work on MSCs [mesenchymal stem cells] and refers to their action as “hit and run” healing. More than 250 MSC trials are ongoing or completed, he told the audience at an October 2012 summit. And even though most of these studies are small and none has led to regulatory approval for widespread use in the United States or Europe, Caplan says that he would use the cells.
“If I had MS, I would be getting this therapy. I’d probably go offshore.”
This doesn’t change the fact that the business is chancy, however. As the Nature article also shows, after $32,000 spent, MS patient Ann McFarlane did not see improvement in her condition and was disillusioned by her interactions with Celltex.
Nature’s editorial in the same issue rightly urges the FDA to find alternative –and less expensive– ways for stem cell trials to be funded and carried out so that more patients like McFarlane and those with less financial resources than Phelan can benefit from the therapies in the near future.
But critics point out that the editorial presupposes that the FDA should be regulating stem cell treatments when it is by no means certain this is the case. “The FDA requirements, designed for products manufactured and sold on a mass scale, can’t be readily satisfied when it comes to treatments that are personalized to individual patients,” said Phelan.
“This is a medical procedure, not a drug.” He cited Former FDA Deputy Director, Scott Gottlieb’s opinion piece last fall in the Wall Street Journal urging the FDA to back off and let the adult stem cell treatment field grow in the U.S. without the heavy hand of federal regulation.
Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast are hoping to develop a novel approach that could save the sight of millions of diabetes sufferers by using adult stem cells.
Currently millions of diabetics worldwide are at risk of sight loss due to a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar causes the blood vessels in the eye to become blocked or to leak. Failed blood flow harms the retina and leads to vision impairment and if left untreated can lead to blindness.
The novel REDDSTAR study (Repair of Diabetic Damage by Stromal Cell Administration) involving researchers from Queen’s Centre for Vision and Vascular Science in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, will see them isolating stem cells from donors, expanding them in a laboratory setting and re-delivering them to a patient where they help to repair the blood vessels in the eye. This is especially relevant to patients with diabetes were the vessels of the retina become damaged.
“Currently available treatments for diabetic retinopathy are not always satisfactory. They focus on end-stages of the disease, carry many side effects and fail to address the root causes of the condition. A novel, alternative therapeutic approach is to harness adult stem cells to promote regeneration of the damaged retinal blood vessels and thereby prevent and/or reverse retinopathy.”
“This new research project is one of several regenerative medicine approaches ongoing in the centre. The approach is quite simple: we plan to isolate a very defined population of stem cells and then deliver them to sites in the body that have been damaged by diabetes. In the case of some patients with diabetes, they may gain enormous benefit from stem cell-mediated repair of damaged blood vessels in their retina. This is the first step towards an exciting new therapy in an area where it is desperately needed.”
The project will develop ways to grow the bone-marrow-derived stem cells. They will be tested in several preclinical models of diabetic complications at centres in Belfast, Galway, Munich, Berlin and Porto before human trials take place in Denmark.
Further information on the Centre for Vision and Vascular Science at Queen’s is available online at:
If you have been hiding under a rock for 10 years, you may not have heard about adult stem cells. You owe it to yourself to know what they are. Adult stem cells are shaping the future of healthcare on a global scale. Adult stem cells are not embryonic stem cells that come from an embryo.
Adult stem cells are the master cells of your body that are with you from the day you are born.
With 50 to 70 trillion cells in your body, cellular health is crucial to your overall well-being and good health. Adult stem cells working at optimal levels provide the platform for many cumulative health benefits. With stimulation and under the right direction, your own adult stem cells have the power to self-renew and repair cells, maintain tissue and muscle throughout your entire life time.
In the last five years, incredible progress has been made.
In October 2012 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.” [Pluripotent means the stem cells have the potential to differentiate into specialized cells in the body].
The Nobel committee said Gurdon and Yamanaka had “revolutionized” science.
“The discoveries of Gurdon and Yamanaka have shown that specialized cells can turn back the developmental clock under certain circumstances,” the committee said. “These discoveries have also provided new tools for scientists around the world and led to remarkable progress in many areas of medicine.”
Adult stem cells offer regeneration to those who have mild to severe health challenges, injuries and disease through to those wanting to maintain their youth and good health well into their later years of life.
In addition to the full stem cell replacement therapies that are carried out under a medical setting, high quality stem cell supplements are now available.
The synergistic ingredients of Stem Cell Worx Intraoral Spray deliver the most powerful, pure and natural stem cell mobilizing nutrients available in the market. In order for adult stem cells to be stimulated into the blood stream, with the blood being the principal carrier of nutrients and oxygen to cells, three key factors are required. These are growth and immune factors that naturally stimulate G-CSF and promote the expression of CXCR4, along with cytokines. Stem Cell Worx has all three factors in abundance.
Furthermore, this natural health supplement is sprayed under the tongue, providing an absorption rate of up to 95% of its nutrients compared to just a 10% to 20% absorption rate that pills and capsules provide.
Once in the bloodstream, adult stem cells have the ability to seek out and travel to the areas within the body where they are most needed to provide repair and renewal.
Stem Cell Worx Intraoral Spray provides many benefits, including:
- abundant energy
- super charges the immune system
- supports anti-inflammatory response
- builds muscle, burns fat and promotes natural weight loss
- improves mental clarity and focus
- provides rapid recovery after your exercise regime
- enhances repair and recovery after surgery, injury or illness.
Adult stem cell research and developments hold incredible promise in all arenas of human healing, overall health and life expectancy no matter what your age or your current state of health.
An Army infantryman who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside explosion in Iraq has undergone radical transplant surgery that may help him regain use of his arms.
Last month, the 26-year-old, U.S.A infantryman had successful surgery — a rare double arm transplant — at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“It feels amazing,” Marrocco told reporters Wednesday. “It is something that I was waiting for for a long time, and now that it happened, I don’t know what to say, because it is such a big thing for my life.”
The last thing Marrocco remembers before being hit by an explosion in 2009 was that he was driving an armored vehicle.
When he woke up at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, Marrocco was alive, but missing all four of his limbs.
“When it happened, I didn’t remember too much,” Marrocco said.
“I was still alive, so that’s really all that mattered to me at the time.”
Marrocco is one of only seven people in the country to successfully undergo the surgery, and the first quadruple-amputee soldier, according to Johns Hopkins.
The surgery, which took 13 hours and 16 orthopedic and microvascular surgeons from five hospitals — was also the first bilateral arm transplant performed at Johns Hopkins. All of the surgeons volunteered their services; the surgery and rehabilitation costs were paid by the Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Hopkins.
The team of surgeons rehearsed the procedure on cadaver arms four times over the past 18 months, said lead surgeon Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, director of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins.
“On his right side we did an above-elbow transplant by connecting the bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and skin between the donor and recipient,” Lee said.
On Marrocco’s left side, “in order to preserve the elbow joint, we transplanted the entire donor forearm muscles over his remaining tissues, then rerouted the nerves to the new muscle.”
While Marrocco is doing well, his recovery will be long and risky, the doctor said.
“The nerves regenerate at the maximum speed of 1 inch per month. The therapy will continue for a few years, first at Johns Hopkins, then at Walter Reed. The progress will be slow, but the outcome rewarding.”
Marrocco is taking anti-rejection medication, which can lead to side effects like infection and organ damage. But he’s received an infusion of the donor’s bone marrow cells to further prevent rejection of his new arms.
That infusion allows him to take only one anti-rejection drug instead of the usual three-drug cocktail.
Doctors call his recovery so far remarkable.
“Now, I can move my left elbow,” Marrocco said. “This was my elbow, the one I had before. I can rotate a little bit. This (right) arm is pretty much not much movement at all — not yet at least.
Hopefully, we are hopeful for the future to get some pretty good function out of it, out of both of them.”
Doctors said rehabilitation therapy is an integral part of the healing process. “The next two to three years, Brendan’s full-time job is doing hand therapy, six hours a day, every single day, once nerves grow in,” said Dr. Jaimie Shores, clinical director of hand transplantation at Johns Hopkins. “He’s going to be working very hard.”
Marrocco said he’s up to the task. The thing he’s looking forward to most? “Driving. Absolutely, driving. I used to love to drive and it was a lot of fun for me. So, I am really looking forward to getting back to that. And just becoming an athlete again. One of my goals is to hand-cycle a marathon.”
Lee hopes the new anti-rejection regimen performed on Marrocco will become the new standard of care for limb and face transplants. Marrocco will participate in a anti-rejection regimen study that’s being funded by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
For his family, the surgery means moving forward with their lives.
“Our lives have been on hold for the last almost four years waiting for this surgery, getting him through Walter Reed and getting to the point where he was pretty independent,” said mother, Michelle Marrocco.
“And now he will be independent, and when he comes home, he’ll be the Brendan we’ve all been looking for.”
Marrocco’s message to other’s facing similar challenges? Don’t give up hope. “Life always get better. You’re still alive … just be stubborn. Work your ass off.”
Lee agreed. “Advances in medicine are being made every day in different areas, whether it’s tissue transplantation or tissue regeneration,” he said.
“Research is being performed throughout the world with different ways of regenerating tissues and replacing arms, so they should be optimistic, as we are that there will be new treatments and modalities currently not available.”
Marrocco said he’s is very optimistic about his future.
“I just want to get the most out of these arms and just as goals come up, knock them down, and take it as absolutely far as I can. So really, I just want to get to the point that I can be completely on my own and just get back to enjoying life.”