Jan. 14, 2010
A biotech company in Louisiana, TCA Cellular Therapy, has received FDA approval to begin a Phase I clinical trial with its adult stem cell protocol to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrigs disease). ALS is a terrible neurological disease that afflicts approximately 30,000 Americans; life expectancy once diagnosed is 2-5 years. Adult stem cells will be taken from the patients bone marrow in an outpatient procedure, processed in the company's lab, and administered to the patient by spinal tap.
Keep in mind this is only approval to begin the trial, no patient results are yet available, as no patients have yet even been treated in this trial. But it is the first adult stem cell patient trial for ALS approved in the United States.
Previously, Italian scientists Mazzini and Fagioli have done several clinical trials using adult mesenchymal stem cells, with promising results. They have published clinical trial results in 2006, in 2008, and in 2009, as well as a recent review paper on the subject.
Adult stem cells continue to show real progress and hope for patients.