Spinal cord injury (SCI) constitutes an inestimable public health issue. The most crucial phase in the pathophysiological process of SCI concerns the well-known secondary injury, which is the uncontrolled and destructive cascade occurring later with aberrant molecular signaling, inflammation, vascular changes, and secondary cellular dysfunctions. The use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represents one of the most important and promising tested strategies. Their appeal, among the other sources and types of stem cells, increased because of their ease of isolation/preservation and their properties. Nevertheless, encouraging promise from preclinical studies was followed by weak and conflicting results in clinical trials. In this review, the therapeutic role of MSCs is discussed, together with their properties, application, limitations, and future perspectives.
The neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase (NTRK) genes (NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3) code for three transmembrane high-affinity tyrosine-kinase receptors for nerve growth factors (TRK-A, TRK-B, and TRK-C) which are mainly involved in nervous system development. Loss of function alterations in these genes can lead to nervous system development problems; conversely, activating alterations harbor oncogenic potential, promoting cell proliferation/survival and tumorigenesis. Chromosomal rearrangements are the most clinically relevant alterations of pathological NTRK activation, leading to constitutionally active chimeric receptors. NTRK fusions have been detected with extremely variable frequencies in many pediatric and adult cancer types, including central nervous system (CNS) tumors. These alterations can be detected by different laboratory assays (e.g., immunohistochemistry, FISH, sequencing), but each of these approaches has specific advantages and limitations which must be taken into account for an appropriate use in diagnostics or research. Moreover, therapeutic targeting of this molecular marker recently showed extreme efficacy. Considering the overall lack of effective treatments for brain neoplasms, it is expected that detection of NTRK fusions will soon become a mainstay in the diagnostic assessment of CNS tumors, and thus in-depth knowledge regarding this topic is warranted.
Introduction A prospective comparative study between classical posterior interbody fusion with peduncular screws and the new technique with divergent cortical screws was conducted. Material and Methods Only patients with monosegmental degenerative disease were recruited into this study. We analyzed a cohort of 40 patients treated from January 2015 to March 2016 divided into 2 groups (20 patients went to traditional open surgery and 20 patients under mini-invasive strategy). Primary endpoints of this study are fusion rate and muscular damage; secondary endpoints analyzed were three different clinical scores (ODI, VAS, and EQ) and the morbidity rate of both techniques. Results There was no significant difference in fusion rate between the two techniques. In addition, a significant difference in muscular damage was found according to the MRI evaluation. Clinical outcomes, based on pain intensity, Oswestry Disability Index status, and Euroquality-5D score, were found to be also statistically different, even one year after surgery. This study also demonstrated a correlation between patients' muscular damage and their clinical outcome. Conclusions Cortical bone trajectory screws would provide similar outcomes compared to pedicle screws in posterior lumbar interbody fusion at one year after surgery, and this technique represents a reasonable alternative to pedicle screws.
Traumatic peripheral nerve lesions affect hundreds of thousands of patients every year; their consequences are life-altering and often devastating and cause alterations in movement and sensitivity. Spontaneous peripheral nerve recovery is often inadequate. In this context, nowadays, cell therapy represents one of the most innovative approaches in the field of nerve repair therapies. The purpose of this systematic review is to discuss the features of different types of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) relevant for peripheral nerve regeneration after nerve injury. The published literature was reviewed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A combination of the keywords “nerve regeneration”, “stem cells”, “peripheral nerve injury”, “rat”, and “human” were used. Additionally, a “MeSH” research was performed in PubMed using the terms “stem cells” and “nerve regeneration”. The characteristics of the most widely used MSCs, their paracrine potential, targeted stimulation, and differentiation potentials into Schwann-like and neuronal-like cells are described in this paper. Considering their ability to support and stimulate axonal growth, their remarkable paracrine activity, their presumed differentiation potential, their extremely low immunogenicity, and their high survival rate after transplantation, ADSCs appear to be the most suitable and promising MSCs for the recovery of peripheral nerve lesion. Clinical considerations are finally reported.
Separation surgery is a new concept for metastatic spinal cord compression treatment.
Stereotactic radiosurgery increased local control, overcoming radio-resistance’s idea.
The surgery goal shifted towards creating targets for radiations avoiding cord damages.
Minimal invasive strategies could allow quick return to systemic therapies.
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