Published online Jul 26, 2013. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v5.i3.68
Revised: April 8, 2013
Accepted: May 8, 2013
Published online: July 26, 2013
High dose radiation exposures involving medical treatments or accidental irradiation may lead to extended damage to the irradiated tissue. Alleviation or even eradication of irradiation induced adverse events is therefore crucial. Because developments in cell therapy have brought some hope for the treatment of tissues damages induced by irradiation, the Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Safety contributed to establish the clinical guidelines for the management of accidentally irradiated victims and to provide the best supportive care to patients all over the world. In the past 15 years, we contributed to develop and test cell therapy for protection against radiation side effects in several animal models, and we proposed mechanisms to explain the benefit brought by this new therapeutic approach. We established the proof of concept that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) migrate to damaged tissues in the nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency immunotolerant mice model and in non-human primate after radiation exposure. We showed that the intravenous injection of MSCs sustains hematopoiesis after total body irradiation, improves wound healing after radiodermatitis and protects gut function from irradiation damages. Thanks to a tight collaboration with clinicians from several French hospitals, we report successful treatments of therapeutic/accidental radiation damages in several victims with MSC infusions for hematopoiesis correction, radio-induced burns, gastrointestinal disorders and protection homeostatic functions of gut management after radio-therapy.