U of L gets patents for new cancer treatments, spinal cord treatments and a new bone graft product

The University of Louisville Research Foundation has recently been awarded patents for improved cancer treatments, a new bone graft material, and therapies for spinal cord damage, and two of the inventions are already licensed and will soon be utilized by the health care system, according to a School of Medicine news release.

The patent for a new bone graft cement called Trabexus EB is one of the patent’s that has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use. This bone replacement cement will be used by orthopedic surgeons to repair bones damaged through injury, tumor or other defects, according to the release.

Another recently patented treatment involves a “revolutionary” new way to treat paralysis following spinal cord injury that incorporates epidural stimulation to activate the spinal cord. This treatment, along with physical training and medications, allows individuals with spinal cord injury to have voluntary control of body movements and improve heart, lung and other autonomic functions. Research participants for this treatment have been able to move and stand unassisted, with some improvements in heart, pulmonary and bladder function, according to the release.

The foundation has also received a patent for an improvement to a cancer therapy that enhances immunotherapies used for the treatment of cancer and chronic viral infections, like HIV. This new method of stimulating the immune system “has significant potential” to make immunotherapies more effective and help protect against recurrence of the disease, according to the release.

They have also received a patent for software that detects areas of depleted lung function during radiation treatment for lung cancer and other lung diseases. This new 4-D computed tomography (CT) image analysis software can be used with existing lung imaging during radiation therapy to detect early changes in lung elasticity, allowing the treatment to be adjusted to prevent permanent breathing problems, according to the release.

U of L also received a patent for a treatment that can repair the spinal cord by taking a tissue biopsy from a patient’s nose, isolating the stem cells from it, and then using these stem cells to regenerate the spinal cord to repair an injury. This treatment can also be used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. This method of generating the stem cells has been licensed from UofL by RhinoCyte Inc. and is scheduled for a concept study at the University of Louisville Hospital with Phase I/II clinical trials beginning in 2016.

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