University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

University of Miami Treats COVID-19 Patients with MSC Stem Cells

For COVID-19 patients in severe respiratory distress, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine now offers access to mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatments that may help fight the characteristic inflammation that accompanies the viral infection.

Newswise — For COVID-19 patients in severe respiratory distress, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine now offers access to mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatments that may help fight the characteristic inflammation that accompanies the viral infection.

On April 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MSC treatments for seriously ill COVID-19 patients as an “expanded access compassionate use.” Since then, UM has provided clinicians in Miami and Maryland with MSCs taken from bone marrow and cultured at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) manufacturing lab. Six COVID-19 patients with serious breathing difficulties have shown improvement after receiving MSC infusions along with other treatments. The sixth patient, who was on ECMO, was recently injected at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“Early reports from China indicated that MSCs could be helpful in treating COVID-19 patients in severe respiratory distress,” said Jose Guillermo Castro, M.D., professor of infectious diseases at the Miller School and director of the antibiotic stewardship program at UHealth Tower. “We offer that form of therapy through ISCI and are cautiously optimistic that it can be helpful.”

Aisha Khan, executive director of laboratory operations at ISCI, said MSCs can help address an immune system over-response to a COVID-19 infection called a “cytokine storm,” referring to small proteins that produce inflammation, damaging the lungs and other organs. “Stem cells don’t make the virus disappear, but they help the body fight this disease,” said Khan. “By suppressing the cytokine storm, they can help a patient regain breathing ability.”

On April 7, Sixto Alejandro Arias, M.D., an interventional pulmonologist with UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, gave an initial infusion of MSCs to a patient in his 40s, who tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March and was admitted to UHealth Tower with severe respiratory problems.

“Stem cells have been widely used to treat interstitial lung disease, and we felt this could be a safe and helpful therapy,” said Dr. Arias. “He received other forms of treatment as well; we don’t know how much the MSCs helped his condition. But we are very gratified to see him improve, and he is now out of intensive care.” That patient has since been discharged from UHealth Tower.

In early April, ISCI shipped MSCs to clinicians at the University of Maryland who were treating two patients with no other options. Both initial patients and two additional patients did well, and their levels of inflammation went down, according to Khan.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this experimental therapy, working closely with our colleagues on the front lines taking care of these critically ill patients,” said Joshua M. Hare, M.D., Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine and founding director of ISCI.

Khan said ISCI is making both bone marrow and umbilical cord-derived MSCs available for treating COVID-19 patients throughout South Florida. The FDA recently approved a clinical trial led by UM’s Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center that will test the safety and effectiveness of umbilical cord-derived MSCs.

“Our staff members are working night and day to build our inventory, and we now have the ability to treat about 50 patients,” Khan said. “We plan to continue growing our inventory because the need for COVID-19 treatments is so great.”




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 2836
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 10-Aug-2020 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 7-Aug-2020 7:30 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 10-Aug-2020 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 2:25 PM EDT
Alcoholism treatment is potentially effective against COVID-19
National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE)

A team of chemists from HSE University and the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry used molecular modelling to find out that two medications that have been known for a long time can be used to fight SARS-CoV-2.

Newswise: 239651_web.jpg
Released: 7-Aug-2020 1:10 PM EDT
Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study finds
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Study: Most Americans don't have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income
Oregon State University

A new study from Oregon State University found that 77% of low- to moderate-income American households fall below the asset poverty threshold, meaning that if their income were cut off they would not have the financial assets to maintain at least poverty-level status for three months.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 11:55 AM EDT
COVID recovery choices shape future climate
University of Leeds

A post-lockdown economic recovery plan that incorporates and emphasises climate-friendly choices could help significantly in the battle against global warming, according to a new study.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 11-Aug-2020 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 7-Aug-2020 10:55 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 11-Aug-2020 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 7-Aug-2020 9:45 AM EDT
Potentially predictive humoral immune response markers in COVID-19 patients
Massachusetts General Hospital

Galit Alter, PhD, Group Leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Helen Chu, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington School of Medicine, and UW Medicine physician, have recently published a paper which identifies five immune response markers which, collectively, were able to correctly classify both convalescent COVID-19 patients and those who did not survive the disease

Released: 7-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
ACSM Publishes Call to Action Addressing COVID-19 and Return to Sports and Physical Activity
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM published a call to action statement addressing COVID-19 and safely returning to sports and exercise. Authored by ACSM subject matter experts, the statement highlights the current science around COVID-19 and provides 12 action steps to consider. “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity” is ACSM’s first call to action statement and published in the August issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports.

Newswise: University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute expert leads call to action for harnessing exercise’s health benefits during the pandemic
7-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute expert leads call to action for harnessing exercise’s health benefits during the pandemic
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

To address and overcome the challenges so Americans can return to or sustain physical activity safely, Thomas M. Best, M.D., Ph.D., FACSM, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and research director of the UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, and sports medicine colleagues from around the U.S. wrote “COVID-19: Considerations for Sports and Physical Activity,” published August 7 in Current Sports Medicine Reports, an American College of Sports Medicine journal.


Showing results

110 of 2836

close
1.24432