Marshall and CGT Global Partner to Advance Life-Saving Medical Research

StemExpress is in the March 2015 issue of Style Magazine in the “For Your Health” section. The article covers the working relationship between StemExpress and Marshall Hospital to continue to advance life-saving medical research.

Pioneering the Future of Medicine

Medical advances and breakthroughs are happening today at a breakneck pace, and the hub of it all is bio-medical research. One local firm is on that leading edge. StemExpress is a multi-million dollar company headquartered in Placerville, which procures and isolates blood and tissue samples for bio medical research around the world.

Founded in 2010 by CEO Cate Dyer, StemExpress has national reach and global impact. It’s now working with Marshall Medical on a number of important initiatives that will change and save lives. Already the partnership is delivering better care to some of Marshall’s patients through specific tests and procedures to which StemExpress has provided access. Much more is on the horizon, says StemExpress’ Cate Dyer. “Today we’re focusing on two fronts, the first is what we can do now to advance medicine and provide better care, yet equally important is the future research and ongoing breakthroughs our work can be a critical part of.

Cate points to several programs now underway that are already seeing success with Marshall. For pregnant women who are older, the recommended amniocentesis screening for genetic defects can be a source of terrible trauma, with a miscarriage and complication rate that is more than a blip. Now, with an introduction from StemExpress, Marshall patients are able to receive instead a test called MaterniT21 by Sequenom, Inc., which is a simple blood test that virtually replaces the more invasive and dangerous screening.

Also in the realm of maternity offerings, Marshall supplies StemExpress with all-important umbilical cord blood from moms who aren’t going to bank it themselves. “This free service to patients is a huge win for moms who want their cord blood to make a difference in the world but who aren’t able to bank it themselves due to the high cost of the service.” Cate explains that cord blood donations have a major impact on medical research that is already improving and benefiting human life.

A bonus to the relationship between StemExpress and Marshall is that Marshall’s lab is now receiving blood samples sent to StemExpress from hospitals and universities nationwide, and is completing the necessary screening for infectious disease. Marshall CEO James Whipple says being able to provide the services demanded by this type of medical work is highly rewarding. “I think some people still think of Marshall as a little, basic hospital in the woods, but our work with StemExpress and the confidence they have placed in our capabilities speaks to the high quality medical services we can and do provide the community.”

On the horizon for Marshall and StemExpress is an exciting and revolutionary cancer related treatment known as leukapheresis. When a patient is to undergo chemotherapy, this FDA-approved procedure takes a “leukopak” or collection of the patient’s blood cells before they are affected by chemotherapy. The white cells and stem cells are stored and then re-transfused back to the patient following treatment to help restore the healthy blood cells that chemo destroys, thus improving the patient’s health and immune system. Cate says, “This is a significant advancement in cancer treatment and we hope to bring it to Marshall’s cancer patients as soon as is feasible.” Currently, the closest facility this is available at is Stanford; efforts to bring it to Marshall are occurring. Advancements in prostate cancer treatment are also being explored.

StemExpress and Marshall share a collective sense of purpose and optimism about the work they are currently doing together, as well as what the future holds.

“Stem cells and regenerative medicine are the future of medicine, and we’re doing that together, right here in El Dorado County,” Cate says.

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