Myelomeningocele clinical trials at UC Davis
1 research study open to eligible people
open to all eligible people
Spina bifida, or myelomeningocele (MMC), is a disorder where the lower part of the spinal cord of the fetus is exposed, meaning there is no bone or skin covering it. This is dangerous because the spinal cord contains cells which control one's ability to move their legs and walk, and also to be able to urinate and have bowel movements normally. One of the current treatments for fetal MMC is to perform a surgery on the fetus before it is born which has many names including in utero surgery, prenatal surgery, or fetal surgery. This is a surgery that occurs inside the uterus (the womb) where the surgeon closes the opening in your fetus' back to cover the exposed spinal cord. Researchers have found that adding stem cells to the repair is effective in improving the ability of animals with MMC to walk, and that the stem cells are safe in animal studies. These stem cells are thought to protect the cells in the spinal cord that control movement and developmental outcomes. This study is being performed to look at the safety and effectiveness of stem cells on the fetus's exposed spinal cord during prenatal surgery.