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Perspectives from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
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. https://doi.org/10.1002/sctm.20-0079
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. https://doi.org/10.1002/sctm.19-0424
The perspective is aimed at building consensus for the stem cell field to ensure proper conduct of clinical research and the regulation of the practice of medicine involving cell‐based treatments.
First published: February 10, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/sctm.19-0377
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is commonly used to treat leukemias and severe disorders of the blood and immune system, but it has not been possible to extend HSCT to many patients in need of transplant, or into various new areas of disease that might benefit. This vast, untapped potential results from inadequate sources of healthy, immune‐compatible stem cells for transplant, technological barriers to efficient engraftment, and the significant health risks associated with the HSCT procedure itself. This Perspective elaborates on current limitations of HSCT and describes novel strategies to overcome them, including key innovations developed with support from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Addressing these challenges could greatly expand the feasibility and accessibility of HSCT to all who might benefit, and enable HSCT to serve as a leading paradigm for developing new stem cell based therapies in the future.