Posted: Jan 12, 2012
Let’s “hear” it for new research to help children with hearing loss!
A new clinical trial launching this month will evaluate the safety of a child’s own cord blood stem cells to treat sensorineural hearing loss. It is the first FDA-regulated, Phase 1 safety study exploring the use of cord blood stem cells to treat children with sensorineural hearing loss.
The year-long trial, being conducted at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, will follow 10 children, aged six weeks to 18 months, who have sustained a post-birth hearing loss and who also have access to their own umbilical cord blood stem cells banked at Cord Blood Registry (CBR).Read more about the trial here.
“Children only have 18 months to acquire language skills and, if a child does not hear well, they will not acquire the language skills to speak normally,” said James Baumgartner, M.D., sponsor of the study and guest research collaborator at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston(UTHealth) Medical School.
Sensorineural hearing loss affects approximately 6 per 1000 children, with 9% resulting from acquired causes such as viral infection and head injury.(1,2,3) Most of the time, sensorineural hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected.(4) Current interventions like hearing aids or cochlear implants are designed to augment the diminished function of the injured tissue.(5) In this new clinical trial, however, researchers are evaluating the safety of cord blood stem cells as a potential reparative treatment option for hearing loss in children.
This marks the third such clinical trial where researchers have partnered exclusively with CBR to focus on the use of children’s own cord blood stem cells for study in neurological applications. To ensure consistency in cord blood stem cell processing, storage and release for infusion, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) and Georgia Health Sciences University, home of the Medical College of Georgia, have all named CBR as their cord blood bank partner in their FDA-authorized protocols. This makes CBR the only family cord blood bank able to link its clients as potential clinical trial participants with researchers conducting these studies.
Visit the CBR Center for Regenerative Medicine to learn more about these ground-breaking clinical trials.
(1) Bergstrom L, Hemenway WG, Downs MP. A high risk registry to find congenital deafness. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 1977;4:369-399.
(2) Billings KR, Kenna MA. Causes of pediatric sensorineural hearing loss: yesterday and today. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 May;125(5):517-21.
(3) Smith RJ, Bale JF Jr, White KR. Sensorineural hearing loss in children. Lancet. 2005;365(9462):879-890.
(4) American Speech Language Hearing Association. Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Sensorineural-Hearing-Loss/. Accessed February 2011.
(5) National Institute on Deafness and Communications Disorders. Cochlear Implants. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/staticresources/health/hearing/FactSheetCochlearImplant.pdf. Accessed February 2011.