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New Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy Shows Promise for People with Difficult-to-Treat Lupus
Newly published results from a Phase I clinical trial suggest that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs, a type of cell derived from bone marrow and other bodily tissue) can be used as a safe and potentially effective therapy for the treatment of lupus.
In this Phase I study, six women with refractory lupus (lupus that is resistant to treatment) were treated with MSCs derived from umbilical cord tissue. Three of the participants were Caucasian, two were African American and one was Hispanic.
Overall, five of the six women achieved a clinically meaningful decrease in lupus disease activity scores compared to their baseline level of disease activity, as measured by the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). By week 24 post-treatment, SLEDAI scores decreased by an average of 5.4 points, from an average of 8.2 at baseline to 2.8 at the end of the trial period.
Additionally, researchers noted encouraging changes in other lupus biomarkers among the participants, and no serious side effects were observed. Based on these promising early results, researchers are moving forward with a Phase II trial, which will include a larger group of study participants and collect data over a longer time period to assess its effectiveness.
This study was funded by the Lupus Foundation of America in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MSC therapy is an exciting new frontier in lupus research, and it’s especially promising for those living with refractory lupus. Learn more about these Phase I and Phase II trials, and the importance of MSC research.