University in Miami is researching mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cord tissue for the treatment of severe pneumonia in COVID-19 / Initial tests promising / Further patient studies worldwide on the safety and effectiveness of MSCs from umbilical cord tissue in COVID-19
Mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue have great potential in the treatment of corona patients. This was shown by researchers from the University of Miami. The team around Dr. Camillo Ricordi reports on the promising results of the latest study in the journal "Stem Cells Translational Medicine"1. By treating severely ill COVID-19 patients with MSCs made from umbilical cord tissue, doctors have significantly increased their chances of survival1. "These are very positive approaches for the therapeutic application possibilities of MSCs from umbilical cord tissue, which of course still have to be verified in the further course. However, they clearly show what role these stem cells can play in modern medicine," comments Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch, CEO of the umbilical cord blood bank Vita 34.
HIGH CHANCE OF SURVIVAL AFTER STEM CELL THERAPY
The scientists in Miami had managed to heal the extensive destruction of lung tissue in severely ill COVID-19 patients by using MSCs from the umbilical cord tissue. In their study, the scientists treated 24 seriously ill corona patients: Twelve patients received MSCs from umbilical cord tissue, twelve patients received a placebo solution. The result after one month: In the group of patients who received a placebo solution, seven of the twelve patients died. In the group of patients treated with stem cells, only one patient died from COVID-19. In addition, a significantly faster recovery time could be demonstrated in the stem cell-treated patients1.
The study is now to be expanded. The novel stem cell therapy could soon be used in a large number of corona patients who are not yet seriously ill. It should be investigated whether a severe course can be prevented in advance.
WORLDWIDE RESEARCH EFFORTS
The University of Miami study follows previous research. As early as mid-2020, US researchers, including those from the renowned Harvard Medical School, summarized the suitability of MSCs from umbilical cord tissue for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia in a specialist article2.
Based on previous knowledge, the use of stem cells appears safe and effective. They are an option that can be implemented quickly, especially for severe COVID-19 courses, it said2.
In China, it was already possible last year to cure severe COVID-19 pneumonia in a patient with the help of MSCs from the umbilical cord tissue3. And in France, doctors are investigating the safety and effectiveness of umbilical cord-derived MSCs in another study4. For this purpose, seriously ill COVID-19 patients who are dependent on artificial ventilation are randomly assigned to two treatment groups. In addition to intensive care treatment, you will receive either the stem cells as an infusion or a placebo solution. At the end of the study, the two groups will then be compared. The doctors assume that concrete statements on the effectiveness of the stem cells can be made in May 20214.
dr Wolfgang Knirsch: “Various medical teams worldwide are investigating the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment approach in patient studies. Her hope is that stem cells from the umbilical cord, which a child no longer needs after birth, can be used to treat serious illnesses. It is above all the special properties that make MSCs from umbilical cord tissue appear so promising. The stem cells recognize foci of inflammation in the human body and migrate to them via the bloodstream. There they release various signaling molecules that trigger regeneration processes. In this way, the stem cells have an immune-regulating effect, which means they dampen violent immune reactions, such as those that also occur in severe cases of COVID-19.”
1 Lanzoni G, Linetsky E, Correa D, et al. Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome: A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized controlled trial. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2021. doi:10.1002/sctm.20-0472.
2 Atluri S; Manchikanti L; Hirsch JA Expanded Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs) as a Therapeutic Strategy in Managing Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: The Case for Compassionate Use. Pain Physician. 2020;23(2):E71-E83.
3 Bing Liang, Junhui Chen, Tao Li, et al. Clinical remission of a critically ill COVID-19 patient treated by human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells. http://chinaxiv.org/abs/202002.00084. Updated February 27, 2020.
4 Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Paris. NCT04333368: Cell Therapy Using Umbilical Cord-derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in SARS-CoV-2-related ARDS. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04333368. Updated April 22, 2020. Accessed April 22, 2020.
Source: Press release Vita 34 from January 28.01.2021th, XNUMX