Stem cells collected from the patient’s own bone marrow may be used as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee (KOA) because of their ability to regenerate the damaged cartilage, according to results from a study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

In the study, researchers from the Arthritis Program at the Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, led by Sowmya Viswanathan, PhD, and Jaskarndip Chahal, MD, used mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), collected from the patient’s own bone marrow under local anesthesia, to treat KOA.

“Our goal was to test for safety as well as to gain a better understanding of MSC dosing, mechanisms of action and donor selection,” Viswanathan says, in a media release from AlphaMed Press.

Twelve patients, aged 45 to 65, with moderate to severe KOA were divided into three groups, with each group receiving a different dose of MSCs. (Each patient was injected with his or her own cells.), and were then followed for the next 12 months. Researchers used analytical methods that included imaging, biomarkers, molecular fingerprinting, and the patient’s own assessment of how he or she felt.

At the end of the 12-month period, the team noted significant improvements in the patients’ pain levels and quality of life. The study also suggests that the MSCs were safe at all the doses tested and that the higher the dose, the more effective the outcome.

“We also obtained novel insights into a potential anti-inflammatory mechanism of action of these cells in osteoarthritic knee joints. We noted that donor heterogeneity is an important factor, and our assembled panel of genes helps us identify cells which are potent in osteoarthritis. These are important findings which we hope to translate into a larger, powered clinical trial as part of our next steps,” Viswanathan adds.

“Furthermore,” Chahal states, “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. This sets the stage for the future of cell-based therapy and trials in Canada.”

[Source(s): AlphaMed Press, PRWeb]