Intravenous transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells preconditioned with early phase stroke serum: current evidence and study protocol for a randomized trial
1 Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Irwon-dong, 135-710, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
2 Clinical Research Center, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul, South Korea
3 Medical Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, Gyeong-gi, South Korea
4 Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
Trials 2013, 14:317 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-317Published: 1 October 2013
Recovery after a major stroke is usually limited, but cell therapy for patients with fixed neurologic deficits is emerging. Several recent clinical trials have investigated mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy for patients with ischemic stroke. We previously reported the results of a controlled trial on the application of autologous MSCs in patients with ischemic stroke with a long-term follow-up of up to 5 years (the 'STem cell Application Researches and Trials In NeuroloGy’ (STARTING) study). The results from this pilot trial are challenging, but also raise important issues. In addition, there have been recent efforts to improve the safety and efficacy of MSC therapy for stroke.
Methods and design
The clinical and preclinical background and the STARTING-2 study protocol are provided. The trial is a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint (PROBE) clinical trial. Both acute and chronic stroke patients will be selected based on clinical and radiological features and followed for 3 months after MSC treatment. The subjects will be randomized into one of two groups: (A) a MSC group (n = 40) or (B) a control group (n = 20). Autologous MSCs will be intravenously administered after ex vivo culture expansion with autologous ischemic serum obtained as early as possible, to enhance the therapeutic efficacy (ischemic preconditioning). Objective outcome measurements will be performed using multimodal MRI and detailed functional assessments by blinded observers.
This trial is the first to evaluate the efficacy of MSCs in patients with ischemic stroke. The results may provide better evidence for the effectiveness of MSC therapy in patients with ischemic stroke.
This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01716481.