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      A preliminary report on stem cell therapy for neuropathic pain in humans

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          Abstract

          Objective

          Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown in animal models to attenuate chronic neuropathic pain. This preliminary study investigated if: i) injections of autologous MSCs can reduce human neuropathic pain and ii) evaluate the safety of the procedure.

          Methods

          Ten subjects with symptoms of neuropathic trigeminal pain underwent liposuction. The lipoaspirate was digested with collagenase and washed with saline three times. Following centrifugation, the stromal vascular fraction was resuspended in saline, and then transferred to syringes for local injections into the pain fields. Outcome measures at 6 months assessed reduction in: i) pain intensity measured by standard numerical rating scale from 0–10 and ii) daily dosage requirements of antineuropathic pain medication.

          Results

          Subjects were all female (mean age 55.3 years ± standard deviation [SD] 14.67; range 27–80 years) with pain symptoms lasting from 4 months to 6 years and 5 months. Lipoaspirate collection ranged from 102–214 g with total cell numbers injected from 33 million to 162 million cells. Cell viability was 62%–91%. There were no systemic or local tissue side effects from the stem cell therapy (n=41 oral and facial injection sites). Clinical pain outcomes showed that at 6 months, 5/9 subjects had reduced both pain intensity scores and use of antineuropathic medication. The mean pain score pre-treatment was 7.5 (SD 1.58) and at 6 months had decreased to 4.3 (SD 3.28), P=0.018, Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Antineuropathic pain medication use showed 5/9 subjects reduced their need for medication (gabapentin, P=0.053, Student’s t-test).

          Conclusion

          This preliminary open-labeled study showed autologous administration of stem cells for neuropathic trigeminal pain significantly reduced pain intensity at 6 months and is a safe and well tolerated intervention.

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          Most cited references 31

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          A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation study of intravenous adult human mesenchymal stem cells (prochymal) after acute myocardial infarction.

          Our aim was to investigate the safety and efficacy of intravenous allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in patients with myocardial infarction (MI). Bone marrow-derived hMSCs may ameliorate consequences of MI, and have the advantages of preparation ease, allogeneic use due to immunoprivilege, capacity to home to injured tissue, and extensive pre-clinical support. We performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging (0.5, 1.6, and 5 million cells/kg) safety trial of intravenous allogeneic hMSCs (Prochymal, Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland) in reperfused MI patients (n=53). The primary end point was incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events within 6 months. Ejection fraction and left ventricular volumes determined by echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging were exploratory efficacy end points. Adverse event rates were similar between the hMSC-treated (5.3 per patient) and placebo-treated (7.0 per patient) groups, and renal, hepatic, and hematologic laboratory indexes were not different. Ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring demonstrated reduced ventricular tachycardia episodes (p=0.025), and pulmonary function testing demonstrated improved forced expiratory volume in 1 s (p=0.003) in the hMSC-treated patients. Global symptom score in all patients (p=0.027) and ejection fraction in the important subset of anterior MI patients were both significantly better in hMSCs versus placebo subjects. In the cardiac magnetic resonance imaging substudy, hMSC treatment, but not placebo, increased left ventricular ejection fraction and led to reverse remodeling. Intravenous allogeneic hMSCs are safe in patients after acute MI. This trial provides pivotal safety and provisional efficacy data for an allogeneic bone marrow-derived stem cell in post-infarction patients. (Safety Study of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells [MSC] to Treat Acute Myocardial Infarction; NCT00114452).
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            Algorithm for neuropathic pain treatment: an evidence based proposal.

            New studies of the treatment of neuropathic pain have increased the need for an updated review of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to support an evidence based algorithm to treat neuropathic pain conditions. Available studies were identified using a MEDLINE and EMBASE search. One hundred and five studies were included. Numbers needed to treat (NNT) and numbers needed to harm (NNH) were used to compare efficacy and safety of the treatments in different neuropathic pain syndromes. The quality of each trial was assessed. Tricyclic antidepressants and the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin were the most frequently studied drug classes. In peripheral neuropathic pain, the lowest NNT was for tricyclic antidepressants, followed by opioids and the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin. For central neuropathic pain there is limited data. NNT and NNH are currently the best way to assess relative efficacy and safety, but the need for dichotomous data, which may have to be estimated retrospectively for old trials, and the methodological complexity of pooling data from small cross-over and large parallel group trials, remain as limitations.
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              Pathobiology of neuropathic pain.

              This review deals with physiological and biological mechanisms of neuropathic pain, that is, pain induced by injury or disease of the nervous system. Animal models of neuropathic pain mostly use injury to a peripheral nerve, therefore, our focus is on results from nerve injury models. To make sure that the nerve injury models are related to pain, the behavior was assessed of animals following nerve injury, i.e. partial/total nerve transection/ligation or chronic nerve constriction. The following behaviors observed in such animals are considered to indicate pain: (a) autotomy, i.e. self-attack, assessed by counting the number of wounds implied, (b) hyperalgesia, i.e. strong withdrawal responses to a moderate heat stimulus, (c) allodynia, i.e. withdrawal in response to non-noxious tactile or cold stimuli. These behavioral parameters have been exploited to study the pharmacology and modulation of neuropathic pain. Nerve fibers develop abnormal ectopic excitability at or near the site of nerve injury. The mechanisms include unusual distributions of Na(+) channels, as well as abnormal responses to endogenous pain producing substances and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Persistent abnormal excitability of sensory nerve endings in a neuroma is considered a mechanism of stump pain after amputation. Any local nerve injury tends to spread to distant parts of the peripheral and central nervous system. This includes erratic mechano-sensitivity along the injured nerve including the cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) as well as ongoing activity in the dorsal horn. The spread of pathophysiology includes upregulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in axotomized neurons, deafferentation hypersensitivity of spinal neurons following afferent cell death, long-term potentiation (LTP) of spinal synaptic transmission and attenuation of central pain inhibitory mechanisms. In particular, the efficacy of opioids at the spinal level is much decreased following nerve injury. Repeated or prolonged noxious stimulation and the persistent abnormal input following nerve injury activate a number of intracellular second messenger systems, implying phosphorylation by protein kinases, particularly protein kinase C (PKC). Intracellular signal cascades result in immediate early gene (IEG) induction which is considered as the overture of a widespread change in protein synthesis, a general basis for nervous system plasticity. Although these processes of increasing nervous system excitability may be considered as a strategy to compensate functional deficits following nerve injury, its by-product is widespread nervous system sensitization resulting in pain and hyperalgesia. An important sequela of nerve injury and other nervous system diseases such as virus attack is apoptosis of neurons in the peripheral and central nervous system. Apoptosis seems to induce neuronal sensitization and loss of inhibitory systems, and these irreversible processes might be in common to nervous system damage by brain trauma or ischemia as well as neuropathic pain. The cellular pathobiology including apoptosis suggests future strategies against neuropathic pain that emphasize preventive aspects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2014
                08 May 2014
                : 7
                : 255-263
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Sydney Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, NSW, Australia
                [2 ]Regeneus Ltd, Gordon, NSW, Australia
                [3 ]St Vincents Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: E Russell Vickers, Sydney Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Suite 1401, 520 Oxford St, Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia, Tel +61 2 9369 2153, Fax +61 2 9369 2154, Email oralmaxima@ 123456bigpond.com
                Article
                jpr-7-255
                10.2147/JPR.S63361
                4020887
                © 2014 Vickers et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                trigeminal, orofacial, neuropathic, stem cells, adipose

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