Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to severe infection, impairing metabolic function across all organ systems--affecting some 28 million people and claiming 8 million victims worldwide each year. Septic shock can lead to permanent neurological and muscular damage. Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital hope to change these statistics with an innovative therapy using injections of mesenchymal stem cells.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania school of Dental Medicine have elucidated the mechanism behind mesenchymal stem cell transplants in lupus patients, who typically suffer greater risk of osteoporosis. Prior work with stem cells has led to improvements in their condition, but until the current study, the process by which gains were made have been poorly understood.
Researchers at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute have devised a successful, long-term treatment for relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The treatment approach seeks to ‘reboot’ the patient’s immune system by effectively erasing it and then rebooting it using the patient’s own [autologous] stem cells. The treatment resulted in a disease reversal rate of 86% and halted progression rate of 91% in patients participating in the study. Study patients underwent immunosuppressive therapy for up to four weeks, after which autologous stem cells were re-infused to restore a healthy immune systems. Patients were then followed for up to five years.
Kisha Sivanathan, a PhD student leading a team of researchers at the University of Adelaide, Australia, identified a major breakthrough in the cultivation and application of mesenchymal stem cells [MSC]. The research group looked at the interaction between MSCs and IL-17, a naturally occurring protein that occurs in the body during immune responses. The cells treated with IL-17 not only showed faster growth rates, but prevented the risk of potential rejection of stem cell tissue transplants.
In a recently published study, a team of researchers led by Dr. Giovanni Mancardi from the University of Genoa conducted a phase II clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of conventional multiple sclerosis [MS] therapy to intravenous stem cell transplantation. Throughout the four year trial, the team found that, in addition to significantly decreasing disease progression and brain damage compared to MS drug mitoxantrone [MTX], the transplanted stem cells had migrated into the patients’ bone marrow and stimulated the generation of new, non-harmful immune cells, essentially resetting the immune system.