A ground-breaking clinical trial is now underway at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is an innovative step in a growing number of studies exploring the potential of stem cell-based therapies to help initiate repair and induce healing of damaged brain tissue. The study is being performed in partnership with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, UTHealth's major children's teaching hospital.People need to understand the potential self-healing (literally) factors of using your own cord blood stem cells. According to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) on cord blood stem cells:
The trial will involve children who have sustained traumatic brain injuries and who have access to their own umbilical cord blood stem cells, which were banked at birth. Children who meet the trial qualifications will travel to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital to receive an IV infusion of their cord blood stem cells. They will then be followed at six months, one year and two years.
"The reason we have become interested in cord blood cells is because of the possibility of autologous therapy, meaning using your own cells. And the preclinical models have demonstrated some really fascinating neurological preservation effects to really support these Phase 1 trials," says Charles S. Cox, M.D., Children's Fund Distinguished Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics at the UTHealth Medical School, director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children's Memorial Hermann Hosptial, and principle investigator of the trial. "There's anecdotal experience in other types of neurological injuries that reassures us in terms of the safety of the approach and there are some anecdotal hints at it being beneficial in certain types of brain injury."
The Phase I safety study will enroll 10 children ages 18 months to 17 years who have suffered moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and are within 6 to 18 months of their injury.
Cord blood is one source of stem cells that has shown promise in preclinical research and is now being explored in experimental treatments for patients with brain injury. In the preclinical or lab setting, research has shown that cord blood stem cells have the ability to divide and change into neural-like cells. Additionally, these stem cells have been shown to migrate to the area of injury, and to secrete therapeutic factors, which may help repair brain damage. Further preliminary findings from studies underway at UTHealth indicate that cord blood stem cells may also alter the body's immune response to injury, by interacting directly with the organs and cells of the immune system that enable the body to better repair itself.In other words, you could possibly (and literally so) heal thyself using your own cord blood stem cells by enabling your body, in the example of hearing loss in babies, to better repair itself. Especially among babies who gets treated early on and with the help of their own cord blood stem cells, and if it turns out to be successful for the full restoration on hearing, then it becomes a cure. This process would allow deaf babies early on take advantage of the 4 year window of opportunity to take advantage of the active auditory cortex and be able to grow up as a hearing person in every respect. With this Traumatic Brain Injury study and the Hearing Loss study. We should know more the results of these studies by next year on whether cord blood stem cells treatment is a success or not.