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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day 92: Back to COH

I don't know what it is about holidays this year, but today is Thanksgiving and for the fourth holiday in 2007, I am back in the hospital, just as I was on Easter, July 4, and Labor Day this year.

Yesterday, around the 11 o'clock hour, I came down with severe chills, so we called our doctor and we were directed to come to the COH ETC (emergency treatment center). Blood tests showed my white cell count to be .5 and the diagnosis was an undetermined infection. So, I am back in the hospital for a few days to get this under control. Right now, it is not known howlong that will take, but I am sure that the treatment is going to work as we enter our final week of the "Post 100 Days" since the SCT.

All things considered, things have gone very well with the recovery from the transplant, but this experience is a lesson that an impaired immune system requires many precautions and the allowance of considerable time to return to normalcy.

Last 3 Posts on MyJournal
What Will This News Bring to Life?
A Stem Cell 'Milestone'
What About Lymphocytes?

PQ: Thought for Today

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What Will This News Bring to Life?

NBC News last evening (and probably all of the other major news networks as well) gave extensive coverage about the latest stem cell breakthrough, SEE THIS LINK. While this is a most promising development, particularly for one (like me) who has had his life saved by a stem cell transplant, it remains that many believe political controversy over restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is unlikely to end with this announcement.

We now know that mature human cells can be made to acquire the powers of embryonic stem cells, because scientists say research on both types of cells is closely related and is needed to inspire and cross-check each other.

President Bush has twice vetoed legislation that would lift restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and Congress has not mustered the two-thirds majority in each chamber required to override presidential opposition.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Stem Cell 'Milestone'

Scientists reprogram human skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, a breakthrough that would eliminate ethical concerns

By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Human skin cells can be reprogrammed to behave almost exactly like embryonic stem cells, a discovery that provides a road map for creating personalized biological repair kits without ethical strings attached, scientists reported today.

By activating a handful of dormant genes, the researchers were able to coax the cells to go backward in time to a point in embryonic development before they had committed to becoming facial skin. The rejuvenated cells were able to grow into all the main tissue types in the body, including muscle, gut, cartilage, neurons and heart cells.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What About Lymphocytes?

The photopheresis procedures that I am receiving at COH for the next several weeks (until the GVHD skin rash is gone), is explained by the following LINKS and experts.

Essentially, this is an effort to combat lymphocytes in my blood that are correctly handling their assignment to attack "foreign" bodies, but the problem is my blood is now sourced from my donor and the lymphocytes have been tricked into thinking that my skin (perhaps other organs, too) are foreign. Actually, all my blood tests indicate that the reaction is limited to the skin rash and that condition is sustaining, but improving at this time.

From the experts: "A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell in the vertebrate immune system. By their appearance under the light microscope, there are two broad categories of lymphocytes, namely the large granular lymphocytes and the small lymphocytes. Functionally distinct subsets of lymphocytes correlate with their appearance. Most, but not all large granular lymphocytes are more commonly known as the natural killer cells (NK cells). The small lymphocytes are the T cells and B cells. Lymphocytes play an important and integral role in the body's defenses. An average human body contains about 1012 lymphoid cells, and the lymphoid tissue as a whole represents about 2% of the total body weight."


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