VIDEO: Stroke benefits from stem cells maintained for 2 years



The benefits seen early after placement of stem cells near the damaged brain site of chronic stroke patients continued during 2 years of follow-up, Gary K. Steinberg, MD, said at the International Stroke Conference, sponsored by the American Heart Association.

Seeing sustained benefit out to 2 years was “quite surprising. We thought we’d lose the benefit,” Dr. Steinberg said in a video interview.

The findings “change our notion of what happens after a stroke. The damaged circuits can be resurrected,” said Dr. Steinberg, professor and chair of neurosurgery at Stanford (Calif.) University.

He reported long-term follow-up data for 18 chronic stroke patients who had received transplantation of allogeneic bone marrow–derived stem cells. The study’s primary efficacy endpoint, at 6 months after treatment, showed clinically meaningful improvements in several measures of stroke disability and function in 13 of the 18 patients (72%), including a rise of at least 10 points in the Fugl-Meyer total motor function score.

His new report on 2-year follow-up showed that these 6-month improvements continued. The average increase in Fugl-Meyer score over baseline was about 18 points at 6, 12, and 24 months of follow-up.

Based on the promise shown in this pilot study, Dr. Steinberg and his associates are running a randomized study with 156 patients. Enrollment recently completed, and the results should be available during the second half of 2019, Dr. Steinberg said.

SanBio funded the study. Dr. Steinberg has been a consultant or advisor to Qool Therapeutics, Peter Lazic US, and NeuroSave.

SOURCE: Steinberg K et al. International Stroke Conference 2018, Abstract LB14.

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