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Keywords:

  • cell therapy;
  • neurodegenerative disease;
  • clinical trial

Abstract

Intrastriatal transplantation of striatal neuroblasts from human fetuses is a promising approach for treatment of Huntington's disease, on the basis of many experimental animal studies and, most recently, pilot clinical trials. Technically, several issues remain to be resolved (e.g., the precise site of dissection of the fetal tissue; the number and location of the fetal striatal implants; or the use of immunosuppressive therapy), and await larger-scale trials and purposely designed protocols. Further clinical data must also be obtained, and preliminary promising results must be replicated in a patient group large enough to provide conclusive results. It is important to establish (1) the amount of clinical benefit provided to the patient by the grafted cells; (2) the anticipated duration of clinical benefits; and (3) the secondary rate of decline after the benefit of the graft has been overbalanced. Evaluation of these parameters will require very long-term follow-up of the patients involved, over several years after grafting, before the technique can eventually be proposed widely to patients. © 2002 Movement Disorder Society