Many thanks to Dr. David Prentice for calling my attention to this awesome news!
TCA Cellular Therapy, LLC has enrolled its first patient to participate in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first adult stem cell clinical trial to treat spinal cord injuries. Enrollee and Marine Veteran, Matt Cole was paralyzed from the chest down in a 2005 insurgent attack in Iraq.
“Many spinal cord injury patients have no effective treatment available at this time,” stated Dr. Gutnisky. “I’m very encouraged by the results of the pre-clinical trials and anticipate this may become a significant therapy for these patients in the near future.”
Utilizing TCA Cellular’s proprietary therapy, a couple of thousand adult stem cells have been extracted from the patient’s own bone marrow, Mesenchymal Stem Cells have been separated, purified, multiplied to millions and will be infused into Cole’s spinal cord later this month.
This is great! Though it’s still a very early trial, researchers have had great success in the past few years using ASCs to restore some feeling and movement in patients with SCI: see here, here, here, here, here and here. And how nice that we’re starting out by helping one of our wounded service men! There actually is an Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine that, just a few years ago, received an $85 million Federal grant for orthopedic stem cell surgery for veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have another trial in the works involving spray-on skin cells for burn victims.
Ironic that this comes within the same week that Geron was approved for the very first embryonic stem cell trial to treat spinal cord injury. Why do I have a feeling that, though the AP surprised us recently with a very favorable article on adult stem cell success, no mainstream media outlets will be reporting on this like they did the Geron trial?