(HealthDay News) – For patients with multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis, adjunct therapy with autologous mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) is safe, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Aliaksandr Skrahin, MD, from the Republican Research and Practical Centre for Pulmonology and TB in Minsk, Belarus, and colleagues assessed the safety of infusion of autologous MSCs as an adjunct treatment in 30 patients with microbiologically confirmed MDR and XDR tuberculosis. Participants, aged >21 years to <65 years, were treated with single-dose autologous bone marrow-derived MSCs within four weeks of the start of antituberculosis-drug treatment.

The researchers found that the most common Grade 1 or 2 adverse events were high cholesterol levels, nausea, and lymphopenia or diarrhea (seen in 14, 11, and 10 of 30 patients, respectively). No serious adverse events were reported. Two transitory Grade 3 events were reported: increased plasma potassium ion concentrations and γ-glutamyltransferase elevation, each in one patient.

“MSCs as an adjunct therapy are safe and can now be explored further for the treatment of patients with MDR or XDR tuberculosis in combination with standard drug regimens,” the authors write. “Adjunct treatment with MSCs needs to be evaluated in controlled Phase 2 trials to assess effects on immune responses and clinical and microbiological outcomes.”

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