December 18, 2017

A therapy using a child’s own stem cells has shown promise in fighting a deadly neurological illness made famous in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil.”

Researchers from the Harvard Medical School found that genetically altering a patient’s stem cells, then reintroducing them to the patient’s body, has produce positive results in the battle against adrenoleukodystrophy.

Adrenoleukodystrophy affects about one in 21,000 boys, and it occurs when those boys lack one copy of the X chromosome. The degenerative neurological condition leaves patients unable to make a protein that helps break down specific fatty acids. A buildup of those acids affects the nerves, muscles and brain.

The treatment involved extracting stem cells from the boys, modifying them to carry the missing gene, chemotherapy to eliminate diseased cells, then the transplant of the altered stem cells.

December 11, 2017

From time to time, blood donors ask why there are different waiting periods between blood donations.

The answer is simple: It takes your body different amounts of time to regenerate what you give. (Those waiting periods, by the way, are recommendations from the AABB, the blood banks’ trade association, and the federal Food and Drug Administration.)

One of the reasons you typically don’t feel any effects from a donation is that the body completely replaces the plasma – the liquid that carries cells and proteins around your bloodstream – in two days or less. Also, the typical donation is just 10 percent of your blood volume.

Following that typical trip to the donor room or mobile drive, you make what is known as a whole-blood donation. That means all the components in your bloodstream are collected in one bag, then separated in our laboratory.

December 4, 2017

Work is underway on developing a clinical trial to evaluate stem cell treatments for lupus.

The Lupus Foundation of America is providing $3.78 million in funding for the work, which will be led by a team from the Medical University of South Carolina over the next five years. The organization made the announcement in November.

The phase II trial is projected to open enrollment early in 2018, with 81 individuals with lupus participating. The study will determine if therapy derived from adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may diminish the effects of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage virtually any part of the body.

Initial studies in China showed patients benefited from stem cell therapy with few adverse reactions.

November 27, 2017

Tuesday, Nov. 28 is Giving Tuesday, a global giving movement where millions of people come together to support causes and organizations and launch the giving season of the year.

At BioBridge Global, we have multiple ways you can give and support our mission of saving and enhancing lives:

Give whole blood: The typical blood donation, which takes less than an hour to complete, is known as a “whole blood” donation, since we collect about a pint of your blood and all its components. You can find out more and schedule a donation at

November 20, 2017

New research has found that a single type of stem cell can completely repopulate the bone marrow, forming the basis for successful stem cell transplants.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center discovered that one subset of the type of stem cells considered the “gold standard” for transplants were, in fact, responsible for the success of those transplants in rebuilding the entire blood system.

By paying attention to these particular kinds of stem cells, scientists may be able to improve procedures, as well as develop new approaches to gene therapies, to make transplants more effective.