Autologous incubated macrophage therapy in acute, complete spinal cord injury: results of the phase 2 randomized controlled multicenter trial

Spinal Cord, 05/09/2012

The analysis failed to show a significant difference in primary outcome between the two groups. The study results do not support treatment of acute complete spinal cord injury (SCI) with autologous incubated macrophage therapy as specified in this protocol.


  • Participants with traumatic complete SCI between C5 motor and T11 neurological levels who could receive macrophage therapy within 14 days of injury were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to the treatment (autologous incubated macrophages) or control (standard of care) groups.
  • Treatment group participants underwent macrophage injection into the caudal boundary of the SCI.
  • The primary outcome measure was American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) A-B or better at 6 months.
  • Safety was assessed by analysis of adverse events (AEs).


  • Of 43 participants (26 treatment, 17 control) having sufficient data for efficacy analysis, AIS A to B or better conversion was experienced by 7 treatment and 10 control participants; AIS A to C conversion was experienced by 2 treatment and 2 control participants.
  • The primary outcome analysis for subjects with at least 6 months follow-up showed a trend favoring the control group that did not achieve statistical significance (P=0.053).
  • The mean number of AEs reported per participant was not significantly different between the groups (P=0.942).

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