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Open Access Safety of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) Administration for Postrehabilitated Motor Complete Spinal Cord Injury Patients: An Open-Label, Phase I Study

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Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a major growth factor in the activation and differentiation of granulocytes. This cytokine has been widely and safely employed in different conditions over many years. In this translational study, G-CSF is administered to 19 patients with chronic motor complete spinal cord injury, and outcomes are reported. All 19 patients received subcutaneous G-CSF (5 µg/kg per day) for 5 days and were followed for at least 6 months. The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale was used for motor and sensory assessment, and the International Association of Neurorestoratology-Spinal Cord Injury Functional Rating Scale (IANR-SCIFRS) and the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) III were used to assess improvements in the ability to perform basic daily tasks. At the 6-month follow-up, upper extremity motor scores improved by 10, which was statistically significant (p = 0.007), whereas there were no significant changes in lower extremity motor scores. Also, the median of light touch sensory scores improved by 5 (p = 0.001). Pinprick sensory scores significantly improved (p = 0.002). The median increment in SCIM III total score was 7 (p = 0.001). The improvements in bladder and bowel management as well as moderate distance mobility subscales were also significant (p < 0.05). Total IANR-SCIFRS scores changed from 17 to 32, which was statistically significant (p = 0.001); again the bladder and bowel management subscale improvements were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Mild side effects of the G-CSF treatment such as bone pain, rash, fever, neuropathic pain, and spasticity were noted in a few patients; all of them resolved after 1 week. Our results indicate that G-CSF administration is a safe process and is associated with neurological as well as functional improvement. This manuscript is published as part of the International Association of Neurorestoratology (IANR) supplement issue of Cell Transplantation.

Keywords: Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF); Neuroprotective therapy; Rehabilitation; Spinal cord injury (SCI)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 17, 2013

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.

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