November 27, 2003
TriStem Claims Converts Blood Cells To Stem Cells

New Scientist magazine has a report about the claims of London UK biotech company TriStem that it has developed a very rapid way to convert blood cells to less differentiated stem cells.

TriStem has been claiming for years that it can take a half a litre of anyone's blood, extract the white blood cells and make them revert to a "stem-cell-like" state within hours. The cells can be turned into beating heart cells for mending hearts, nerve cells for restoring brains and so on.

The company has now finally provided proof that at least some of its claims might be true. In collaboration with independent researchers in the US, the company has used its technique to turn white blood cells into the blood-generating stem cells found in bone marrow.

The ability to dedifferentiate stem cells (the article uses the term retrodifferentiation) would be incredibly valuable just for leukemia treatment. Though if all their claims are correct the number of applications would be enormous. TriStem hasn't yet proven all their claims and if you read the full article you will find different scientists voicing varying degrees of skepticism about those claims. But TriStem has begun to demonstrate some of their claims to outside scientists including Tim McCaffrey of George Washington University and a clinical trial in Britain will attempt to use TriStem's technique to treat aplastic anemia with results due by March 2004. So we will soon know a lot more about their claims.

The ability to use a person's own blood cells, dedifferentiate them and to grow them in large number for conversion into a wide variety of cell types would provide the advantages of hESC while avoiding political opposition in the form of the types of ethical objections which have been raised about the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Such cells would have a big advantage over hESCs because the use of hESCs from another person poses potential immune incompatibility problems whereas one's own cells are unlikely to cause an auto-immune response.

There have been a lot of reports lately of success using and manipulating adult stem cells. See recent posts MIT Technique To Produce Large Numbers Of Adult Stem Cells, Stem Cells On Spinal Cord Injury Opened Connection To Brain, and Adult Stem Cell Research Promising For Heart, Lung Disease.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 November 27 09:52 PM  Biotech Organ Replacement

m. michels said at January 16, 2004 12:00 PM:

I can't seem to find a stock symbal for the UK TriStem corp. that is investigating blood there a stock?

scott said at January 19, 2004 2:20 PM:

how does one volunteer?
i have AML and am weeks away from an unrelated double cord blood stem cell transplant.
i emailed tristem the other day and am still waiting for a response.

Janet Kingsley said at May 16, 2004 9:45 AM:

Where can I find the results of the Tristem research with the 10 aplastic anemia patients that was conducted in the winter of 2003-2004? Was it published in March? If so, where?

Thank you.

Janet Kingsley

Kathryn Collins said at November 7, 2004 5:16 PM:

As my husband is a C4/5 quadriplegica I would like to know if and when clinical trials will be carried out for spinal cord injuries.

It would be wonderful if this was true but as I have been waiting for 17 years for someone to do "something" for the paralysed, I think I might be told this is still a pipe dream and will not be performed for another 10 years.

I would really appreciate if you could tell us, "is there is any hope" for curing spinal cord injuries of this wonderful article I have just read.

Kind Regards,

L Arnold said at December 6, 2004 12:53 PM:

I too am interested to know when clinical trials will be available. My father is a stroke-victim with out use of his right arm. He has severe aphasia, and can not communicate verbally. Very distressing to him and family.

Marwan Bataineh said at July 23, 2005 1:19 PM:

Mr. Randall Parker column "TriStem Claims Converts Blood Cells To Stem Cells" on 27 November 2003.

I would like to update Mr. Parker information re. the recent work done by Tristem Corp. In May 2004 four patients with aplastic anemia were treated and noe after 14 months still doing improving. Since February this year Tristem Copr. Have treated a total of 28 patients With following disease: aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, Thalassaemia,, diabetes type one, two spinal cord injury cases, one muscular dystrophy and very recently one ALS case. All these cases showed very promising results, even some were nothing short of a miracle.

This great work that is giving people with terminal diseases new hope for a better life is being overlooked by the mainstream medical community, either due to ignorance, prejudice or fear. Fear because the premise of stem cell threatens the conventional medical wisdom and consequently their very existence. and I donít want to begin talking about the obvious threat to the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr. Parker, if you are really interested to find out more about the work of Tristem Corp. you can contact them directly.

Mohammad Meerza said at September 25, 2006 10:12 PM:

A friend of mine is suffering from Multiple Myeloma and been going through chemotherapy for the last couple of months with the aim to get him ready for Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation.
Can he be treated by Tristem procedure? It is appreciated if information is volunteered!
We need to take our decision by late October 2006.

Sandeep Sodhi said at November 29, 2007 11:42 PM:

my girlfriend have lymphoma in bone marrow and now is aplastic anemia
have anyone got any contact or volunteered for tristem?

comments will be welcome ,
please email me at

thank you

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