One year data show improved stroke recovery after stem cell treatment

When it comes to treating stroke, the time is brain.

The sole stroke medication currently available have to be awarded within three hours to attain maximum benefit. Alas, many patients do not leave it into the hospital in time for it. A newly developed potential treatment concerning the utilization of stem cells to further promote brain recovery could extend this particular window.

New statistics in the phase II clinical trial show this treatment may be effective as much as 48 hrs after the start of stroke.

“If these results are confirmed, this would really open up the range of patients who'd be able to receive treatment because of their own strokes,” said study coauthor Wayne Clark, M.D. , a professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the OHSU Stroke Program.

OHSU was the top-enrolling study site one of 33 worldwide.

The outcomes demonstrated that the stem cell treatment could possibly be accomplished safely with no unwanted side effects. Moreover, the investigators found participants treated with stem cells demonstrated improvement in several measures of neurologic recovery at 12 months compared with controls. Even the stem-cell treated patients also were found to have a lower likelihood of experiencing a severe disease.

Current treatment choices for this type of stroke, called as ischemic, involve using intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA, or even removing the clot through an operation known as thrombectomy, available at comprehensive stroke centres like OHSU. However, as a result of shorter period windows,”less than 5 percent of patient's with ischemic stroke can obtain these therapies,” the authors wrote. “Hence, there's a substantial unmet need for safe, effective, and widely available treatments for stroke beyond six hours from symptom onset.”

Stem cell therapy also could be awarded in addition to TPA or thrombectomy as almost half of those participants at the trial received these prior to the stem cells were launched.

The research appeared to show the biggest benefit with participants treated at the first 36 hours. Researchers will concentrate on expanding the number of participants and lessening the time window after stroke for less than 36 hours until beginning of therapy.

The study has been sponsored and supported by Athersys Inc..