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Open Access Stem Cell Transplantation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients: Methodological Approach, Safety, and Feasibility

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is characterized by the selective death of motor neurons. Stem cells have been proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy. The safety of stem cell transplantation into the frontal motor cortex to improve upper motor neuron function is described. Sixty-seven patients with definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were included. After giving their informed consent, the patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging, functional rating, pulmonary function test, and laboratory tests. Their bone marrow was stimulated with daily filgrastim (300 µg) given subcutaneously for 3 days. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were obtained by leukapheresis. Isolated CD133+ stem cells were suspended in 300 µl of the patient's cerebrospinal fluid and implanted into the motor cortex. Adverse events were recorded at each step of the procedure and were classified according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0. The survival at 1 year was 90% after transplantation. with a mean long-term survival rate of 40.17 months from diagnosis. The most common adverse events were in grades I‐II and involved transient skin pain (19.5% of patients) attributed to the insertion of the Mahurkar catheter into the subclavian vein, minor scalp pain (15.9%), and headache (12.2%) from the surgical procedure. Several patients (1.5 ‐ 4.5%) reported diverse grade I adverse events. There were two deaths, one considered to be associated with the procedure (1.5%) and the other associated with the disease. Autologous stem cell transplantation into the frontal motor cortex is safe and tolerated well by patients. Further controlled studies are required to define the efficacy of this procedure.
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Keywords: ALS; Safety; Stem cell: Transplant

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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