|10-14-2008, 08:04 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Stem Cells May Act as “Trojan Horse” to Deliver Gene Therapy to Injured Central Nervo
Newswise — Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) researchers at The Methodist Hospital in Houston have shown that transplanted bone marrow stem cells can attach themselves to injured areas in the brain or spinal cord, possibly providing a way to deliver future gene therapy.
According to Dr. Stanley H. Appel’s study published in the Oct. 14, 2008, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, these "Trojan horse" cells may improve the ability to deliver gene therapy to the brain and spinal cord.
The original intent of this study focused on whether transplanted bone marrow stem cells in six patients with sporadic ALS would suppress neuroinflammation and improve the patients’ clinical outcomes, said Appel, co-founder and co-director of the Methodist Neurological Institute at The Methodist Hospital. While the results showed no benefit in fighting the disease, Appel’s research team found that transplanting bone marrow stem cells that are closely matched to the patients’ own bone marrow allowed for a significant percentage of those cells to travel to and reside in the brain or spinal cord. However, it is clear from the study that unless the bone marrow stem cells are engineered to secrete neuroprotective factors, such transplants are not likely to be beneficial in human ALS.
“Our courageous ALS patients committed themselves to helping search for meaningful therapies for this devastating disease,” said Appel, lead author and chairman of Neurology at Methodist. “With their help, we’ve shown that these transplanted stem cells can potentially be used to deliver future drugs. These findings open the window in terms of where we can go next.”
|10-14-2008, 08:15 AM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New Brunswick, NJ, USA
There is now increasing attention paid to the ability of stem cells to get into the spinal cord. This is great.
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