Critically ill patient with Coronavirus saved by regenerative medicine
The following article was first published in the English-language newspaper South China Morning Post, based in Hong Kong and considered the most reliable news source in the region.
A female patient, 65 years old, succumbed to the Covid-19 illness, and bounced right back, after stem cell therapy vaccines were administered, by Chinese academics.
This patient was battling to survive each day at the ICU, in Baoshan Hospital, in the city of Kunming (capital of southwest China’s Yunnan’s province), at a duration of 2 weeks, after catching coronavirus.
Indeed, the team published their findings in a research article. Dr. Hu Min directed this group of academics at Kunming University. The patient became ambulatory 4 days after the patient was administered her 1st vaccine of stem cell therapy treatment, containing umbilical cord stem cells from a healthy birth.
This study states, that even though it was clinical experiment, this outcome and the details would be crucial and lead to other clinical experiments on conducting trails for seriously ill coronavirus patients. This article was featured Thursday on their website, Chinaxiv.org, where research journal articles are about to be peer-reviewed.
The medical team also mentioned that this clinical experiment would be suitable or can be used in conjunction “with other immune modulating agents”.
WHO Clinical Trial Database
This situation in Yunnan, is among “one of 14 trials”, that rely on regenerative medicine on treating the Covid-19 outbreak right in China, by WHO’s (World Health Organization) clinical trial database. Stem cell therapy still remains contentious, however, there is a silver lining for health professionals and medical authorities that this treatment can save many lives, especially those who are seriously ill.
This female patient arrived in the city of Kunming on Jan 21 from a flight from Wuhan, the origin of the Covid-19 outbreak. 1 week later, she succumbed to the following symptoms, fever (mild), tiredness, coughing. She checked into a hospital, and was tested positive for coronavirus. She was transferred to Baoshan Hospital shortly after.
Initial Chinese Government Actions
In accordance to the draconian rules given by the government on treating Covid-19, physicians gave antiviral drugs and antibiotics. The female patient, who also has Type 2 diabetes, was also given oxygen, so she could breathe better. Her health situation improved at the beginning, but worsened immediately, and she was transferred to ICU on February 1, 2020.
When her health did not get better, and her organs started to shut down, doctors decided to respond quickly in a new way. After seeking permission from the hospital’s ethics committee, and the patient’s family, doctors started to treat the patient with regenerative therapy on February 9.
Regenerative therapy comes from stem cells, which are highly adaptive, and transform into many different kinds of cells to make tissue, organs, or body fluids. The cells that the Kunming study used, originated from a laboratory culture.
The physicians thought about regenerative therapy, since coronavirus has been demonstrated from other clinical experiments to show adverse effects on the lungs, liver, and other organs. Animal tests conducted imply that stem cells can undo such damage.
Based on the research article, the patient who arrived in Kunming was administered first 3 vaccines on February 9. When the patient had no serious problems after the first treatment, she was administered a second dose 3 days later. On Feb 13, the same patient was shown to be ambulatory, and walked limited distances.
Her final treatment took place on Feb 15, and 2 days later, she could leave the ICU without assistance. Reseachers looked at the vital signs, which showed no problems. They also confirmed that the Covid-19 throat swab was negative.
Based on Dr. Li Honghui’s response, who also works with other clinical experiments at Loudi Central Hospital in Henan (Central China), regenerative therapy can give promising outcomes in 3 days. He was quoted on Hunan Daily the week before, to have said that they (their research team), cannot follow the usual rules, and that we must show ‘intense creativity’.
The director of biological technology at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Beijing, Zhang Xinmin, said at a press conference on Feb 15, that initial data on regenerative therapy done all over China, said that the stem cell technology was deemed safe and effective.
Government Changes Course
Hospitals in Huanggang city (the worst hit city in Hubei province) got their first package of regenerative therapy vaccines last week, and it would be administered to 3 seriously ill patients by state media.
Another research article on the website, Chinaxiv, Friday, mentioned 7 Covid-19 patients located in the Beijing area were administered regenerative therapy, and also reacted similarly to the patient in Kunming.
A physician who was helping Covid-19 patients in Beijing on the road to recovery, who wanted to be anonymous, mentioned that there is an increase in lots of medical talk in the medical community on the advantages of regenerative medicine. She stated that the regenerative therapy field could have a HUGE potential to bring this method in times of extreme trouble. Ultimately, if this method really has a good reaction from patients, then it should become more mainstream to many patients.