The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have swept the world with few proven treatment options. Vaccines are only recently being rolled out the last 2 or so months, which gives some real hope.
While the novel coronavirus-caused illness is generally a mild disease in kids (many of whom don’t even show symptoms), young adults, and even some middle-aged people, in older folks and those with underlying conditions it can be disastrous and even fatal. Over 2.2 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide as of early February 2021.
For all these reasons, there is interest in pursuing novel treatment options including via small trials during the outbreak and stem cells as well as other cellular therapies have garnered quite a bit of attention here.
On this page I will be regularly updating you on developments related to stem cells and the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Another great resource is the Washington Post’s free coronavirus coverage.
As of this update in late June, I am still somewhat skeptical about the utility of stem cells for COVID-19 but we’ll see how things look as more data accumulate.
What do you think?
Here are my past posts on this topic.
A great general resource: Research lab ramp-up plan & real-world tips to lower COVID risk
December 16, 2021. Explainer on the role of HEK 293 cells in COVID vaccine production.
June 14, 2021. Our new paper assessing trials of cell therapy for COVID-19
February 2021. Lawmaker indicted for selling fake stem cells for COVID & more
January 5, 2021. Small umbilical cord stem cell COVID-19 trial: sign of efficacy?
November, 2020. Why I’m planning to get a COVID RNA vaccine: low, mostly theoretical risks
October 2, 2020. Will Trump get stem cells for COVID?
Aug 3, 2020. Review of 4 cell therapy types under study for COVID
June 11, 2020. June 2020 update on cells for COVID
May 13, 2020. Field throws stem cells for COVID-19 like spaghetti on the wall
April 26, 2020. COVID-19 cellular medicine buzz: Mesoblast, FTC hammer, more
April 13, 2020. Cell therapy trials for COVID-19 accelerate & some early reports
April 9, 2020. Who IS this!? Surprising phone survey of stem cell clinics on their COVID pandemic status.
April 5, 2020. Interview with Sean Morrison on cellular therapies for COVID
March 31, 2020. Deconstructing Rudy Giuliani ‘stem cells for COVID-19’ podcast & NK cell transplant idea
March 27, 2020. Rudy Giuliani now plugging unproven stem cells for COVID19: is Trump next?
March 26, 2020. As clinics buzz about coronavirus, COVID19 patient given non-FDA-approved exosomes?
March 18, 2020. Patient Q&A#2: Are autoimmune or stem cell transplant patients at higher risk from COVID-19?
March 10, 2020 Promise from Athersys & Mesoblast stem cell drugs for novel coronavirus & COVID-19?
March 3, 2020 ‘We Cannot Stick to the Rules’: claims of stem cells saving COVID-19 patients
February 19, 2020 COVID-19 stem cell trials pile up during novel coronavirus outbreak
What do you think of the promise of stem cells for the novel coronavirus? Can cells such as MSCs battle the cytokine storm associated with COVID? Have other positive effects? What about risks?