Cord blood-derived stem cells may help treat pulmonary hypertension

July 14, 2022
Research finds potential treatment for PAH.

Clinical researchers in Germany recently reported the first successful treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) using a human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (HUCMSC)-derived therapy.

PAH is a progressive illness characterized by chronically elevated blood pressure in pulmonary circulation that can lead to right-sided heart enlargement and failure. In advanced stages, PAH is considered non-curable.

Investigators at Hannover Medical School (MHH) treated a three-year-old girl with PAH and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia with intravascular infusions of conditioned media from allogenic HUCMSCs five times over the course of six months. They assessed clinical status and invasive hemodynamics at baseline, after 2 months and again after 6 months.

According to investigators, the treatment markedly improved clinical and hemodynamic parameters and decreased blood plasma markers of vascular fibrosis, injury and inflammation at 6 months. There were no adverse events.

"The treatment led to a significant improvement in growth, exercise tolerance and clinical cardiovascular variables and reduced the number of plasma markers in the blood that can be detected in vascular constriction and inflammation," said Georg Hansmann, MD, PhD, head of the Translational Cardiopulmonary Biomedicine research group, and lead attending physician in the Department of Paediatric Cardiology and Intensive Care Medicine at MHH.

While the findings suggest that HUCMSC-derived therapy has the potential to become an efficient treatment for the most severe forms of clinical PAH, the team assumes that such a therapy must be repeated at regular intervals in order to be successful long term. Investigators believe that prospective clinical studies are warranted to confirm and further explore the benefits of HUCMSC-derived therapy for PAH.

AABB release

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