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Open Access Olfactory Ensheathing Cell Neurorestorotherapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients: Benefits From Multiple Transplantations

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Our previous series of studies have proven that olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) transplantation appears to be able to slow the rate of clinical progression after OEC transplantation in the first 4 months and cell intracranial (key points for neural network restoration, KPNNR) and/or intraspinal (impaired segments) implants provide benefit for patients (including both the bulbar onset and limb onset subtypes) with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here we report the results of cell therapy in patients with ALS on the basis of long-term observation following multiple transplants. From March of 2003 to January of 2010, 507 ALS patients received our cellular treatment. Among them, 42 patients underwent further OEC therapy by the route of KPNNR for two or more times (two times in 35 patients, three times in 5 patients, four times in 1 patient, and five times in 1 patient). The time intervals are 13.1 (6‐60) months between the first therapy and the second one, 15.2 (8‐24) months between the second therapy and the third one, 16 (6‐26) months between the third therapy and the fourth one, and 9 months between the fourth therapy and the fifth time. All of the patients exhibited partial neurological functional recovery after each cell-based administration. Firstly, the scores of the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALS-FRS) and ALS Norris Scale increased by 2.6 + 2.4 (0‐8) and 4.9 + 5.2 (0‐20) after the first treatment, 1.1 + 1.3 (0‐5) and 2.3 + 2.9 (0‐13) after the second treatment, 1.1 + 1.5 (0‐4), and 3.4 + 6.9 (0‐19) after the third treatment, 0.0 + 0.0 (0‐0), and 2.5 + 3.5 (0‐5) after the fourth treatment, and 1 point after the fifth cellular therapy, which were evaluated by independent neurologists. Secondly, the majority of patients have achieved improvement in electromyogram (EMG) assessments after the first, second, third, and fourth cell transplantation. After the first treatment, among the 42 patients, 36 (85.7%) patients' EMG test results improved, the remaining 6 (14.3%) patients' EMG results showed no remarkable change. After the second treatment, of the 42 patients, 30 (71.4%) patients' EMG results improved, 11 (26.2%) patients showed no remarkable change, and 1 (2.4%) patient became worse. After the third treatment, out of the 7 patients, 4 (57.1%) patients improved, while the remaining 3 (42.9%) patients showed no change. Thirdly, the patients have partially recovered their breathing ability as demonstrated by pulmonary functional tests. After the first treatment, 20 (47.6%) patients' pulmonary function ameliorated. After the second treatment, 18 (42.9%) patients' pulmonary function improved. After the third treatment, 2 (28.6%) patients recovered some pulmonary function. After the fourth and fifth treatment, patients' pulmonary function did not reveal significant change. The results show that multiple doses of cellular therapy definitely serve as a positive role in the treatment of ALS. This repeated and periodic cell-based therapy is strongly recommended for the patients, for better controlling this progressive deterioration disorder.

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Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Clinical study; Multiple transplantation; Neurorestorotherapy; Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Neurorestoratology, Beijing Rehabilitation Center, Beijing, P.R. China

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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