Doctors need to understand the variable factors of successful and non-successful Stem Cell Therapy
Researchers in India publishing in the Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma say that the versatility of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as a treatment for osteoarthritis, while through many studies has been shown to significantly alleviate the pain experienced by osteoarthritic patients, its effectiveness has varying degrees of success.
This is probably attributable to the different approaches adopted in harnessing the stem cells therapeutic value. Accordingly, it is pertinent to understand the contributory factors like MSC type, dosage, size of osteoarthritic lesion, MSC carrier, and mode of infusion.1
Stem Cells for Bio-resurfacing
Researchers in China writing in the Chinese Medical Journal, have explored the replacing apoptotic chondrocytes (dead or dying cartilage cells) in the superficial cartilage by injecting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) intra-articularly. This effect was termed as bio-resurfacing.
The doctors investigated injecting allogenic (from a donor rat) stem cells intra-articularly into a rat with osteoarthritis and evaluated the influence of immobility on the effects of this treatment.
What the doctors were really looking for is if immobilizing the knee, one of the core tenets of the RICE Therapy of Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, effected the stem cell treatment.
They found, it did not: Therapy involving the intra-articular injection of allogenic MSCs promoted cartilage repair in a rat arthritis model, and 3-day immobility after injection had little effect on stem cell therapy.
This could have important implications in helping to avoid long-term casting, bracing or immobilization. For more information on the role of stem cells on Immobilization syndrome and tendon damage.
1 Afizah H, Hu JH. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis. J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2016 Jul-Sep;7(3):177-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2016.06.006. [Pubmed]
2. Yang X, Zhu TY, Wen LC, Cao YP1, Liu C, Cui YP, Meng ZC, Liu H. Intraarticular Injection of Allogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cells has a Protective Role for the Osteoarthritis. Chin Med J (Engl). 2015 20th Sep;128(18):2516-2523. doi: 10.4103/0366-6999.164981. [Pubmed]
3. Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis. [Citations and References from Ross Hauser, MD]