Do Stem Cell Or Exosome Therapy Treat COVID-19?
So, could stem cell or exosome therapy be a viable treatment for the illness caused by the novel Coronavirus?
The research on stem cell and exosome therapy as treatments for COVID-19
A recent study by a group of researchers from the Kunming University in China showed that culture-expanded Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from umbilical cords and grown in a lab, could be a potential treatment for COVID-19.
The study1 looked at one patient, a 65-year-old woman with a severe case of COVID-19. The woman had been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Baoshan Hospital in Kunming for two weeks and had not shown signs of progress. After the first two treatments, and within days, she was able to get out of bed. After the third injection, the woman was able to leave the ICU and tested negative for COVID-19.
The researchers also discussed how exosomes produced from a similar source could also be effective. The study has not been peer-reviewed yet.
A different study, currently underway in the Hunan province of China, is showing similar results. Doctors there have seen the treatment deliver significant results in just three days.
The research is promising, but it is worth noting that the cells used in the studies above are not available in the U.S. for clinical use.
Although promising, it is too early in the research to make claims. Moreover, the stem cells used in the study were stem cells confirmed as highly viable and functional as this was tissue taken from the obstetrics ward directly into the lab to be isolated and grown. It was not the non-viable tissue being sold and promoted as umbilical cord-derived “stem cells” here in the U.S. Many of those products have been proven to contain dead and non-functional stem cells.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with COVID-19, there’s only one thing you should be doing: seeing your board-certified family or internal medicine PHYSICIAN or hospital ER about what to do next. Please take this seriously, especially if you’re over the age of 65 or have chronic health conditions.
You will likely see many clinics offering fake “stem cell” treatments for COVID-19 over the next few weeks. Please do not buy into these sales pitches. Again, if you need to be in the hospital, that’s where you should be.
1. Liang B, et al. Clinical remission of a critically ill COVID-19 patient treated by human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells. https://3n30av2dln0g4fmlc03hpv0p-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/202002.00084v1.pdf.pdf. Accessed 3/15/20.