Clinical Trial - Olfactory Ensheathing Cell Transplantation to Repair Spinal Cord
This exciting project involves taking a special type of cell from a patient’s olfactory (sense of smell) system, and transplanting it into the spinal cord injury site.
A world first Phase I clinical trial led by scientists at the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University, in 2002 demonstrated that the therapy is safe for use in humans. That trial led to a recent human trial by British/Polish researchers that demonstrated that restoration of function after severing of the human spinal cord is indeed possible. In this study, a mix of olfactory ensheathing cells and fibroblasts together with a nerve bridge were transplanted into the injured spinal cord. Within 6-12 months after transplantation, the patient, who had been paralysed for several years prior to the treatment, regained some motor function of his legs, bladder control, and sensation.
These exciting proof-of-principle results give hope that patients may regain function after spinal cord injury. What is now needed is to improve the transplantation therapy to make it more effective.
In partnership with the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, the team at Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery is planning to undertake a clinical trial in 2018 to progress this journey and show that this therapy can further regenerate patients’ sensory and motor function.
To learn more about the project and how you can help, please click on the Project Document (PDF) below.