DOI: 10.1093/stcltm/szad048 ISSN:

Allogeneic Cell Therapy Applications in Neonates: A Systematic Review

Abdul Razak, Donna Lei, Courtney A McDonald, Rod W Hunt, Suzanne L Miller, Atul Malhotra
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • General Medicine



Neonatal cell therapy applications are increasing; however, data on allogeneic cell therapy are limited.


To summarize evidence on allogeneic cell therapy in term and preterm neonates.


Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, Ovid Medline, and various registries were searched for studies investigating the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of allogeneic cell therapy in neonates. Two authors independently selected the articles, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias.


Twelve published (153 infants) and 21 ongoing studies were included. These studies predominantly sourced allogeneic cells from umbilical cord blood (UCB). Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) were the main cell type used (134 of 153 infants); others included UCB-derived total nucleated cells (TNCs) and human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs). Applications included bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD; 113 infants), Krabbe disease (13 infants), intraventricular haemorrhage (10 infants), perinatal arterial ischemic stroke (10 infants), hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (6 infants), and necrotizing enterocolitis (1 infant). Nine out of 12 studies did not report any serious adverse events (SAEs) related to cell administration. Three studies reported SAEs, such as graft versus host disease (GVHD) in 5 infants (UCB-derived TNCs for Krabbe disease); and transient cardiorespiratory compromise in 1 infant (hAECs for BPD). Data on efficacy outcomes were limited.


The safety and feasibility of allogeneic cell therapy applications in neonates are available, mainly from the use of MSCs. Further safety data for other cell types are required, and the risk of GVHD in different settings needs to be determined. Efficacy studies are largely lacking for all cell types.

Protocol Registration

The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (registration number CRD42023397876), the international prospective register for systematic reviews (

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