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Open Access Feasibility, Safety, and Preliminary Proof of Principles of Autologous Neural Stem Cell Treatment Combined With T-Cell Vaccination for ALS Patients

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Uncontrolled activation of the innate immune system promotes the deterioration of neurons in different neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). T-cell vaccination (TCV) was developed by Irun Cohen and coworkers at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) during the late 1970s and has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for human autoimmune diseases and a regulator of macrophage activation in animal models. We treated seven ALS patients with this cell therapy and were able to slow or stop disease progression in the affected individuals. The median survival, which is 3.5 years, was extended to 6 years. They were also treated with autologous adult neural stem cells associated with effector T cells. The observed neurologic improvements after treatment lasted for at least 1 year. Clinical recovery in the treated ALS patients was confirmed by an independent, skilled neurologist using the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R). TCV in conjunction with an autologous neural stem cell treatment might be a feasible, minimally invasive, safe, and effective approach to obtain enduring therapeutic effects in ALS patients.

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Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Neural stem cells; T-cell vaccination (TCV)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: CIITT, Maimonides University, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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  • 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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