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Tomasz Siwek, Katarzyna Jezierska-Woźniak, Stanisław Maksymowicz, Monika Barczewska, Mariusz Sowa, Wanda Badowska, Wojciech Maksymowicz
(Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland)
Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e927484
The aim of this study was to investigate repeated intrathecal injection of autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-D MSCs) to patients for treatment of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Autologous MSCs were isolated from the patients’ bone marrow, plated, expanded, harvested, and passaged. Stem cells from a single bone marrow collection were used for 3 injections per patient, given over a 3-month period. Outcomes were measured with the Revised Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R). Participants were observed for a minimum of 6 months before transplantation to assess the natural course of ALS and for the same amount of time after transplantation to compare the rate of disease progression, estimated based on average monthly changes in ALSFRS-R scores. Data from 8 of the 15 participants eligible for the study were analyzed.
RESULTS: The safety of the MSC injections was confirmed and various effects of the therapy were documented. In patients who had ALS with an inherently slow course, there were no significant changes in the rate of disease progression. In patients who had ALS with an inherently rapid course, slowing of the disease was noted following treatment with MSCs. However, because that subgroup was so small, it was not possible to assess whether the changes were statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Identifying groups of patients who are not responding or potentially responding negatively to injection of MSCs may help prevent it from being offered to individuals who may not benefit from the therapy. One of the limitations of this treatment method is the amount of time required for long-lasting preparation of bone marrow-derived MSCs for a disease that is rapidly progressive. Therefore, it is worth looking for other allogeneic sources of stromal cells for these types of injections.