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Counting keywords is not compiling clinical trials

In this excerpt, Cell Trials Data discusses whether a simple keyword search is an accurate way to find MSC trials on ClinicalTrials.gov.

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May 14, 2018
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2 Comments

Go to the profile of James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D.

I must disagree with the authors' of the discussed post decision on what to call a false positive.  Certainly, their extreme requirement that a trial be based on MSCs per se increased the size of the error they describe. 

"The false positives included: trials in which the MSC are not fully isolated from their source, trials that rely on the action of cytokines released by MSCs but not the cells themselves, studies of MSC isolation procedures and miscellaneous trials involving cell biology or drug testing etc."

However, for the basis of identifying clinical trials that involve MSCs as proposed principle therapeutic agents, both "trials in which the MSC are not fully isolated from their source, trials that rely on the action of cytokines released by MSCs but not the cells themselves" would also apply for the interest and purpose of most searchers. 


James Sherley

Director, Asymmetrex




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RegMedNet 5 months ago

The following comment was written by and posted on the behalf of the original authors of this post.

Every study or database is based upon inclusion criteria. In this case we applied two criteria: first, that the trial be performing advanced cell therapy, and second that the trial relies on the action of isolated MSC. 

It is certainly true that other researchers might find a broader search more interesting. But once you combine trials of isolated MSC with trials that use heterogeneous cell populations, or secretomes but not cells, etc., it is no longer an apples-to-apples comparison. 

- Cell Trials Data Team