Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Clinical Applications (An Overview)
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) based therapy has emerged rapidly over the last decade as a novel tissue repair and regenerative as well as immunomodulatory therapy despite the relative paucity in the knowledge of its exact mechanism of action. Despite that, a growing body of evidence from pre-clinical studies demonstrate that MSC based therapy is safe and efficacious, which has led to the current series of ongoing clinical trials. In this review, the mechanism of action of MSC is discussed and the current clinical trials using MSC and the safety data from early phase 1/2 clinical trials are outlined. After this general discussion, we focus specifically on the use of MSC therapy in peripheral arterial disease from pre-clinical studies to potential use in clinical trials. Finally, we highlight current limitations of MSC based therapy and provide suggestions for a standardised approach to MSC based therapy which permits a more direct comparison with other trials.