September 17, 2018

Healthy airway stem cells could be used one day to replace the damaged cells that cause cystic fibrosis, providing a new form of treatment for the genetic disorder.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide used techniques similar to those employed for stem cell treatments of autoimmune conditions to make the discovery, according to a report on their study published in Stem Cell Research & Therapy and summarized at Rare Disease Report.

In cystic fibrosis, patients’ lungs and digestive systems become blocked by an overproduction of mucus. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis.

In the study, the Australian researchers collected adult stem cells from the lungs of adult cystic fibrosis patients, then corrected the gene using gene therapy. They tested the theory in mice.

September 10, 2018

A bacteria well-known for making people sick may hold the key to beating a common health problem in the United States.

Researchers at the University of Colorado have found that E. coli, which has been blamed for multiple outbreaks of food poisoning, produces a compound that can help move iron into the body more efficiently.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional problems in this country, and it also is the most-common reasons for deferring potential blood donors. (South Texas Blood & Tissue Center launched a pilot program in August to boost iron levels in teenaged blood donors – click here to learn more.)

August 27, 2018

Canadian researchers have discovered what could be a way to alleviate a common blood shortage by using enzymes from bacteria in the human digestive system.

The team from the University of British Columbia found the enzymes could remove the A and B antigens from type A, B and AB red blood cells. The process effectively turns them into type O, since type O is defined as not having either A or B antigens on the red cells.

Type O blood is the most common in the United States, and the supply of O-negative is always tight because it can be used in virtually any patient in an emergency.

Scientists have searched for years for a way to convert type AB, A and B blood to type O, but have had little success in developing an affordable and reliable system.

August 21, 2018

A researcher at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA has recorded his 30th successful treatment of a condition known as the “bubble boy disease.”

Dr. Donald Kohn has been perfecting a stem cell gene therapy for the condition for more than 30 years, and all 30 of the patients who have received it have been cured, according to a story in the Orange County Register.

Bubble baby disease occurs when the body does not produce adenosine deaminase; it is the result of a missing enzyme in a baby’s immune cells. Babies with the condition must remain in germ-free environments to survive, since even a common cold could be deadly.

August 7, 2018
Bone Marrow Transplants and Social Security Disability Benefits
By Lauren DiCenso
Outreach Specialist, Disability Benefits Help
Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the governing body that offers financial resources for those with serious illnesses who are unable to work for one year or more. If you are awaiting or have received a bone marrow transplant, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

If approved, you are able to spend your benefits on any medical bills, prescriptions you are taking and any other basic day-to-day living expenses.