Concise Review: Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Based Approaches for the Treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress and Sepsis Syndromes

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Despite extensive research on candidate pharmacological treatments and a significant and increasing prevalence, sepsis syndrome, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remain areas of unmet clinical need. Preclinical studies examining mesenchymal stromal cell (MSCs) based-therapies have provided compelling evidence of potential benefit; however, the precise mechanism by which MSCs exert a therapeutic influence, and whether MSC application is efficacious in humans, remains unknown. Detailed evaluation of the limited number of human trials so far completed is further hampered as a result of variations in trial design and biomarker selection. This review provides a concise summary of current preclinical and clinical knowledge of MSCs as a cell therapy for sepsis syndrome and ARDS. The challenges of modeling such heterogeneous and rapidly progressive disease states are considered and we discuss how lessons from previous studies of pharmacological treatments for sepsis syndrome and ARDS might be used to inform and refine the design of the next generation of MSC clinical trials. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:1141–1151

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