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Post-radiation xerostomia therapy with allogeneic mesenchymal stromal stem cells in patients with head and neck cancer: study protocol for phase I clinical trial

Authors
  • Strojan, Primoz
  • Plavc, Gaber
  • Kokalj, Marko
  • Mitrovic, Goran
  • Blatnik, Olga
  • Lezaic, Luka
  • Socan, Aljaz
  • Bavec, Aljosa
  • Tesic, Natasa
  • Hartman, Katrina
  • Svajger, Urban
Type
Published Article
Journal
Radiology and Oncology
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Nov 30, 2023
Volume
57
Issue
4
Pages
538–549
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/raon-2023-0052
PMID: 38038413
PMCID: 10690747
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Study Protocol
License
Green

Abstract

Background Xerostomia is a common side effect of radiotherapy in patients with head and neck tumors that negatively affects quality of life. There is no known effective standard treatment for xerostomia. Here, we present the study protocol used to evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of allogeneic mesenchymal stromal stem cells (MSCs) derived from umbilical cord tissue. Patients and methods Ten oropharyngeal cancer patients with post-radiation xerostomia and no evidence of disease recurrence 2 or more years after (chemo)irradiation (intervention group) and 10 healthy volunteers (control group) will be enrolled in this nonrandomized, open-label, phase I exploratory study. MSCs from umbilical cord tissue will be inserted under ultrasound guidance into both parotid glands and both submandibular glands of the patients. Toxicity of the procedure will be assessed according to CTCAE v5.0 criteria at days 0, 1, 5, 28, and 120. Efficacy will be assessed by measuring salivary flow and analyzing its composition, scintigraphic evaluation of MSC grafting, retention, and migration, and questionnaires measuring subjective xerostomia and quality of life. In addition, the radiological, functional, and morphological characteristics of the salivary tissue will be assessed before, at 4 weeks, and at 4 months after the procedure. In the control group subjects, only salivary flow rate and salivary composition will be determined. Discussion The use of allogeneic MSCs from umbilical cord tissue represents an innovative approach for the treatment of xerostomia after radiation. Due to the noninvasive collection procedure, flexibility of cryobanking, and biological advantages, xerostomia therapy using allogeneic MSCs from umbilical cord tissue may have an advantage over other similar therapies.

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