Stem Cells Show Promise For Meniscal Tears

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 6:39am
by John Gever

Allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), injected into knee joints following surgery, appeared safe and showed signs of speeding the healing process in a two-year pilot trial, a researcher said here.

Patients receiving a single injection of 50 or 100 million MSCs one week after meniscectomy reported significantly less pain two years later, on average, compared with those receiving a placebo, according to C. Thomas Vangsness, MD, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

A few patients in the low-dose MSC group also had evidence of meniscal regeneration in MRI scans after one year, although this effect was not seen with the higher dosage, he told attendees at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' annual meeting.

Mesenchymal stem cells have become a hot topic in orthopedic repair, with some clinics already offering them to patients as a therapy. However, virtually all the published reports on these therapies have been uncontrolled case series.

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