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General Health Channel
Reported July 5, 2010

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Treats Deadly Infection


(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- New research shows bone marrow from a commonly used stem cell may be able to treat sepsis, a deadly condition that is a result of infection spreading throughout the body.

Researchers led by Dr. Duncan Stewart at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute worked together to test this idea.

Researchers tested mesenchymal stem cells in mice with sepsis. These stem cells help repair tissue damage. During their research, gut bacteria was released into the abdomen which resulted in infection and organ damage. Half the mice were given an injection of mouse mesenchymal stem cells six hours after stimulating the infection. The other half of the mice only received a control solution of salt. Results and data showed after five days 50 percent of the mice who received the injection of stem cells were still alive, while only 15 percent of the control mice were alive.

"Our results suggest that mesenchymal stem cells may provide a promising new approach for treating organ damage caused by severe infection and we are looking to test this in patients in the near future," Dr. Stewart said.

“I think more work needs to be done to look at safety and whether or not we need to look at other models again so we can be sure we have the data that would be required […] this was a pivotal study,” Dr. Stewart said.

This is a major medical breakthrough, as sepsis causes more than $16 billion in health care and insurance claims per year.

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SOURCE: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine; Ivanhoe Interview with Dr. Duncan Stewart, June 30, 2010.

 

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