Combined Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy and One-Way Endobronchial Valve Placement in Patients with Pulmonary Emphysema: A Phase I Clinical Trial

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2017 Mar;6(3):962-969. doi: 10.1002/sctm.16-0315. Epub 2016 Dec 9.


One-way endobronchial valves (EBV) insertion to reduce pulmonary air trapping has been used as therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. However, local inflammation may result and can contribute to worsening of clinical status in these patients. We hypothesized that combined EBV insertion and intrabronchial administration of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) would decrease the inflammatory process, thus mitigating EBV complications in severe COPD patients. This initial study sought to investigate the safety of this approach. For this purpose, a phase I, prospective, patient-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled design was used. Heterogeneous advanced emphysema (Global Initiative for Chronic Lung Disease [GOLD] III or IV) patients randomly received either allogeneic bone marrow-derived MSCs (108 cells, EBV+MSC) or 0.9% saline solution (EBV) (n = 5 per group), bronchoscopically, just before insertion of one-way EBVs. Patients were evaluated 1, 7, 30, and 90 days after therapy. All patients completed the study protocol and 90-day follow-up. MSC delivery did not result in acute administration-related toxicity, serious adverse events, or death. No significant between-group differences were observed in overall number of adverse events, frequency of COPD exacerbations, or worsening of disease. Additionally, there were no significant differences in blood tests, lung function, or radiological outcomes. However, quality-of-life indicators were higher in EBV + MSC compared with EBV. EBV + MSC patients presented decreased levels of circulating C-reactive protein at 30 and 90 days, as well as BODE (Body mass index, airway Obstruction, Dyspnea, and Exercise index) and MMRC (Modified Medical Research Council) scores. Thus, combined use of EBV and MSCs appears to be safe in patients with severe COPD, providing a basis for subsequent investigations using MSCs as concomitant therapy. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:962-969.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Endobronchial valves; Lung volume reduction; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Spirometry.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Valve / physiology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Treatment Outcome


  • C-Reactive Protein