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ctt-journal > Editorial CTT Vol. 1 No. 4

Editorial CTT Vol. 1 No. 4

Cellular Therapy and Transplantation (CTT), Vol. 1, No. 4



When we were asked to edit a special issue of Cellular Therapy and Transplantation (CTT) on the topic of Gene and Cell Therapy, it was quite clear that this would be a demanding task. As is well known, there are a number of excellent, high-ranked journals representing (or cooperating with) the leading international and national societies established in this research area. For a newcomer journal this means tough competition to get some manuscripts of significant impact.

Despite its relatively short history, CTT has already established a nice tradition which made life much easier. The journal tries to devote some space to historical, ground-breaking work. It wasn’t too difficult to identify a publication cited in multiple gene therapy reviews, but hardly read by any of the younger researchers due to accessibility problems. In fact, the manuscript by Edward Tatum based on a lecture he gave in May 1966 contains a very concrete and elaborate vision of the possibilities offered by a novel technique which he named genetic therapy. The visionary power of Tatum’s article is really astonishing; particularly if one considers that he wrote his article at a time when the techniques of recombinant DNA were still to be invented. As good Science fiction Tatum’s article is still, more than 40 years after its publication, very enjoyable, even if one does not agree with all his ideas. We suggest that going back to the roots will be interesting for everybody working in the field.

We are also happy that Charles Coutelle from Imperial College London, a pioneer in basic and translational gene therapy research, agreed to write a Commentary on Tatum’s article. This commentary is much more than reminiscence; analyzing Tatum’s work from the today’s point of view Charles raises a number of important and critical issues to be resolved in modern genetics and gene therapy.

The present issue contains two very interesting articles on regulatory issues in gene and cell therapy, one by Christine Voelkel and colleagues devoted to retrovirus-mediated gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells, and the other by Anja Elstner et al. on the regulatory landscape in human ES cell research. We are certain that these contributions will be of interest for many readers active or interested in clinical gene therapy and ES stem cell research.

We are pleased to present the work by Vera V. Sergeevicheva and colleagues on a clinical study with mesenchymal stromal cells in Novosibirsk, Russia. The authors found improved hematopoietic recovery in MSC-treated hemoblastosis (proliferative disorders of blood-forming cells) patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This publication also underlines the journal’s policy to provide space for important contributions from Eastern countries.

The introduction of novel ways of publishing is another main focus of CTT. In line with this, this issue contains a video publication on the in vitro behavior of MSC. The contribution by Claudia Lange and colleagues clearly illustrates the advantages associated with the novel possibilities of data presentation offered by the internet.

Sooner or later many researchers working with last-generation Becton Dickinson flow cytometers experience that with regard to data presentation and figure export, FACS-Diva software clearly represents a pain point of these high-end devices. In their Method paper, Kristoffer Weber and Boris Fehse introduce their straightforward and easy method to overcome these limitations, step-by-step.

Diagnostics and therapy of Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia have been revolutionized in the last decade. This was a stimulus for the journal to devote this issue’s state-of-the art Hematology review to these topics. We are happy that Nikolay N. Mamaev accepted the Editor’s invitation and provided a very comprehensive overview on Ph+ leukemia.

Finally, we use the current issue of CTT to introduce a novel format in the journal, namely a Forum for the discussion of topics of interest for the scientific community. The first contribution to the Forum section comes from Alexey I. Nevorotin who, based on his own extensive experience, provides writing advice for Russian scientists who want to publish their results in English-language journals. We are very grateful that Robert M. Frederickson, one of the most experienced editors in the field, currently Editor of Molecular Therapy, one of the top journals in experimental medicine, agreed to contribute his personal view on this topic in a comprehensive article also published in the Forum section of this issue.

Besides the contributors we have to thank the colleagues who made this issue possible. Firstly, thanks to the managing editor Claudia Koltzenburg and her team (René J. Hornung, Liudmila Lashkouskaya, Melissa Pritchard, and Anna Starikova) who have done a great job.

Following another nice tradition of the journal we are delighted to thank the reviewers of this issue for their invaluable help: Ulrike Bacher, Alexey B. Chukhlovin, Ulrike Köhl, Srinivas Koduru, Claudia Lange, Binghua Li, Vladimir Prassolov, Axel Schambach, Bernd Schiedlmeier, Sonja Schrepfer, Alexander B. Smolyaninov, Anna G. Turkina, and Anke Wahlers. Also, we have to thank The Johns Hopkins University Press for the opportunity to obtain a reprint licence of the Tatum article. Last but not least, we are indebted to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for supporting this open access journal project.

Boris Fehse                Christopher Baum