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Perspectives from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Lila R. Collins, Kelly A. Shepard

Significance Statement
At California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's (CIRM) inception, the potential of human stem cells to alleviate disease was clear. However, the inaccessibility of relevant living human cells for study stymied the understanding of human disease. Clinically appropriate manufacturing methods, quality control tools, animal models to evaluate cell therapies, and delivery tools for living products were limiting. CIRM's comprehensive vision to build the stem cell therapy field by investing in the development of tools and technologies required to support this emerging discipline has resulted in the examples of successfully developed tools discussed in this perspective. These tools are helping to realize stem cell therapy's promise.

First published: July 03, 2020.


Lisa C. Kadyk, Ross M. Okamura, Sohel Talib

Significance Statement
For cell and tissue therapies to become widely accessible will ultimately require the success of off‐the‐shelf allogeneic products that can be administered to patients regardless of immune compatibility with the donor tissue. Since the long‐term use of immunosuppressive drugs renders patients subject to infectious disease and other side effects, it is critical to develop alternative methods to overcome immune barriers to engraftment. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has funded multiple programs, in different disease areas and at different stages of therapeutic development, that are tackling this challenge. Herein, we summarize the main approaches that are being taken in this rapidly moving field and gives examples of specific programs that CIRM has funded in these different areas.

First published: June 25, 2020.


Ingrid W. Caras

Significance Statement
TThe premise and predictions of the cancer stem cell model of cancer are being tested in the clinic as cancer stem cell‐targeted therapies enter clinical trials. This article describes two such approaches and discusses whether the initial clinical results are consistent with predictions of the model. Validation of the cancer stem cell model in humans has implications for the design of curative treatments for many human cancers.

First published: April 12, 2020.