A Prospective, Nonrandomized, no Placebo-Controlled, Phase I/II Clinical Trial Assessing the Safety and Efficacy of Intramuscular Injection of Autologous Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients With Severe Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s disease is a rare and severe disease affecting the blood vessels of the limbs. Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) have the potential to cure Buerger’s disease when developed as a stem cell drug. In the present study, we conducted a prospective, nonrandomized, no placebo-controlled, phase I/II clinical trial with a 2-year follow-up questionnaire survey. A total of 17 patients were intramuscularly administered autologous ADSCs at a dose of 5 million cells/kg. The incidence of adverse events (AEs), adverse drug reaction (ADR), and serious adverse events (SAEs) was monitored. No ADRs and SAEs related to stem cell treatment occurred during the 6-month follow-up. In terms of efficacy, the primary endpoint was increase in total walking distance (TWD). The secondary endpoint was improvement in rest pain, increase in pain-free walking distance (PFWD), toe–brachial pressure index (TBPI), transcutaneous oxygen pressure (TcPO2), and arterial brachial pressure index (ABPI). ADSCs demonstrated significant functional improvement results including increased TWD, PFWD, and rest pain reduction. No amputations were reported during the 6-month clinical trial period
and in the follow-up questionnaire survey more than 2 years after the ADSC injection. In conclusion, intramuscular injection of ADSCs is very safe and is shown to prompt functional improvement in patients with severe Buerger’s disease at a dosage of 300 million cells per 60 kg of body weight. However, the confirmatory therapeutic efficacy and angiogenesis need further study.

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