Stem Cell Therapy Shows Early Promise for the Treatment of Lupus
A newly published study reviewing the current body of scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy to treat rheumatic disease highlights the potential benefits of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) – a type of stem cell – for the treatment of lupus. The review was led by the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA’s) research awardee, Gary S. Gilkeson, MD, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina.
The majority of studies completed to date in mice assessing the use of MSCs for the treatment of lupus have reported improvement in kidney disease and life expectancy both before and after the development of lupus nephritis (LN). The therapy also shows promise for the treatment of refractory lupus (lupus disease that’s resistant to treatment). While results have been mixed, some early clinical trials have found that people with refractory lupus respond well to MSC therapy, with some people going into clinical remission and others seeing significant disease improvement. More research in this area is needed.
The LFA was acknowledged in the review study for funding Dr. Gilkeson’s prior research on cellular therapies in lupus, including a Phase I trial of MSCs in refractory lupus and a current Phase IIplacebo controlled multicenter trial of MSCs in refractory lupus - read more about the study here. Phase I trial results are expected to publish soon. Continue to follow the LFA for updates on stem cell therapy research and other lupus science news.
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