Navigation Links
Timing for clinical trials for stem cell therapy in spinal cord injuries is right

Regenerative medicine in spinal cord injuries (SCI) is proving to help the human body create new cell and nerve connections that are severed during this type of injury. In a review of current scientific research for stem cell treatment in SCI published this month in the Springer journal Neurotheraputics, Dr. Michael Fehlings and Dr. Reaz Vawda from the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, Toronto Western Hospital in Ontario, Canada, provide evidence that supports researchers moving beyond the lab to conduct human clinical trials for stem cells.

Spinal cord injuries remain one of the most difficult conditions to overcome. Despite the advances made in surgical interventions, drugs and rehabilitation programs, the cascade of damage that ultimately affects the body at the cellular level cannot be reversed.

Stem cell research brings tremendous hope to those who remain paralyzed after such a devastating injury. But according to Dr. Fehlings, patients are not able to realize the potential benefits of stem cell therapy because research is largely stuck in the laboratory.

"With the exception of a few clinical trials, current research is stalled at the animal model stage," said Dr. Fehlings. "Scientists from around the world have demonstrated as much as they can in lab models that stem cells have an impact on spinal cord injuries and can be transplanted into patients. Now we need the support and coordination of regulatory bodies to move this science forward."

The study critically evaluates 11 different cell types/sources and the evidence justifying their use. For example, BMSCs (Bone marrow stromal cells ) have an established safety record, as well as a beneficial effect after thoracic SCI. Glial restricted progenitors (GRPs) and oligodendrocytic progenitors (OPCs) are described to have a track record that favours the continuation of more clinical trials and Neural Progenitor Cells (NPC), of which one line of immortalized foetal NPCs has been subjected to extensive pre-clinical safety testing, may have potential benefits.

Spinal cord injuries not only cause life-long disability and carry major psychological effects, injuries to the cervical spine (neck) have a mortality rate of 10 percent in the first year following injury and an expected lifespan of only 10 15 years post injury.

Some of the evidence for increasing and expanding clinical trials from the study includes:

  • There are more than a dozen recently completed, ongoing or recruiting cell therapy clinical trials for SCI.
  • No experimental mode, rodent or otherwise, will completely mimic the human condition and it is an unrealistic hurdle for all pre-clincial findings to be validated in animals.
  • There are substantial pre-clinical and earlier clinical safety studies of satisfactory quality and reliability carried out so far to justify the immediate translation into the clinic.
  • Advances in the application of regenerative neuroscience to SCI can only be made with an investigative approach that balances excellent preclinical research with rigorous ethical clinical trials.

"At this time, a strong patient advocacy base would likely help provide momentum to help translate current research into clinical applications," said Dr. Fehlings. "Moving forward, all clinical trails must involve peer-reviewed assessment, regulation, independent monitoring, duplication, transparency and accurate record keeping of the every step of the process."

Dr. Fehlings acknowledges that no clinical intervention is 100 percent risk free and uses the examples of other novel therapies such as bone marrow transplantation and the polio vaccine to illustrate how science has forged ahead successfully, despite setbacks along the way.


Contact: Nadia Daniell-Colarossi

Related medicine news :

1. Content, Timing of TV Can Take Toll on Kids Sleep
2. For Young Kids With Pneumonia, Timing of Antibiotic Critical: Study
3. Healthy Brain Development May Be a Matter of Timing
4. Genes link puberty timing and body fat in women
5. Concentration, timing and interactions are key when it comes to dietary compounds
6. Penn-developed online informed consent tool could boost number of patients in cancer clinical trials
7. European Journal of Heart Failure publishes new randomized controlled clinical study of RESPeRATE
8. Non-verbal clues guide doctor-patient relationships, clinical judgments, U-M study finds
9. Abiraterone acetate improves fatigue in prostate cancer patients, says international clinical trial
10. TGen-Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center launches clinical trial for drug to treat lung cancer
11. John Theurer Cancer Center among first clinical trial sites to join landmark MMRF study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back ... to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full control over angle of ... Pulse masking effects, users are sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... affecting the health care in America. As people age, more care is needed, ... costs are rising, and medical professionals are being overworked. The forgotten part of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The print component of “Supporting ... Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 ... through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", ... delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing ... this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. ... Medical Associates, Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., ... observed that both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... Germany , Nov. 29, 2015  At ... invites attendees to experience the most complete mobile C-arm ... on display is Ziehm Vision RFD 3D, the world,s ... 16 cm edge length per scan volume. In addition, ... first fully motorized mobile C-arm in four axes which ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... YORK , November 27, 2015 ... system is set to go online. The potential to ... processes is vast and far from fully exploited as ... to patient health records, either via mobile tablet or ... ) --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> Medical ... response system (PERS) market is ... 5 years with APAC being ... to see a high CAGR ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: