Cells From Placenta Are Safe For Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

By on September 29, 2014

According to a new study Multiple Sclerosis treatment in which cells cultured from human placental tissue are used is safely tolerable for Multiple Sclerosis patients.

This study, which is first of its kind, is conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics subsidiary of Celgene Corporation and collaborators at several other institutions.

It was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Fred Lublin, MD, Director is the lead investigator of this study, who is from the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis, and Professor of Neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment - Placental CellsMultiple Sclerosis, in short known as MS is a chronic autoimmune disease, in which the myelin, which is a fatty, protective coating around nerve fibers present in central nervous system are damaged by body’s immune system.

This results into malfunction of nerves, which may lead to paralysis or blindness. Generally, this diseases starts as an episodic disorder called relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and this condition may evolve as chronic condition in many sufferers, resulting into worsening disability known as secondary progressive MS (SPMS).

Although this study was designed to determine safety of the treatment, early signs from the data suggest for effective treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. According to the data, the cells cultured from human placental tissue known as PDA-001 may help in repairing the nerve tissues that damaged in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

PDA-001 cells are similar to “mesenchymal,” which are stromal stem cells that are found in connective tissue in bone marrow. But, these stromal cells derived from Placenta are more numerous when compared to stromal cells in bone marrow. Thus, a single donor can be able to supply necessary cells to many number of Multiple Sclerosis patients.

Dr. Lublin said that this is the first time where cells cultured from human placental tissues have been tested as a possible Multiple Sclerosis therapy. He added that their next step to study this assess efficacy of the cells on larger number of Multiple Sclerosis patients, and this could be even a new frontier in Multiple Sclerosis treatment.

16 patients with Multiple Sclerosis from the age group 18 to 65 were selected for this safety study. Of these 16 MS patients, 10 patients were suffering with RRMS and 6 patients were suffering with SPMS.

Of these 16 patients, high dose of cells PDA-001 was given to 6 patients, lower dose was given to another 6 patients, and the remaining patients were given placebo.

Dr. Lublin said that any time there is alteration in immune system for example due to experimental treatment, there was risk of worsening of Multiple Sclerosis.

For a period of 6 months, monthly brain scans were taken all these patients in order to ensure that they did not acquire any new or enlarging brain lesions because it could result into worsening of Multiple Sclerosis activity. There are no such changes were observed during the scans and after a year, most of them showed improved or stable disability levels.

Dr. Lublin said that they wanted to know how these placental stromal cells contribute in repairing of myelin. He also said that these placental stromal cells might be converting into a myelin making cell, or enhance the environment in the damaged cells that allow repairing naturally. He also added that their long-term goal to develop strategies that will help in repairing damaged nervous system.

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