The Center for Cell-based Therapy (CTC) is made up of a group of researchers of USP and of the Regional Blood Center of Ribeirão Preto who are interested in understanding the biology of stem cells, as well as in developing new technology for their use in the treatment of diseases. The group of researchers engages physicians, biologists, biomedical professionals, pharmacists, and veterinarians, among others, that worked together since 2000.
The researchers at CTC were responsible for the generation of the first embryonic stem cell line in Brazil and produced one of the first bovine and ovine clones in the country.
In the laboratory, CTC researchers have an interest in signaling pathways of mammalian and human embryonic stem cells, in animal and human adult cells reprogramming to the embryonic state of pluripotency (iPS cells) and in the functioning of adult stem cells, such as hematopoietic, mesenchymal and cancer stem cells.
From stem cells derived from healthy people, CTC scientists investigate ways of producing blood components as an alternative source of blood transfusion. In the laboratory, other researchers use iPS cells derived from patients with blood disorders to better understand how these diseases happen and how they could be prevented or better treated.
In the clinical area, researcher-physicians develop new methods of diagnosis and new treatment for leukemia, and also use new stem cells, like mesenchymal stem cells, for the treatment of many diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, systemic sclerosis, and aplastic anemia. CTC relies upon laboratories of cell and molecular biology and cell culture and inpatient units of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Ribeirão Preto, Pirassununga, and São Paulo.
Research conducted within the Cell Therapy Center, USP (CTC) as to bring benefits to Brazilian society the possibility of obtaining more efficient medications, developed with Brazilian technology.
Among the advances made, in the past few years, divulged by the press and scientific journals, we highlight the development of a platform for expanding genetically modified T cells for treating patients with leukemia and lymphomas; the discovery of the onset of X chromosome inactivation during human embryonic development; the advances in the treatment of systemic and multiple sclerosis; the new perspectives on fighting one of the most aggressive types of brain tumor, astrocytoma; the inhibition of melanoma cells in culture; studies on telomeres; and the formation of a cell bank with the genetics of the Brazilian population.
Patients submitted to a procedure that “resets” the immune system were tracked for a year by scientists at a FAPESP-supported research center. Their clinical improvement correlated with renewal of a group of defense cells known as B lymphocytes.
A study conducted by researchers at the Center for Cell-Based Therapy in São Paulo state, Brazil, identified a genetic signature that can be used to predict whether patients should be submitted to radiation therapy.
Pro-Vaccine Union, an initiative of the University of São Paulo in partnership with other organizations including Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers funded by FAPESP, is monitoring anti-vaccine groups on Facebook in an effort to understand the workings of the social media ecosystem that spreads disinformation.
Scientists at a research center supported by FAPESP identified a non-inherited mutation in blood cells from a patient with GATA2 deficiency that may have prevented bone marrow failure and other clinical manifestations.
Monoclonal antibody tested by researchers at University of São Paulo and experimental drug given to patients in Italy by University of Pennsylvania research group promoted rapid improvement of respiratory function in patients hospitalized in severe condition.
Estimate is based on testing of 700 inhabitants of Ribeirão Preto in early May. Another round of testing will be conducted in June. The study is carried out by the University of São Paulo in partnership with the city’s health department.
Scientists affiliated with the FAPESP-funded Center for Cell-Based Therapy have collected plasma from donors and are conducting a trial to check the safety and effectiveness of passive immunization.
The initiative is coordinated by Butantan Institute and includes units in several cities accredited by Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL), the regional reference laboratory. Short supply is the main bottleneck delaying the expansion of testing in the state.