Scientists have safely used stem cells derived from a patient's own bone marrow in pediatric patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This was part of a Phase I clinical trial at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
"Our data demonstrate that the acute harvest of bone marrow and infusion of bone marrow mononuclear cells to acutely treat severe TBI in children is safe," said Charles S. Cox, Jr., the study's lead author.
The clinical trial, which included 10 children aged 5 to 14 with severe TBI, was done in partnership with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.
All the children were treated within 48 hours of their injury with their own stem cells, which were collected from their bone marrow, processed and returned to them intravenously.
UTHealth's Department of Neurology is also currently testing the same bone marrow stem cell procedure in adults with acute stroke.
As a Phase I trial designed to look at feasibility and safety, the study did not assess efficacy.
However, after six months of follow-up, all of the children had significant improvement and 7 of the 10 children had a "good outcome," meaning no or only mild disability.
The study was published in this month's issue of Neurosurgery.