John-Henry Westen


Adult Stem Cells Do Not Turn Cancerous Studies Suggest

John-Henry Westen

HOUSTON, April 27, 2005 ( - Regenetech Inc., a Houston-based, adult-stem-cell company, said this week that recent scientific studies of adult stem cells expanded with its NASA-created techniques indicate the cells do not turn cancerous. Last week researchers from Spain and Denmark claimed in the journal “Cancer Research” that under certain circumstances adult stems cells can turn cancerous if allowed to multiply outside the body for a lengthy period.

Regenetech said that two recently completed scientific studies demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of its proprietary expanded stem cell process thereby making its process the most successful procedure of expanded stem cells known. Regenetech, a three-year-old biotech firm, works with NASA under its license and Reimbursable Space Act Agreement. The firm uses the patented IntrifugeTM system process to dramatically multiply adult stem cells to a far greater degree than has been demonstrated previously.

One of the two studies, known as “mFish” or multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization, detects aberrations in human cells. This study, conducted at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, found there was no chromosome damage or change in the expanded adult stem cells 90 days after their expansion.

The second study, known as the “nude mouse” study, was conducted by the independent firm of Charles Rivers Laboratories Inc. of Wilmington, Mass. The mice have no hair, thus the name, but more importantly, they have no thymus, leaving them without the ability to mount most types of immune responses. The nude mice test indicated the expanded stem cells caused no tumors in the mice within 85 days of the injection of the expanded cells.

“These studies were significant to Regenetech,” said Arless Hutchinson II, company president. “While we have demonstrated for some time that we can significantly expand adult stem cells, we needed to make sure that there were no harmful effects created by the use of expanded cells. “The mFish study confirms that the cells are not genetically or chemically modified, which would be a major problem when the cells are transplanted for therapeutic use,” Hutchinson said. “And the nude mice study indicates that the cells do not create tumors when transplanted.”

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