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Stroke. 2011 Mar;42(3):825-9. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.601914. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

Stem Cell Therapy as an Emerging Paradigm for Stroke (STEPS) II.

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Department of Neurology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Cell-based therapies represent a new therapeutic approach for stroke. In 2007, investigators from academia, industry leaders, and members of the National Institutes of Health crafted recommendations to facilitate the translational development of cellular therapies as a novel, emerging modality for stroke from animal studies to clinical trials. This meeting was called Stem Cell Therapies as an Emerging Paradigm in Stroke (STEPS) and was modeled on the format of the Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) meetings. Since publication of the original STEPS guidelines, there has been an explosive growth in the number of cellular products and in the number of new laboratory discoveries that impact the safety and potential efficacy of cell therapies for stroke. Any successful development of a cell product will need to take into consideration several factors, including the preclinical safety and efficacy profile, cell characterization, delivery route, in vivo biodistribution, and mechanism of action. In 2010, a second meeting called STEPS 2 was held to bring together clinical and basic science researchers with industry, regulatory, and National Institutes of Health representatives. At this meeting, participants identified critical gaps in knowledge and research areas that require further studies, updated prior guidelines, and drafted new recommendations to create a framework to guide future investigations in cell-based therapies for stroke.

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