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A systematic approach to enhance transparency in mesenchymal stromal cell research

  • Laurent Renesme
    Affiliations
    Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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  • Kelly D Cobey
    Affiliations
    Centre for Journalology, Clinical Epidemiology Program, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada

    School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
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  • Manoj M Lalu
    Affiliations
    Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

    School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

    Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

    Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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  • Bernard Thébaud
    Correspondence
    Corresponding Author: Bernard Thébaud, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, CCW Room W6120, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa K1H 8L6, ON, Canada
    Affiliations
    Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

    Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

    Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and CHEO Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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Published:February 15, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2021.12.011
      For any topic to be studied systematically, there is a need for clarity in definition. The definition of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) is presently ambiguous in the literature, and the misleading interchangeable terminology of MSCs as mesenchymal stromal or stem cells is common [
      • Caplan A.I.
      What's in a name?.
      ,
      • Galipeau J.
      • Sensébé L.
      Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: Clinical Challenges and Therapeutic Opportunities.
      . This causes confusion among scientists and clinicians, which can hinder their ability to interpret and judge the reliability of studies or replicate the findings. This lack of clarity may contribute to patients’ and the general public's perception of a “one size fits all” MSC and contribute to the rise of problematic stem cell medical clinics worldwide hawking unproven therapies. These observations have led to calls to “clear up this stem cell mess” [
      • Sipp D.
      • Robey P.G.
      • Turner L.
      Clear up this stem-cell mess.
      ] and a vision to create a consensus definition of MSCs as well as standards for complete and transparent reporting of both cell characteristics and clinical trial/manufacturing details.
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