The question of radiation during adult stem cell treatments came up today:
N says: “Touting adult stem cells as the way to salvation, even with donor human hematopoietic stem cells (hHESCs) (adult stem cells), used in the treatment of leukemia patients, a patient must undergo a radiation treatment to suppress their immune system prior to receiving the donor hHESCs. StemCellBlogger commented on the need for immunosuppression when using hESCs in clinical translational therapy. Given that a patient must receive a near lethal dose of radiation, knocking out their immune system BEFORE receiving hHESCs from a registered DONOR, flies in the face of reason when compared to the immunosuppression required for hESC infusion. A patient receivng either a liver, kidney, pancreas or dual kidney pancreas organ transplant receives immunosuppression in the form of Campath as a prophylactic prior to the transplant and then must either receive Prograf, Cyclosporin, or Sirolimus (depending on the tissue transplanted) in order to suppress the patients immune system, allowing the graft to survive while avoiding graft-vs-host rejection. If we are going to talk about translational therapies, then let’s get into the meat and stop chewing the fat.
My response: I’m not talking about bone marrow transplants for leukemia patients, I’m talking about adult stem cell treatments used in regenerative medicine. For example, CBS who have called adult stem cells snake oil for years just did a very positive piece on a recent heart trial:
“This study is still in progress. 16 patients were assigned to the treatment group and seven to the control group; no CSC-related adverse effects were reported. In 14 CSC-treated patients who were analysed, LVEF increased from 30·3% (SE 1·9) before CSC infusion to 38·5% (2·8) at 4 months after infusion (p=0·001). By contrast, in seven control patients, during the corresponding time interval, LVEF did not change (30·1% [2·4] at 4 months after CABG vs 30·2% [2·5] at 8 months after CABG). Importantly, the salubrious effects of CSCs were even more pronounced at 1 year in eight patients (eg, LVEF increased by 12·3 ejection fraction units [2·1] vs baseline, p=0·0007). In the seven treated patients in whom cardiac MRI could be done, infarct size decreased from 32·6 g (6·3) by 7·8 g (1·7; 24%) at 4 months (p=0·004) and 9·8 g (3·5; 30%) at 1 year (p=0·04).”
While the study is still in prgress and the results are preliminary, I find it extremely ironic that CBS uses words like “breakthrough” and “first ever” and N acts as if he doesn’t know about the 443 clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov with the keywords “stem cell” and “cardiac?,” over 2,000 completed Adult stem cell trials, thousands of patients treated safely and effectively around the world and over 5,170 peer reviewed published studies with the keywords “adult stem cell” and “cardiac?”
The results are great the history is extensive and no radiation is needed.In fact, even MS which used to need radiation to treat with adult stem cells no longer needs radiation.