New technologies and hope for patients promoted at Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center's first scientific conference

November 23, 2013

By KUMC News

Kansas City, Kan. — The University of Kansas Medical Center's new Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, created to advance research into the use of adult stem cells for treatments and cures, hosted its inaugural scientific meeting on Nov. 23 at the Sheraton Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

Approximately 150 physicians, scientists, advanced practice registered nurses, nurses, allied health professionals and trainees heard an update on the status of adult stem cell therapy. Scientists from the region and from around the country made presentations on new diagnosis and treatment guidelines related to cell therapy for various medical conditions, and management of patients using these new cell transplantation technologies.

The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center was created by the Kansas Legislature in the 2013 session.

Adult stem cell treatments have been used for many years to successfully treat leukemia and related bone/blood cancers using bone marrow transplants. The scientific community is now focusing on additional therapeutic options including organ repair. Other applications could well be possible — the science of which continues to unfold.

KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Douglas Girod, M.D., said the conference was an impressive opportunity to inspire collaboration among scientists from several different fields, including cardiology, cancer and the neurosciences. "Kansas is well-positioned to contribute to this burgeoning new field of medicine, and the University of Kansas Medical Center aspires to be a national leader in this research," Girod said.

"KU Medical Center is leading the nation in research and treatment using cutting edge adult stem cell therapies. Their advances are helping people live longer and better. I applaud the work," said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who spoke to the attendees at noon.

Besides KU Medical Center, other institutions around the state have also initiated adult stem cell research projects. At the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, scientists will work to create a systematic mechanism for Kansans to receive adult stem cell therapy and coordinate research to translate basic stem cell research findings into treatments.

"We have the opportunity to focus on development of specific areas of adult stem cell research and patient treatment, with the potential to become a leader in innovative cellular therapies for specific diseases or conditions," said Buddhadeb Dawn, M.D., a professor of medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Division at the University of Kansas Medical Center, who was appointed director of the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center in July.

Last modified: Nov 25, 2013