- Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a potentially curative therapy for some malignant and non-malignant disease. There have been substantial advances since the approaches first introduced in the 1970s, and the development of approaches to transplant with HLA incompatible or alternative donors has improved access to transplant for those without a fully matched donor. However, success is still limited by morbidity and mortality from toxicity and imperfect disease control. Here we review our emerging understanding of how reconstitution of effective immunity after allogeneic transplant can protect from these events and improve outcomes.
- Thalassemia and sickle cell disease (SCD) are the most common monogenic diseases in the world and represent a growing global health burden. Management is limited by a paucity of disease-modifying therapies; however, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and autologous HSCT after genetic modification offer patients a curative option. Allogeneic HSCT is limited by donor selection, morbidity and mortality from transplant conditioning, graft-versus-host disease and graft rejection, whereas significant concerns regarding long-term safety, efficacy and cost limit the broad applicability of gene therapy.
- There is considerable interest in the next generation of personalized medicine, especially cell and gene therapy products such as chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-Ts). Unlike other small molecules or pharmacologic drugs, most existing cell or cell-based gene therapy products (CGTs) require apheresis collection of the patient or donor, subsequent manufacture of the product, and final shipment of the product to the clinical site for infusion. Whereas traditional pharmaceutical drugs have involved the drug sponsor and the clinical site and clinical pharmacy, this new manufacturing paradigm has evolved, in many cases, to include an apheresis center, a cell processing lab, the sponsor's manufacturing facility, and a clinical site with or without a pharmacy.
- Cellular immunotherapy is the application of immune cells that are collected, and often modified ex vivo, to improve immune responses for a patient's treatment. The Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) defines immune effector cells (IECs) as cells designed to modulate immune responses for therapeutic purposes and includes cells such as T cells, B cells, natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells . Many of these types of cells may be genetically modified to further enhance their cellular function.
- The Cellular Therapy Coding and Labeling Advisory Group of the International Council for Commonality in Blood Banking Automation and the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) committee are providing specific recommendations on abbreviating tissue sources of culture-adapted MSCs. These recommendations include using abbreviations based on the ISBT 128 terminology model that specifies standard class names to distinguish cell types and tissue sources for culture-adapted MSCs.
- Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) have been widely tested against many diseases, with more than 1000 registered clinical trials worldwide. Despite many setbacks, MSCs have been approved for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease and Crohn disease. However, it is increasingly clear that MSCs exert their therapeutic functions in a paracrine manner through the secretion of small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) of 50–200 nm in diameter. Unlike living cells that can persist long-term, sEVs are non-living and non-replicative and have a transient presence in the body.
- The field of regenerative medicine is developing technologies that, in the near future, will offer alternative approaches to either cure diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract or slow their progression by leveraging the intrinsic ability of our tissues and organs to repair after damage. This article will succinctly illustrate the three technologies that are closer to clinical translation—namely, human intestinal organoids, sphincter bioengineering and decellularization, whereby the cellular compartment of a given segment of the digestive tract is removed to obtain a scaffold consisting of the extracellular matrix.
- The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) committee has been an interested observer of community interests in all matters related to MSC identity, mechanism of action, potency assessment and etymology, and it has regularly contributed to this conversation through a series of MSC pre-conferences and committee publications dealing with these matters. Arising from these reflections, the authors propose that an overlooked and potentially disruptive perspective is the impact of in vivo persistence on potency that is not predicted by surrogate cellular potency assays performed in vitro and how this translates to in vivo outcomes.