Clinical studies in stem cells transplantation for stroke: A review

Anna Bersano, Elena Ballabio, Silvia Lanfranconi, Giorgio B. Boncoraglio, Stefania Corti, Federica Locatelli, Pierluigi Baron, Nereo Bresolin, Eugenio Parati, Livia Candelise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stroke is a significant cause of long-term disability. Currently, once damage from a stroke is established little can be done to recover lost function. Cell transplantation emerged as possible alternative therapy, on the basis of animal studies showing that cells transplanted into the brain not only survive but also lead to functional improvement in different neurodegenerative diseases. Stem cells have been tested in stroke patients as a possible treatment option. While initially stem cells seemed to work by a "cell replacement" mechanism, it is emerging that cell therapy works mostly by providing trophic support to the injured tissue and brain, fostering both neurogenesis and angiogenesis. This review summarizes clinical studies on stem cell transplantation in stroke patients to evaluate the safety, feasibility of administration and tolerability of this experimental treatment. At present there is little evidence to assess the applicability of this treatment in stroke patients and well designed clinical trials are necessary to evaluate safety and toxicity as well as optimal cell type, route and time of delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Vascular Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Cell transplantation
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Clinical studies
  • Human
  • Stem cells
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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