I’d like to highlight the importance of collecting data dedicated to cell therapy activity. First of all, analysis of scientific literature, indexed in PubMed can capture very small part of all activities in clinical cell therapy field. Collecting such data will allow us to define some trends, estimate potential market and navigate the community to work in right direction. Collecting the data about cell therapy activities is a hard work and our efforts should be collaborative.
There are a number of professional organizations and societies which started to do it. For example, European group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), in 2007 included a “novel cellular therapy” category in their annual activity survey for transplant centers. The first report about cell therapy activity in Europe, was published with annual 2007 EBMT survey. They define “novel cellular therapy” as cell transplants of non-hematopoietic cells or hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for non-hematopoietic use. For 2008 report, data were collected in collaboration with 4 other professional organizations: TERMIS-EU, ISCT-EU, ICRS and EULAR. This collaborative effort led to creation of comprehensive database of nearly all patients, legally treated in Europe by different cell types.
Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) is the organization collecting cell therapy activity data mainly in US. They have listed a few research projects dedicated to cell therapy, but didn’t release any reports yet. I have never heard anything like that from Asia, but I suspect that they have done a lot. I’m happy to share some published data below.
Cell therapy activity in Europe 2008 in numbers:
Members of the 4 participating societies from 47 countries (39 European and 8 affiliated countries) were contacted for the 2008 report (EBMT survey). The non-European countries affiliated with the EBMT were Algeria, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Tunisia. Thirty three teams in 16 countries (14 European and 2 affiliated countries) reported novel cellular therapies using the survey form, with detailed information on indication, cell source and type, donor type, processing, and delivery mode.
1040 patients were treated with novel cellular therapies, 376 (36%) with allogeneic and 664 (64%) with autologous cells.
Main indications were cardiovascular disorders (29%; 100% autologous), musculoskeletal disorders (18%; 97% autologous), neurological disorders (9%; 39% autologous), epithelial disorders (9%; 18% autologous), autoimmune diseases (12%; 77% autologous), and graft-versus-host disease (23%; 13% autologous).
Of the 406 HSC treatments, 84% were autologous transplants and 70% were used to treat cardiovascular diseases. All 48 chondrocyte and 16 myoblast transplants were autologous. Of the 491 mesenchymal stromal cell-based therapies, 49% were allogeneic.
Of all the grafted products reported in detailed form, 51% were based on expanded cells and in 5% of the cases cells were transduced. About one-third (31%) of the products was given intravenously, 45% intraorgan, 14% on a membrane or gel, and 10% using a three-dimensional scaffold.
Nonexpanded cells were used to treat 93% of cardiovascular, 50% of musculoskeletal, and 19% of neurological disorders, whereas epithelial/parenchymal and autoimmune diseases were exclusively treated with expanded cells.
High cellular therapy rates were reported in Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Turkey.
This report is impressive! In appendix they listed all centers performed cell therapy procedures in 47 countries with name of doctors. Please let me know if you have fresh information about 2008-2009 cell therapy activities in US, Europe and Asia. Stay tuned for 2009 reports.