Swiss doctors with the world’s first clinical trial using human neural stem cells to treat chronic thoracic spinal cord injury report that two patients have regained some ability to feel touch and heat. These results raise hope that the treatment, which was created by StemCells Inc. and established in pre-clinical testing by Aileen Anderson and Brian Cummings at UC Irvine’s Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, may help restore lost body function for the millions paralyzed by damage to their spinal cords. Researchers from Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich, where the patients were treated, presented the data in London at the annual meeting of the International Spinal Cord Society. The Phase I/II trial reported earlier this year positive safety data from the first cohort of treated patients and continues to enroll subjects from the U.S., Canada and Europe. In July, Anderson and Cummings, in collaboration with StemCells Inc., received a $20 million award from the California stem cell research funding agency, CIRM, to develop human clinical trials for cervical spinal cord injury.
Related topics: clinical trial, spinal cord injury, anatomy & neurobiology, Science & Technology, Health & Medicine, Faculty, Medicine, Stem Cells