Mayo Clinic exploring spine-facing stem cell therapy — 5 insights


Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is in the midst of analyzing a stem cell therapy for spine injuries, the Minneapolis StarTribune reports.

What you should know:

1. Mayo recently released a case report with early results on how 10 patients responded to the treatment.

2. One patient reported "remarkable" results. The completely paralyzed California man received a spinal decompression and a surgery to fuse his cervical vertebrae, which restored his ability to walk. At first, he walked at a pace of 58 seconds per 10 meters. After receiving the stem cell injection 11 months post-injury, he cut his time to 23 seconds per 10 meters.

3. Not all 10 patients have had such success; some patients have been moderate responders and others have not responded.

4. The stem cells migrate to the highest level of inflammation at the site of the injury, but researchers are unsure what happens then.

5. The study is trying to determine if stem cell therapies are effective and which subset of patients the therapies would best work for.

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