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Stem Cell Therapy for Treating Septic Shock Will Be Tested

Canadian Researchers from Ottawa Hospital Research Institute have won a grant of $442,000 to conduct the first in the world experimental stem cell therapy to treat patients with septic shock.

Septic shock is a life-threatening ailment caused by an infection in the bloodstream. During the septic shock, bacteria spread in the blood and over-activate the immune system. This can result in failure of many organs functioning; actually, septic shock leads to death in 40% of patients. At the same time, the ailment is quite widespread: 20% of patients in intensive care units suffer from septic shock.

Today’s treatment of septic shock presupposes its early diagnosis and medical intervention before the organs start to fail. To prevent death, patients are given high doses of antibiotics intravenously. However, the ailment is very difficult to treat conventionally, and survival rate is very low. That is why more and more researchers consider stem cells as a proper base for the effective treatment.

The experiment of the Ottawa research group will cover 15 participants. All of them will receive mesenchymal stem cells taken from the bone marrow of healthy donors, which first will be grown and purified in the lab. The researchers hope stem cells will reduce the body’s immune system over activation and prevent failure of vital functions.