Stem cell therapy improves sight of patients with macular degeneration | Second hospital worker in Texas tests positive for Ebola | Experts identify scoliosis factors related to need for blood transfusions
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October 15, 2014
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

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Stem cell therapy improves sight of patients with macular degeneration
Infusions of retinal cells were well-tolerated for up to 37 months and improved the sight of patients with age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt's macular dystrophy, according to an 18-patient study in The Lancet. Embryonic stem cells were transformed into mature retinal pigment epithelium cells, which were transplanted directly into the eye. Fifty-six percent of patients experienced improved sight, including functional advances such as being able to read a watch or computer screen. The Guardian (London) (10/14), The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (10/15), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/14)
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Advance point-of-care blood management
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Science & Health
Second hospital worker in Texas tests positive for Ebola
An additional health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for the Ebola virus. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was actively monitoring 76 hospital workers in Dallas, and teams of infections control experts will be sent to hospitals treating Ebola. CNN (10/15), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/15), HealthDay News (10/14)
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Experts identify scoliosis factors related to need for blood transfusions
An analysis of Nationwide Inpatient Sample data involving children with idiopathic scoliosis determined that certain factors are linked with greater chances of treatment with allogeneic blood transfusions. Risk factors included greater scores in the Elixhauser comorbidity index, treatment with anterior and posterior approaches to spinal fusion and fusion at nine or more levels. (10/14)
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Epidemiology experts share findings on transplant-related hepatitis transmission
Research presented at the IDWeek infectious disease conference examined how patients acquired hepatitis C via solid organ transplant despite a negative HCV test before the procedure. Of six patients implanted with organs from a common donor, three tested positive for HCV post-transplant although the donor tested negative, indicating the donor was in the early stages of HCV infection. "These findings underscore the importance of recipient informed consent and post-transplant bloodborne pathogen screening," the study team wrote. Healio (free registration)/HCV Next (10/10)
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Dialysis method shows no definitive impact on outcome in diabetes and kidney disease
Researchers found the modality choice of hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis as a primary therapy for diabetes patients with end-stage kidney disease had no effect on mortality outcome. The analysis was published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (10/13)
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Expedite Your Path to BLA/IND Approval
Let AABB Consulting Services help you develop and implement an efficient and effective plan for a successful application. Our team of experts will identify and address areas of concern so you can move forward with confidence. Contact us today for a consultation to see how we can assist you.
Emerging Trends
Aethlon's biofiltration device used to treat Ebola patient
Aethlon Medical has announced that its Hemopurifier blood filtration device is being used at Frankfurt University Hospital in Germany to treat a doctor from Uganda who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. The system removes viruses and immune-suppressing proteins from the bloodstream. San Diego Business Journal (10/14), KPBS-TV/KPBS-FM (San Diego)/City News Service (10/14)
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Stem cell research traces chain of events that leads to Alzheimer's
A study in the journal Nature has validated the theory that amyloid deposition begins the process of Alzheimer's disease development. Human stem cells were converted to neurons and then given genes associated with Alzheimer's disease. The cells were grown in the lab and exhibited amyloid and tangles associated with dementia. Researchers plan to use the system dubbed "Alzheimer's in a dish" for a variety of applications. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/13), Voice of America (10/12), HealthDay News (10/13)
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CAR T Cell Adoptive Therapy: Annual Meeting Preconference Workshop
Register for the "CAR T Cell Adoptive Therapies: Product Engineering to Clinical Outcomes," workshop on Friday, Oct. 24 prior to the 2014 AABB Annual Meeting. Hosted in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, topics include an introduction to T cell receptors, CAR T cell technologies and applications; manufacture for clinical use, and regulatory hurdles in cellular therapy trials.
Industry News & PracticeSponsored By
Bristol, Pharmacyclics, Janssen to assess combo therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacyclics and Janssen have entered into a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the combination of investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab and tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib in a Phase I/II trial as a treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (10/14)
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Skyline teams up with Sao Paulo researchers to evaluate leukemia test
SkylineDx will conduct a study with researchers at the Ribeirao Preto Medical School at the University of Sao Paulo to evaluate the company's AMLprofiler test on patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The diagnostic test is intended to predict the need for autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with low to intermediate disease risk. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (10/14)
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Dynavax starts study of B-cell lymphoma drug candidate
Dynavax Technologies has initiated a Phase I/II trial of SD-101, an investigational toll-like receptor 9 agonist for untreated, low-grade B-cell lymphoma. The open-label dose escalation and expansion study will assess the safety, tolerability and antitumor activity of the drug in about 25 adults. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (10/14)
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Looking for Educational Opportunities?
Visit Immucor at the AABB Annual Meeting (Booth 431) to hear a variety of case studies presented by your peers. Case studies presented in the Immucor booth will include current topics such as blood bank competency, validation/correlation, and data management. Click here for a detailed schedule of educational opportunities sponsored by Immucor.
Association News
AABB posts Association Bulletin on deferral for blood donation of persons under public health surveillance for possible exposure to Ebola virus
To address concerns within the transfusion community about the outbreak of Ebola virus disease, AABB has posted Association Bulletin #14-08, which was developed by the AABB Transfusion Transmitted Diseases Committee and approved by the AABB Board of Directors. The document includes a recommendation regarding the use of handouts or signage at donation sites concerning donors who have been identified during public health investigations and may have been exposed to a patient with EVD. Also attached to the Association Bulletin is a one-page document that may be posted at donor sites and/or handed to presenting donors. AABB recommends that you continue to monitor the CDC's Ebola Information for Healthcare Workers and Settings Web page for all updates related to the Ebola situation.
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The Buzz
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-- H.G. Wells,
British author
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