Stem cell therapy in ischemic stroke

Objective: Cell-based therapies are being investigated as an adjunct to IV thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy in ischemic stroke. This review summarizes the potential applications as well as challenges of intravascular cell delivery in ischemic stroke.

Method: We conducted a search of Medline as well as the Web site for all ongoing human clinical studies using stem cells in ischemic stroke patients.

Result: The pros and cons of the various donor cell types and routes of cell delivery, including intravascular delivery, in ischemic stroke are discussed. In addition, the potential challenges in translation from bench to bedside, the optimal techniques for intravascular cell delivery, and an updated comprehensive list of ongoing clinical trials in ischemic stroke are highlighted.

Conclusions: Stem cells have shown a promising role in ischemic stroke, in preclinical studies as well as initial pilot studies. Further studies are needed to assess intravascular cell therapy as a potential adjunct to thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy in ischemic stroke.