We have come a long way in discovering new weapons against Covid. But people who require ventilation have been especially difficult to treat since the pandemic took hold.
Well, an international team of researchers has got together and come up with a new approach using stem cells to treat seriously ill patients with Covid-19.
Georgina Ellison-Hughes, Professor of King’s College London, a member of the International Society on Aging and Disease, found stem cells (MSC) can control many parts of the immune system and even rein it in where there’s a danger of it overreacting to Covid infections.
These MSC stem cells are unique and powerful in modulating the immune system, which make them an excellent candidate for treating Covid.
In February 2020, the professor and her team had shown that an injection of MSC into seven Covid-19 pneumonia patients improved symptoms and recovery time, compared to three placebo-treated patients.
In its latest study, the team completed a trial of MSC infused intravenously. The results showed the MSC treatment was effective, rapidly and substantially relieving symptoms and improving the prognosis of severe and critically ill patients.
Follow-up chest scans showed a greater improvement in patients with critical bronchial and lung disease in the MSC treatment group compared with the placebo group.
Importantly, the treatment also led to a shorter hospital stay – 11 days versus 15 days. This fact has always proved popular with patients and their families and will, of itself, promote MSC therapy.
Professor Ellison-Hughes is positive.
“These findings advance MSC transplantation as a safe and effective therapeutic for treating those critically ill patients with Covid-19,” she says.
“Our findings show MSC therapy has multiple modes of action in how it can effectively treat Covid-19.”
During the trial, markers of Covid disease were tracked and MSC treatment improved them all, especially the markers for severe inflammation, and resulted in prolonged persistence of Covid-19 antibodies.
MSC infusion also reduced the frequency of thrombosis, which is a complication of Covid infection. MSC really seems to improve many aspects of the infection and counteract its ill effects.
Overall, patients in the MSC group tolerated the treatment well and were discharged from hospital without any adverse reactions. The death rate was zero in the MSC group and 6.9% in the placebo group.
In line with previous clinical studies, it indicates it is a safe therapeutic approach for use in patients with Covid and effective in treating it.
Wow, I’m impressed. Another weapon in our locker against Covid.