Stem Cell Therapy Benefits 2022
Trying to keep up with the latest stem cell therapy evidence? There are more than 240,000 scientific publications published on "stem cell' on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). As of March 2022, more than 8,000 studies have been launched to investigate the potential of stem cell therapy under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry. Just for 2020 alone, there were more than 15,000 scientific publications published on "stem cell' on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). There's a lot to read and catch up to. How do we keep up with all these stem cell therapy evidence?
|Stem Cell Research Summary|
Stem cell therapy has recently gained popularity as a promising treatment option for conditions where the current medical treatment protocols have been exhausted. However, there is also a lot of confusion due to the overwhelming mixing of credible scientific information and marketing hypes available on the internet.
We do get the following questions very frequently: Does it really work? Is it safe? Is it a scam? Is there any scientific evidence? How do you get the stem cells?
If you are new to stem cells, check out stem cell basics.
Due to the fast-changing pace of research and technology, new evidence accumulates rapidly and clinical guidelines need to be periodically updated.
We have compiled and summarised essential information below in layman's terms so that you can understand and make a better informed decision.
This article contains information and links to list of stem cell therapy and research in various categories. This list is a work-in-progress list as new evidence might be added from time to time.
STEM CELL THERAPY EVIDENCE AND RESEARCH BY CATEGORY
In order to make it consumer friendly, we have tried to summarise the studies and minimise the technical jargons.
Here is the list by category.
1. Stem Cell Therapy and COVID-19
Can stem cell therapy be used for the treatment of COVID-19? Is it some marketing hype or it's for real.
Just for 2020 alone, there are already more than 300 publications published on "stem cell and covid19" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).
As of March 2022, there are more than 90 studies that have been launched to investigate the benefits of stem cell therapy and COVID-19. You can review the status and details of these trials on Global COVID-19 Trial Tracker.
2. Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Pain (knee osteoarthritis)
There are currently 80 studies on stem cell treatment for knee osteoarthritis under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry.
Regenexx, the largest provider of stem cell therapy for orthopaedic conditions in the United States alone, have treated 30,000 patients with stem cell therapy for various joint conditions including knee pain.
Here, we have compiled a few significant studies related to stem cell therapy for knee pain.
A study published in 2012 by a team in Singapore, led by Dr Lee KB showed injections of mesenchymal stem cells with hyaluronic acid for knee joint repair (new technique) to be comparable with the conventional technique but with the advantage of being less invasive.
In 2013, a team led by Dr Saw from Malaysia published a controlled study of 50 patients with knee pain treated with autologous (source from self) peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) sowed better improvement as compared to the group without stem cells.
In 2016, a 9 year follow up study of 2,372 patients in 18 clinical facilities was published by Centeno et al. Treated areas of the body included the knee, hip, ankle/foot, hand/wrist, elbow, shoulder, and spine. There was no evidence to suggest that treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of any type in this study increased the risk of cancer.
Several other comparative studies have demonstrated good evidence in the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, there are several approaches and cell lines used. More well-designed and randomised controlled trials are needed to evaluate the best approach and universal consensus. As studies continue, the methods, forms and combinations of stem cell preparations are improving, and outcomes are expected to improve as well.
Just for 2020 alone, there are 151 publications published on "stem cell and diabetes mellitus" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).
As of May 2021, there are more than 120 studies that have been launched to investigate the benefits of stem cell therapy and diabetes mellitus. You can review the status and details of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov.
Currently, two approaches are being used in research, using stem cells as beta-cell producing factories or as a beta cell repair catalyst. Both methods have the same goal which is to return the insulin to normal levels. Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) are running clinical trials and have a number of patients that are living insulin free after receiving a transplant of donor islet cells.
There are many ongoing efforts to understand how stem cell therapy is able to help people with diabetes. One of the main centres is the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, where you can view the areas of research being conducted specifically to understand diabetes.
A review, published in the Progress in Stem Cell journal in 2019 suggested a combination of antioxidants, growth factors or hormones along with MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) in optimal combinations and concentrations for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) have recently emerged as a new therapeutic option for hair loss. There are already more than 100 publications related to the use of stem cells and hair loss.
A 2017 study by researchers at Rome University found that 23 weeks after treatment, hair density had improved by a third.
According to Dr Ioannis Liakas, who performs the stem-cell procedure at his London clinic, Vie Aesthetics, it has the potential to not just restore growth but even colour in grey hair.
As of May 2021, 9 studies were found for 'stem cell and hair loss' under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry.
5. Stem Cell Therapy for Autism
Stem cell therapy for autism is an ongoing topic of research and is considered experimental by the medical community. Parents can find fee-for-service clinics that advertise stem cell therapy for autism, but most of these clinics are operating without FDA approval, and each clinic promotes their own approach, which creates a lot of confusion among parents about how to compare their treatment options.
In 2020 alone, there are more than 80 publications published on "stem cell and autism" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Clinical trials have been performed to demonstrate safety and efficacy of stem cells autism management.
As of May 2021, 13 studies have been launched to investigate the potential of stem cell therapy for autism under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry. You can search the database to look for more details of the clinical trials including the countries and centres that are conducting them.
6. Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke
There are more than 3,000 publications related to the use of stem cells and stroke.
Stroke constitutes the second leading cause of death worldwide. Stem cell therapy that has been developed over the past several decades represents a promising alternative or supplemental strategy; notably, this approach has already reached the translational stage, with therapeutic results in humans having been discussed in various publications.
Just for 2020 alone, there are more than 200 publications published on "stem cell and stroke" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).
As of May 2021, there are more than 60 studies that have been launched to investigate the benefits of stem cell therapy and diabetes mellitus. You can review the status and details of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov.
Stem cell therapy for anti aging is an ongoing topic of research and is considered experimental by the medical community. Is there any evidence that stem cell therapy for anti aging is effective and safe?
Just for 2020 alone, there are 33 publications published on "stem cell and anti aging" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).
As of May 2021, 2 studies were found for 'stem cell and anti-aging' under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry.
Despite the fact that there are many published studies on stem cell therapy for anti-aging, major media has been slow to report the findings.
Journal of Gerontology - The results of 2 clinical studies, published in The Journals of Gerontology, showed how a type of adult stem cell called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could reverse the effects of aging.
The first trial involved 15 frail patients, each received single MSC infusion of stem cells collected from adult bone marrow donors aged between 20 and 45 years old. The patients exhibited improved overall quality of life and fitness, as well as diminished tumor necrosis factor levels. The second trial was a double-blind, randomized study involving a placebo group. Aside from noting no adverse effects, the research team found the improvements to be “remarkable.”
We have compiled other related published studies below.
Yu Y. Application of Stem Cell Technology in Antiaging and Aging-Related Diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2018;1086:255-265
Ivonne Hernandez Schulman, Wayne Balkan and Joshua M. Hare. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Aging Frailty. Front Nutr. 2018; 5: 108.
Juan Antonio Fafián-Labora, Miriam Morente-López, and María C Arufe. Effect of aging on behaviour of mesenchymal stem cells. World J Stem Cells. 2019 Jun 26; 11(6): 337–346.
8. Stem Cell Therapy for Kidney Diseases
The increasing incidence of kidney diseases raises considerable concerns regarding human health worldwide. A number of studies in recent years have attempted to identify the underlying mechanisms of renal repair in order to explore the potential regenerative capacity of the kidneys. Many papers have reported on the potential use of stem cells of different origins for treating many different pathologies, including kidney diseases.
Several clinical trials have confirmed the safety and tolerability of stem cells, and in particular of MSC-based therapies (Mesenchymal Stem Cell), in patients with renal diseases and kidney transplants (Int J of Mol Sci. 2019).
This year alone (2020), there are more than 80 publications published on "stem cell and kidney disease" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Clinical trials have been performed to demonstrate safety and efficacy of stem cells autism management.
As of May 2021, more than 100 studies have been launched to investigate the potential of stem cell therapy for kidney disease under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry. You can search the database to look for more details of the clinical trials including the countries and centres that are conducting them.
9. Stem Cell Therapy for Liver Diseases
There are more than 900 published studies related to the use of stem cells and liver disease and more than 600 published studies related to stem cells and liver failure.
However, not every liver failure and liver cirrhosis patients are eligible for a liver transplant in Malaysia. The shortage of matching donors and the high risk of surgical-associated complications further limits the success of a liver transplant.
As of May 2021, more than 90 studies were found for 'stem cell and liver disease' under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry.
A review of 37 studies (Int Journal of Stem Cell Res and Ther. 2017) by Malaysian researchers found that both autologous and allogeneic adult stem cell-based therapies have shown promising results in restoring liver function in cirrhosis patients.
10. Stem Cell Therapy for Back Pain
There are more than 200 published studies related to the use of stem cells and back pain.
Do take note that back pain problems may arise from several causes and degenerative disc disease is just one of the many causes of back pain. Therefore, the importance of finding out the cause first (diagnosis) before treatment.
In 2020 alone, there were 20 publications published on "stem cell and back pain" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Clinical trials have been performed to demonstrate safety and efficacy of stem cell back pain management.
Stem Cell Clinical Trials for Back Pain and Degenerative Disc Disease - Update 2020
Clinical trials showing the effectiveness of Stem Cell Injections for Lower Back Pain. Most patients in these studies had significant pain relief. Some patients also revealed reversal of disc degeneration. No patients had any serious complications. Since stem cells are a new development in medicine, there is not an abundance of data. However, the data that exists shows that stem cell injections into the disc results in pain relief and improvement in function.
In this landmark study by Pettine’s group (published in 2016), 26 patients with lower back pain had their lumbar discs injected with stem cells which were extracted from the bone marrow. After 2 years, 21 patients (81%) avoided surgery and had pain reduction of 71%. Their function improved by 64%. Additionally, 40% patients had improvements seen on the follow up MRI’s. No complications were reported.
Centeno’s group followed 2372 patients (published in 2016) who had stem cell injections in various joints for 2.2 years. They reported no serious side effects.
Wu’s group performed a metaanalysis (published in 2018) of all the clinical studies regarding stem cells injection into discs and concluded that, Cell-based therapy is for patients who have discogenic low back pain associated with improved pain relief and Oswestry Disability Index.
Approximately 30 pre-clinical animal studies using stem cells to treat DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) have been published, with many demonstrating positive outcomes and others reporting no or worsened effects.
There are 15 spinal cord pathology studies listed on www.clinicaltrials.gov with only two studies completed, four recruiting, four status-unknown, one suspended, two active-not-recruiting, one withdrawn and one terminated. Although some preliminary information has been obtained, much remains to be determined with respect to the best method of stem cell delivery, source of stem cell, numbers of cells to be delivered and the patient selection to receive such therapy. These considerations are common to all potential spine-related stem cell applications.
There are four FDA approved adipose derived stem cell clinical trials at Sanford Health: osteoarthritis of the knee, osteoarthritis of the wrist, rotator cuff tear, and facet joints.
There is a product currently in phase 3 clinical trials at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called Mesoblast. If the results from that study are favourable, then we could have stem cells available for the treatment of degenerative disc disease very soon.
Another clinical trial that has just completed it's recruitment, studied Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs) in 100 Subjects With Lumbar Back Pain.
The iPSpine project, a pan-European clinical trial was awarded €15 million in 2019 under the Horizon 2020 programme, towards researching a solution for chronic lower back pain. The huge public-private consortium is comprised of 20 partners, and is coordinated by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Utrecht University (Netherlands).
The iPSpine consortium was formed to initiate a European-led research effort to identify a future advanced therapeutic strategy that can address the societal need for a radical new treatment of IDD-induced LBP (Intervertebral Disc Degeneration - induced Low Back Pain).
The aim of iPSpine is to investigate and develop a new advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) of the future, based on a novel developmental biology approach involving induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and smart biomaterials.
There are more than 1,800 scientific publications published related to "stem cell" and "spinal cord injury" on the National Library of Medicine.
Just for 2020 alone, there are more than 140 publications published on "stem cell and spinal cord injury" on the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).
As of May 2021, more than 50 studies have been launched to investigate the potential of stem cell therapy for spinal cord injuries under the U.S. Clinical Trial Registry.
The public may search a database of NIH-sponsored clinical trials at www.clinicaltrials.gov. Enter the search terms of interest (e.g., Parkinson's Disease and stem cells) to search for applicable clinical trials.
If there are any new major stem cell related evidence that we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to the post! Thank you in advance.