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Papers: 8 Jun 2024 - 14 Jun 2024

2024 Jul

Low Urin Tract Symptoms




Stem cell therapy for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.


Shin JH, Park JH, Ryu CM, Shin DM, Choo MS


Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a chronic disease with limited treatment options. Current multidisciplinary approach targeting bladder inflammation and urothelial dysfunction has limited durable effect that major surgery is ultimately required for both Hunner and non-Hunner type IC. Various investigational attempts are underway to avoid such operations and preserve the urinary bladder. Stem cell therapy is a fascinating option for treating chronic illnesses. Stem cells can self-renew, restore damaged tissue, and have paracrine effects. The therapeutic efficacy and safety of stem cell therapy have been demonstrated in numerous preclinical models, primarily chemically induced cystitis rat models. Only one clinical trial (phase 1 study) has investigated the safety of human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells in three Hunner-type IC patients. Under general anesthesia, participants underwent cystoscopic submucosal stem cell injection (2.0 × 10 stem cells/5 mL). No safety issues were reported up to 12 months of follow-up and long-term follow-up (up to 3 years). Although there were variations in therapeutic response, all patients reported significant improvement in pain at 1 month postoperatively. One patient underwent fulguration of the Hunner lesion after the trial, but others reported an overall improvement in pain. The analysis on phase 1/2a trial which had several modifications in protocol is currently ongoing. Despite several limitations that need to be overcome, stem cell therapy could be a potential therapeutic option for treating IC/BPS. Clinical outcome on phase 1/2a trial is important and might provide more insight into the clinical application of stem cell therapy for IC/BPS.