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
January 5, 2021. Small umbilical cord stem cell COVID-19 trial: sign of efficacy?
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
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 5, 2020. Interview with Sean Morrison on cellular therapies for COVID
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?