Medical Daily (01.08.2014)
Medical Daily reported on a study of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB treatment using patients’ own stem cells. The conventional treatment for MDR TB is a combination of anti-TB drugs; however, not all patients respond to this treatment. TB usually attacks the pulmonary system. This led researchers from Karolinksa University Hospital in Sweden to investigate whether using a patient’s mesenchymal stromal cells, a type of tissue-repairing stem cell that migrates to the lungs in response to inflammation or injury, could improve the usual MDR TB treatment.
The researchers administered standard antibiotics to 30 MDR TB patients in combination with approximately 10 million stromal stem cells extracted from the patients' bone marrow. After 18 months, they compared the experimental patients’ values with those of a control group that had received only antibiotics.
Results showed that 16 of the 30 patients treated with stem cells were cured of the disease, compared with five individuals from the control group. The researchers acknowledged that further evaluation in phase 2 trials is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of this treatment in different geographical regions, such as South Africa where MDR TB and extremely drug-resistant TB are common.
The full report, “Autologous Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Infusion as Adjunct Treatment in Patients with Multidrug and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: An Open-Label Phase 1 Safety Trial,” was published online in the journal the Lancet Respiratory Medicine (2014; doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(13)70234-0).