New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The use of cell therapy to treat COVID-19 patients can reduce the risk of death from the disease by 60 per cent, according to a new study. The systematic review and meta-analysis covered 195 clinical trials of advanced cell therapies targeting COVID-19 that were conducted in 30 countries between January 2020 and December 2021, as well as 26 trials with outcomes published by July 2022.
The findings of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Brazil, in partnership with colleagues in Germany and the United States, were reported in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
Cell therapy has advanced significantly in recent years and has been used to treat cancer and auto-immune, heart and infectious diseases. During the
pandemic, it was used to treat COVID-19 in several clinical trials.
“Our study is the first to review all the information on these experiences scattered around the world and to verify by means of a meta-analysis how cell therapy functions when used to treat COVID-19 and related complications,” said Otavio Cabral-Marques, professor at USP’s Medical School.
The technique uses stem cells and derivatives from the patient (autologous) or from a donor (allogenic).
The cells are cultured or modified in the laboratory before being administered.
According to the article, the cell types most frequently used in clinical trials relating to treatment of COVID-19 in the period were multipotent mesenchymal stem (stromal) cells from connective tissue.
Despite the attention paid to cell therapy, the real protection assured by vaccination should be stressed, according to the authors.