STEM CELL THERAPY FOR IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS: A PROTOCOL PROPOSAL
Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis represents a lethal form of progressive fibrotic lung disorder with gradually increasing incidence worldwide. Despite intense research efforts, its pathogenesis is still elusive and controversial reflecting in the current disappointing status regarding its treatment. Patients and Methods: We report the first protocol proposal of a prospective, unicentric, non-randomized, phase Ib clinical trial to study the safety and tolerability of the adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) stromal vascular fraction (SVF) as a therapeutic agent in IPF. After careful patient selection based on functional criteria (forced vital capacity-FVC > 50%, diffuse lung capacity for carbon monoxide-DLCO > 35% of the predicted values) all eligible subjects will be subjected to lipoaspiration resulting in the isolation of approximately 100- 500 gr of adipose tissue. After preparation, isolation, and labelling ADSCs-SVF will be endobronchially infused to both lower lobes of the fibrotic lungs. Procedure will be repeated thrice at monthly intervals. Primary end-point represent safety and tolerability data, while exploratory secondary end-points include assessment of clinical functional and radiological status. Results: Preliminary results recently presented in the form of an abstract seem promising and tantalizing since there were no cases of clinically significant allergic reactions, infections, disease acute exacerbations or ectopic tissue formation. In addition 6 months follow-up data revealed a marginal improvement at 6-minute walking distance and forced vital capacity.
Conclusions: Adipose tissue represents an abundant, safe, ethically uncontested and potentially beneficial source of stem cells for patients with IPF. Larger multicenter phase II and III placebo-controlled clinical trials are sorely needed in order to prove efficacy. However, pilot safety studies are of major importance and represent the first hamper that should be overcome to establish a rigid basis for larger clinical trials.
NON-EXPANDED ADIPOSE STROMAL VASCULAR FRACTION CELL THERAPY FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
The stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue is known to contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), T regulatory cells, endothelial precursor cells, preadipocytes, as well as anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. Safety of autologous adipose tissue implantation is supported by extensive use of this procedure in cosmetic surgery, as well as by ongoing studies using in vitro expanded adipose derived MSC. Equine and canine studies demonstrating anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects of non-expanded SVF cells have yielded promising results. Although non-expanded SVF cells have been used successfully in accelerating healing of Crohn’s fistulas, to our knowledge clinical use of these cells for systemic immune modulation has not been reported. In this communication we discuss the rationale for use of autologous SVF in treatment of multiple sclerosis and describe our experiences with three patients. Based on this rationale and initial experiences, we propose controlled trials of autologous SVF in various inflammatory conditions.
EFFECT OF LOW-LEVEL LASER IRRADIATION AND EPIDERMAL GROWTH FACTOR ON ADULT HUMAN ADIPOSE-DERIVED STEM CELLS
The study investigated the effects of low-level laser radiation and epidermal growth factor (EGF) on adult adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) isolated from human adipose tissue. Isolated cells were cultured to semi- confluence, and the monolayers of ADSCs were exposed to low-level laser at 5 J/cm2 using 636 nm diode laser. Cell viability and proliferation were monitored using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) luminescence and optical density at 0 h, 24 h and 48 h after irradiation. Application of low-level laser irradiation at 5 J/cm2 on human ADSCs cultured with EGF increased the viability and proliferation of these cells. The results indicate that low-level laser irradiation in combination with EGF enhances the proliferation and maintenance of ADSCs in vitro.
STEM CELL THERAPY FOR AUTISM
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental conditions whose incidence is reaching epidemic proportions, afflicting approximately 1 in 166 children. Autistic disorder, or autism is the most common form of ASD. Although several neurophysiological alterations have been associated with autism, immune abnormalities and neural hypoperfusion appear to be broadly consistent. These appear to be causative since correlation of altered inflammatory responses, and hypoperfusion with symptology is reported. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are in late phases of clinical development for treatment of graft versus host disease and Crohn’s Disease, two conditions of immune dysregulation. Cord blood CD34+ cells are known to be potent angiogenic stimulators, having demonstrated positive effects in not only peripheral ischemia, but also in models of cerebral ischemia. Additionally, anecdotal clinical cases have reported responses in autistic children receiving cord blood CD34+ cells. We propose the combined use of MSC and cord blood CD34+cells may be useful in the treatment of autism.