Together with our friends at BioInformant, we recently spoke with Dr. Charles Cox, Jr. from the Texas Trauma Institute about his work and on-going clinical trial focused on using cellular therapies (including the use of cord blood stem cells) for traumatic brain injury, and related neurological injuries (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, stroke, spinal cord injury). His team has recently completed Phase 1 of an important clinical trial in this area of research.
Dr. Cox is the George and Cynthia Mitchell Distinguished Chair in Neurosciences and directs the Pediatric Surgical Translational Laboratories and Pediatric Program in Regenerative Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. He also directs the Pediatric Trauma Program at the UT Health Medical School/Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
We caught up with Dr. Cox during the 2016 Perinatal Stem Cell Conference in Aspen, Colorado where he was one of the main speakers at this event and presented:
“Cell based therapies for neurological injuries: Update on clinical trials.”
For parents and doctors alike, the work of Dr. Cox and his team is incredibly important. He has just completed the first acute, autologous cell therapy treatment Phase I study for traumatic brain injury in children. It is a collaborative effort between leading institutions in the Texas Medical Center including The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, and The Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) at Baylor College of Medicine. Pediatric patients (age 5-14) with a post-resuscitation Glascow Coma Score (GCS) between 5 and 8 are identified and further evaluated. The clinical trial is registered under FDA IND RB 12620.
This study began in 2006 with a focus on using bone marrow to treat traumatic brain injury. The study has evolved to include analysis of the use of cord blood stem cells in treating traumatic brain injury and the role of heterologous cellular therapies. Dr. Cox’s discussed the use of cord blood stem cells as it relates to this study in this short interview (watch the video of this interview):
Regenerative medicine is an amazing field of medicine which is quickly changing the way we treat not only traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury but hearing loss, stroke, etc. Cord blood stem cells are vital to this area of medicine. However, cord blood stem cells are typically thrown away as medical waste when a baby is born.
Scientists like Dr. Cox hope that more parents will realize the value of cord blood. It could make the difference in someone’s life. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are not something we can foresee. These injuries can happen in the blink of an eye.
Using cord blood stem cells in regenerative medicine to treat these types of injuries is potentially a game changer for patients around the world. Yet, it won’t happen if we continue to throw cord blood away. We must change our habits. We must be pro-active as parents and insist that our baby’s cord blood either be donated or privately banked at birth. This simple gesture does not harm you or your baby but it could change the world of medicine forever.
Give life twice. #SAVETHECORD
We wish to thank Dr. Cox and the Perinatal Stem Cell Society for their help in making this project possible.
Are you pregnant?
Want to save your baby’s cord blood? Check out our interactive guide to cord blood banking where we list both private family banks and public donation programs around the world: