Health

First Cell Transplant Trial Was Successful but is It Safe?

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We always strive to come up with something that helps us heal the human condition. A lot of people, including those that suffer from spinal cord damage, want to get healed and they want to experience having a normal life again.

Stem cells have become quite a hot topic in the scientific field because of the notion that it can potentially be the cure for many that ails the mankind.

Although most of the stem cell studies have been done on primates and rats and there are only a couple of human subjects. However, one use-case could potentially be legalized in a few months’ time as it could potentially help people with spinal cord problems lead a normal and healthy life again.

There is a scheduled stem cell transplant that is going to commence soon and according to Neurologist Eva Feldman of the University of Michigan, it is going to be a ground-breaking study.

The Research

There are four willing participants in the study and all of them have severe spinal injuries. They are about to undergo stem cell therapy in order to help them replenish the damaged neurons in their spinal cord and it, hopefully, repairs their bodies in a way that will allow them to live healthy and normal lives.

Although there are no known treatments of this kind as of now, repeated studies on primates revealed that the stem cells that are derived from humans could potentially initiate the full recovery of the downstream musculature.

Severe spinal injuries may have dangerous implications and it is characterized by the sufferer’s seeming inability to use the lower half of their bodies. It is believed that the stem cells could potentially repair the mechanisms that will initiate the repair and recovery process, but that has only been proven in primates as of yet.

The work of both Martin Marsala and Joseph Ciacci of the University of California, San Diego, and their colleagues have shown that the use of the human Neural stem cell line NSI-566 (which, by the way, has already been approved by the FDA for human trials), is set to make huge accomplishments in the field of medicine.

In their previous work, they found out that the said stem cell line was able to repair the nerve endings of damaged rats. They’ve then proceeded to study it in pigs and the results were the same!

That is why Marsala and Ciacci’s team went on to get some willing patients, which is why we arrived at the four patients who are willing to undergo the treatment and, therefore, become the subjects of the study.

So, the study involves a total of six injections, with 200,000 cells per injection. Each patient would receive six injections and their motor and sensory skills are going to be monitored throughout the study.
 


The Result

All of the subjects underwent follow-up visits, but the problem was that they didn’t report and improvement to their condition. Still, the study was deemed safe, but it is back to the drawing board for these scientists to come up with a working solution.