Cysts stall stem cell trial?

Just over a week after the linkurl:Geron Corporation;http://www.geron.com/ announced that the linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.fda.gov/ (FDA) had linkurl:placed a hold on its stem cell trial;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55898/ aimed at treating patients with spinal cord injury with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), the company linkurl:revealed a reason:;http://www.geron.com/media/pressview.aspx?id=1188 microscopic cysts. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedi

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Aug 26, 2009
Just over a week after the linkurl:Geron Corporation;http://www.geron.com/ announced that the linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.fda.gov/ (FDA) had linkurl:placed a hold on its stem cell trial;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55898/ aimed at treating patients with spinal cord injury with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), the company linkurl:revealed a reason:;http://www.geron.com/media/pressview.aspx?id=1188 microscopic cysts.
Human embryonic stem cells
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Nissim Benvenisty
The cysts had appeared with a "very low frequency" in previous animal experiments of the drug GRNOPC1, but were "non-proliferative, confined to the injury site, and had no adverse effects on the animals," Geron's statement said. In a more recent animal trial, however, the cysts showed up more often, although again, they were small and did not appear to be harmful in any way. In fact, the statement pointed out, cysts are not uncommon in victims of spinal cord injury, developing in the spinal cord scar tissue in up to 50% of patients. "I...
The Scientist




Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?