Background of MSCs

MSCs are multi-potent cells that have displayed the following abilities:
  • Able to divide to form bone, cartilage, muscle, fat and other tissues such as neural tissue, pancreatic tissue under induction;
  • Home to site of injury and assist in repair;
  • Enhance anti-inflammatory and immunosuppression.

More than 300 clinical trials are ongoing worldwide to uncover the medical potential of MSCs. Thus far, encouraging results have been published. MSCs have also been used in combination with HSCs as a dual therapy to promote faster engraftment of HSCs and to reduce immune system complications.

MSC Clinical Trials – Global Institutions

Diseases Names of Universities or Research Institutions
Stroke University Hospital, Grenoble, France
Spinal Cord Injury
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Cairo University, Egypt
Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spain-Carlos Health Institute
  • University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Cleveland Clinic, United States
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Hadassah Medical Organization, Israel
Parkinson‘s Disease Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, India
Multiple System Atrophy Yonsei University, South Korea
Liver Disease Cytori Therapeutics, United States
Diabetic Foot Ulcer
  • Third Military Medical University, China
  • Washington DC Veterans Medical Centre, United States
  • Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • Fuzhou General Hospital, China
  • Uppsala University, Sweden

MSC Application Reports

skeletalrepairMSC and Skeletal Repair
  • Treatment for knee cartilage damage was conducted by NUH Orthopaedic Surgery of Singapore, Dr Kevin Lee;
  • Since 2006, 35 patients with worn knee cartilage underwent injection of autologous ex-vivo expanded MSCs from bone marrow;
  • Patients were reported to have improvements in quality of life such as regaining ability to climb stairs and reduction of pain.

costranplantCo-Transplantation of MSCs and HSCs
  • In 2002, Sydney Scott was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia at 13 weeks;
  • Baby Sydney was treated with chemotherapy followed by cord blood and MSC co-transplantation – a world’s first;
  • MSC thought to have enabled blood stem cell engraftment;
  • Baby Sydney was relapse free and medication free at the time of report.
Source: University of Minnesota, Paediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Center

heartMSCs in Heart Attack
  • 69 heart attack patients were treated;
  • Following angioplasty, doctor directly injected patients’ damaged heart site with MSC harvested from patients’ own bone marrow;
  • Results showed significant improvements in patients’ left ventricular function.
Source: Chen SL et al. Improvement of cardiac function after transplantation of autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Chinese Medical Journal 2004 117(0): 1443-1448.

  • 18 stroke patients who had experienced a first stroke 6 months to 3 years previously were treated with modified MSCs obtained from bone marrow of two donors.
  • Within a month of the procedure, patients showed signs of recovery, which sustained over several months.
  • Principal investigator Dr. Gary Steinberg noted that patients who were previously in wheelchair started to walk after the treatment.

Source: Steinberg GK, Kondziolka D, Wechsler LR, et al. Clinical Outcomes of Transplanted Modified Bone Marrow–Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Stroke: A Phase 1/2a Study. Stroke. 2016;47(7):1817-1824.
Source: MedicalNewsToday newsletter.

Heart Failure
  • 30 patients with heart failure were either intravenously infused with allogeneic MSC derived from umbilical cords or placebo;
  • Compared to the placebo treatment, patients who received MSC showed sustained and significant improvement which resulted in greater quality of life;
  • Through the study, it was established that the infusions were safe with no adverse effects.

Source: Bartolucci J, et al. Safety and efficacy of the intravenous infusion of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in patients with heart failure. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;121:1192-1204.
Source: ScienceDaily. Last assessed 12 September 2018.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • 24 COVID-19 patients were randomly enrolled in the study.
  • Among 12 patients were infused twice with Mesenchymal stem cells derived from the umbilical cord for treatment. Another 12 patients were treated with standard medical care.
  • More than half of patients who received infusion had discharged from the hospital within two weeks. More than 80% of them had recovered within a month.

Source: Giacomo L, Elina L, Diego C, et al. Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome: A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized controlled trial. STEM CELLS Transl Med. 2021;1–14.
Source: Umbilical cord stem cells may reduce risk of death in severe COVID-19 patients. Phillyvoice website. Last accessed April 1, 2021.

Osteochondral Defect
  • 72 patients who underwent either autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells or autologous chondrocyte implantation to treat osteochondral defects for at least 10 years were followed up to compare the long-term clinical outcomes.
  • There was an improvement in all patient-reported outcome scores after cartilage repair surgery and none of the patients in either group developed deep infection or tumor within the follow-up period.

Source: Teo A, Wong KL, Shen L, et al. Equivalent 10-year outcomes after implantation of autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells versus autologous chondrocyte implantation for chondral defects of the knee. Am J Sports Med. DOI: 10.1177/0363546519867933.

DCR No. 4218, Version A, May 2021