Spinal Cord Injury

Clinical trials seeking to improve neurological outcomes following spinal cord injury (SCI) have yet to identify an intervention that effectively improves neurological outcomes beyond surgical stabilization and comprehensive rehabilitation. People living with complete and incomplete SCI are often dependent on their caregivers.

To assist in the treatment of SCI, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) may be used to regenerate the area of injury. Our phase 1 trial of 10 participants evaluated the safety and feasibility of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell injections for neurologic improvement in patients with spinal cord injury. Phase 1 has shown promising results in safety and patient-reported outcomes. Although it was not the primary objective of phase 1, we have seen substantial improvements and feedback in both objective and subjective measures of functional improvement. Phase 2 will focus on outcomes for 40 patients over the next two to three years to look at the functional effectiveness of AD-MSCs versus the current best medical management in spinal cord injuries.

Using basic science studies, the team also looks at the role of allogenic umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells for spinal cord injury and is working on developing a modified intrathecal cell delivery technique using rat spinal cord injury models. The team hopes to translate these efforts into a feasible therapeutic technique using an off-the-shelf product for patients with spinal cord injury.