Encouraging, positive results of a clinical trial using a new stem cell therapy to treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are about to be presented next week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. This is a phase I clinical trial performed at the Tisch MS Research Center of New York. Phase I clinical trials are designed to determine if a new treatment is safe. This clinical trial was not only successful in showing that this new stem cell therapy had no serious adverse events, but it also showed significant improvement in patient’s symptoms and disabilities.
Now, there are several clinics in the USA and abroad advertising stem cell therapies to cure all kinds of neurologic disorders, including MS. It is very important to note that the stem cell therapy used on the clinical trial mentioned above is very different from the ones offered at these clinics. These clinics use a single dosage of mesenchymal stem cells derived from fat administered through an intravenous infusion. The clinical trial from the Tisch Center uses mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells from bone marrow administered using intrathecal (into the spinal sac) injections. Multiple doses were administered during a 3-month treatment period. It is also important to note that this Phase I trial is only the beginning. A phase II clinical trial is set to begin early next year, and if that is successful, then a phase III trial will be needed. Even if successful, it will probably take several years before this treatment is available clinically.
At Regenerative Orthopedic Institute we don’t treat MS. We treat only orthopedic conditions. But, several years ago, during my early days as a Rehabilitation Medicine specialist, I treated many patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is for that reason, and because these news highlight the tremendous untapped potential of stem cell therapies, that I find this to be of particular interest. There is a revolution going on in medicine right now. Regenerative medicine is already changing the way we practice medicine, and this revolution is not limited to the field of orthopedics. We should expect much, much more to come in the near future. These are very exciting times indeed, and we are extremely happy to be a small part of this regenerative medicine revolution.
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