Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Timing for clinical trials for stem cell therapy in spinal cord injuries is right, review suggests

Date:
October 19, 2011
Source:
Springer
Summary:
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. A new review provide evidence that supports researchers moving beyond the lab to conduct human clinical trials for stem cells.

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael G. Fehlings, Reaz Vawda. Cellular Treatments for Spinal Cord Injury: The Time is Right for Clinical Trials. Neurotherapeutics, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s13311-011-0076-7

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Timing for clinical trials for stem cell therapy in spinal cord injuries is right, review suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018121847.htm>.
Springer. (2011, October 19). Timing for clinical trials for stem cell therapy in spinal cord injuries is right, review suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018121847.htm
Springer. "Timing for clinical trials for stem cell therapy in spinal cord injuries is right, review suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018121847.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins