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Thread: Stem cell treatment causes nasal growth in woman's back

  1. #11
    So, according to this story, in the race for a cure. Stem cell therepy wins by a nose!

  2. #12
    Here are some papers with good questions to ask about treatments or trials.

  3. #13
    I had this same procedure done about 11 years ago, what symptoms should I be looking out for if I have got a growth, I'm worried now.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kimg View Post
    I had this same procedure done about 11 years ago, what symptoms should I be looking out for if I have got a growth, I'm worried now.
    Quote Originally Posted by c473s
    Do you have a decent stab at how many you believe are followed closely 5 plus years out ?

    I will try to answer your questions and c473s' questions here. First, you should not worry about it. If you have no loss or change of function, including increased spasticity and neuropathic pain, you probably don't have any growth from your transplant. Second, it is good idea to get MRI's of your spinal cord every 2 years. You should ask your doctor to arrange this. The reason is because, if some function were to change or some pathology were to appear in your spinal cord, you want to know how long it has been there. Many changes can happen in the spinal cord after surgery, including extradural or syringomyelic cysts and change in white matter signal. Although it cannot detect all problems, MRI is the best way to assess changes in the spinal cord that exceed a mm in diameter. Third, one of the reasons why there have been relatively few reports of growth in the spinal cord after cell transplants is because the spinal cord (like much of the central nervous system) is not a fertile place to plant cells. Unless the transplants include cancer cells (which are cells with deranged growth control), they usually do not grow very much in the spinal cord and most simply disappear. Fourth, nasal mucosa does have stem cells and there have been reports of nasal tissues growing in the spinal cord of animals after transplantation of nasal mucosa. Such tumors are typically not invasive but can cause trouble due to compression of the spinal cord.

    c473s, who will pay for such followup? Funds may become available for extended followup if the therapy were approved by the FDA. For example, the FDA requires companies to carry out long term followup (called phase IV trials) after a therapy has been approved. However, no cellular therapy has gone into phase 3 clinical trials for spinal cord injury and none have been approved to date. There is no company behind nasal mucosal transplants and thus little motivation for systematic long term followup. On the other hand, now that one patient has shown a nasal mucosal growth in the spinal cord, perhaps some investigators will be motivated to write a grant application to the NIH to fund a followup study of the patients that had received nasal mucosa transplants in Portugal. NIH grant applications are very competitive and I am skeptical that such a project will be able to get funding.

    Autologous nasal mucosal transplants belong to a category of treatment that is not regulated by the FDA. It is not unlike taking a skin graft from one part of your body to treat another. Because it is not a "product" that is sold by a company, the FDA is unlikely to be involved. In such cases, only an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is necessary for the trial. Finally, I know of at least two other places where autologous nasal mucosa transplants into chronically injured spinal cords are being carried out. One is in Christ Church, New Zealand. The other is in Osaka, Japan. The latter trial, according to presentations that I have seen, suggests that there may be modest benefits. Before he died, Carlos Lima had reported that several patients from his study has recovered some walking after intensive rehabilitation in Greece. Note that none of the other trials have put their patients through intensive locomotor training.


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