Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been utilised in many clinical trials as an experimental treatment in numerous clinical settings. Bone marrow remains the traditional source tissue for MSCs but is relatively hard to access in large volumes. Alternatively, MSCs may be derived from other tissues including the placenta and adipose tissue. In an initial study no obvious differences in parameters such as cell surface phenotype, chemokine receptor display, mesodermal differentiation capacity or immunosuppressive ability, were detected when we compared human marrow derived-MSCs to human placenta-derived MSCs. The aim of this study was to establish and evaluate a protocol and related processes for preparation placenta-derived MSCs for early phase clinical trials.
A full-term placenta was taken after delivery of the baby as a source of MSCs. Isolation, seeding, incubation, cryopreservation of human placenta-derived MSCs and used production release criteria were in accordance with the complex regulatory requirements applicable to Code of Good Manufacturing Practice manufacturing of ex vivo expanded cells.
We established and evaluated instructions for MSCs preparation protocol and gave an overview of the three clinical areas application. In the first trial, MSCs were co-transplanted iv to patient receiving an allogeneic cord blood transplant as therapy for treatment-refractory acute myeloid leukemia. In the second trial, MSCs were administered iv in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and without serious adverse effects. In the third trial, MSCs were injected directly into the site of tendon damage using ultrasound guidance in the treatment of chronic refractory tendinopathy.
Clinical trials using both allogeneic and autologous cells demonstrated MSCs to be safe. A described protocol for human placenta-derived MSCs is appropriate for use in a clinical setting, relatively inexpensive and can be relatively easily adjusted to a different set of regulatory requirements, as applicable to early phase clinical trials.