Stem Cells From Menstrual Blood Show Therapeutic Potential

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 General News
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OLDSMAR, Fla., April 14 Cryo-Cell International,Inc. today announced results of a study published this month in CellTransplantation showing that stem cells found in menstrual blood proliferaterapidly and have significant potential to develop into multiple cell types.Menstrual stem cells offer an easily accessible, non-controversial andrenewable stem cell source, and these findings could mean these cells have thepotential to one day treat a host of diseases.

The study, "Multipotent Menstrual Blood Stromal Stem Cells: Isolation,Characterization and Differentiation," was conducted by researchers at Cryo-Cell International who originally discovered the stem cells. According to thestudy, the stem cells in menstrual blood, known as MenSCs, are stromal stemcells, meaning they have the capability to differentiate into important cells,such as such as bone, cartilage, fat, nerve and cardiogenic cells. The studyalso found that the cells divided rapidly and plentifully, indicating apossible therapeutic value.

With additional studies of the cells in a variety of categories, the useof these cells may lead to treatments for a number of serious diseases, suchas osteoporosis, stroke, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The cells mayeven one day be used for customized anti-aging or sports medicine treatments.

"These findings demonstrate that this novel cell population is adequatelypotent to one day be a routinely and safely isolated source of stem cells,"said Julie Allickson, Ph.D., study investigator and Vice President, LaboratoryOperations, Research and Development at Cryo-Cell International, Inc."Clinical trials are now underway to test the safety and efficacy of MenSCs inanimal models for diabetes, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular regenerativetherapies."

"As we research several sources of stem cells for their potentialtherapeutic benefits, we look for cells to emulate embryonic stem cells inthat they have the ability to grow rapidly and to become many different typesof cells," said Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the Cell Transplant Centerand the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. "Thesemenstrual stem cells could have several of the embryonic stem cell attributes,in addition to being easily extracted, not controversial and renewable."

During the study, the investigators analyzed shed menstrual blood andtissue to identify MenSCs. The samples were obtained using a menstrual cupand transferred to a laboratory for processing. At the lab, the cells werequality control-tested and grown in culture to allow for expansion and toassess their growth capabilities. Further analyses were conducted to assessthe cells' ability to differentiate into new cell lines, in order to determinewhich diseases the cells may be used to treat. The average cell collectionfrom a sample of menstrual blood was approximately five million, of which 75percent of the cells were considered viable. Importantly, the cells rapidlyexpanded at a doubling rate of 24-36 hours, starting with 50,000 cells on dayone and culminating into 48 million cells in less than one month.

"This promising study is the first of many we are conducting incollaboration with leading researchers and institutions with the ultimate goalof using these stem cells to develop groundbreaking future treatments," saidMercedes Walton, Cryo-Cell's Chairman and CEO. "These initial findings offerscientific support and validation for women who are interested in preservingtheir own menstrual blood stem cells for potential future benefit."

Based on the results of the study, Cryo-Cell is pursuing further researchinto menstrual stem cells. Cryo-Cell is organizing a number of research anddevelopment agreements in efforts to develop promising regenerative therapiesutilizing C'elle technology in cardiology, diabetes and neurological diseases.Results from these studies are ex

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