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Stem cell success in stroke trial

1st September 2011

The first ever clinical trial of brain stem cells to treat strokes is now set to move onto its next phase after the initial stage revealed no adverse effects on patients.

stem cell research

The first three patients to have had stem cells injected into their brain at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow have been independently assessed and are fine.

This opens the door for tests on more patients to find a new treatment for stroke with the hope that the stem cells will help to repair damaged brain tissue.

Professor Keith Muir of Glasgow University, who is leading the trials, said: “We need to be assured of safety before we can progress to trying to test the effects of this therapy.

“Because this is the first time this type of cell therapy has been used in humans, it’s vitally important that we determine that it’s safe to proceed - so at the present time we have the clearance to proceed to the next higher dose of cells.”

The three patients in the first phase received very low doses of stem cells.

Over the coming 12 months, nine more patients will receive progressively higher doses.

Part of this stage will see doctors work out the best way to measure the effectiveness of the treatment before larger trials begin in 18 months.

The stroke trial is being carried out with Reneuron Group, which stresses that the process is still at an early stage and the earliest a treatment could be widely available if everything goes very well is five years.

 

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