I think that we need to have as many clinical trials as possible. At least two companies have announced clinical trials of subacute spinal cord injury: Geron (embryonic stem cells) and Alceres (Cethrin).
NACTN is currently studying the natural course of spinal cord injury in the first 12 months (Source) and, since 2009, they are planning to test riluzole treatment of acute spinal cor dinjury (Source).
NASCINet is focused on chronic spinal cord injury, which we define as more than a year after injury and at least 6 months of stable neurological status. NASCINet will be initially doing trials in parallel with ChinaSCINet, assessing umbilical cord blood mononuclear cell transplant and lithium.
Somebody asked for the names of centers that are involved in NASCINet. So, far, we are discussing the clinical trial with the following organizations:
• New Jersey Medical School and Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation.
• Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine and Magee Rehabilitation.
• Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia
• Brackenridge Hospital in Austin
• Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City
• Long Island Jewish Hospital in Long Island
• Shepard Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta, Georgia
• Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan
• University of Colorado in Denver
I want to emphasize that this is still at the stage of "discussion". We are having investigator meetings right now, exploring what can and cannot be done. The trials have been proposed to the investigators and we have had substantitive discussions. There are still major obstacles that must be overcome, including finalizing the clinical trial protocol, application for regulatory approval, training and vetting of the centers, and successful fundraising.
I am in China now and about a dozen investigators from the centers will be attending meetings in Beijing and Kunming, to see what is being done in China and to participate in a consensus conference to determine the rehabilitation protocol can and should be in the United States for the trial.
I am renaming this topic to North American Spinal Cord Injury Network and sticking it, so that it can become a resource. I am getting a lot of the same questions asked over and over again. People should also check out http://nascinet.org
The plan of having actual clincial trials in the US that provide a treatment for chronic injury is very exciting.
Your saying the first phase would be 6 months of observation of people standing?
I don't understand the reason for this, maybe I am missing something.
How much would that cost and couldn't that money raised be better used to go to an
actual treatment phase trial?
Any talks with Hopkins or University of Maryland?
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.