Stem cell treatment may improve quality of life in osteoarthritis
Stem cells collected from the patient’s own bone marrow seems to improve pain levels and quality of life says an exciting small trial in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
The potential therapy holds great interest because of the ability of stem cells to regenerate damaged cartilage. In the end stages of knee osteoarthritis, joint replacement tends to be the recommended treatment. But this could be set to change in the future due, in part, to the research from Canada.
A total of 12 people aged 45 years to 65 years, who had moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis were divided into three groups. Each group received a different dose of stem cells (and was injected with his or her own cells.)
After 12 months, the scientists noted significant improvements in the pain levels and quality of life of the volunteers. The study also showed that the treatment was safe at all the doses tested and the higher the dose, the more effective the outcome.
“We have been able to show that through an anti-inflammatory mechanism of action, such patients have an improvement in pain, function and quality of life,” outlines Dr Jaskarndip Chahal, one of the research group. “This sets the stage for the future of cell-based therapy and trials in Canada.”
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