How Effective is Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis?

Ever since stem cells gained popularity in medical science, it became the subject of several research studies. Derived from different other sources, stem cells have proven to be beneficial in regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the field of medical sciences that brings novel methods to regenerate, regrow and repair damaged and diseased organs and tissues. It uses stem cells with therapeutic properties to treat diseases that cannot be eradicated in their entirety – or the ones that don’t accept any treatments.

Among the many other available medications and drugs, stem cells have shown treatment possibilities for KOA. For research experts, it has become an area of interest that demands further exploration. In the case of younger lots of patients having KOA because of their higher functional demands but limited ability to accept surgical treatments, regenerative medicine can be an ideal way to help them live a balanced and healthy life.

Despite the increase in KOA incidence, no effective therapies have been introduced to fully restore the damaged articular cartilage as a result of KOA. This is why medical research experts are considering innovative therapies – from platelet-derived growth factors to cell-based treatments. They have proposed them as potential solutions for patients suffering from KOA. Out of such treatments, Mesenchymal stem cells have emerged as one potential therapeutic option because of their multilineage differentiation properties. Let’s discuss MSC’s effectiveness in treating OA in detail!

What is MSC Derived Cell?

MSC has the potential to differentiate into different cell types – from osteoblasts to chondrocytes and adipocytes. These have higher plasticity – are immune suppressive – have anti-inflammatory actions, and restricted self-renewal capabilities. According to several studies, MSCs can be found in many adult tissues like adipose, muscle tissues, dermis, periosteum, synovial membrane and fluid – and in articular cartilage. Considering for regenerative medicine to be of any help for the patients, the selection of right stem is of utmost significance. MSCs, among other sources, have grabbed the attention of medical scientists. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells are two of them.

Minimal Manipulation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

MSC products are autologous and can be considered drugs. This is one reason why their role in a routine clinical setting is quite limited. For this reason, clinicians are incentivized to come up with alternatives to use MSC better.

Through minimal manipulation, cells are manipulated into expansion, nearby the operating room. This introduces two main treatment modalities – Bone marrow aspirate concentrate and an adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF). Research has been carried out to know about the effectiveness of minimally manipulated MSCs, taking these two as the subjects of the studies for the treatment of KOA.

Bottom Line

All in all, research studies conclude BMAC and SVF for the treatment of KOA don’t have enough studies supporting them. Even if there are, the studies lack quality research and relevant methodologies. However, based on the results and findings, BMAC and SVF have both proven to be safe for use, having a short-term beneficial effect in the treatment of knee cartilage degeneration.

References:

  • Review Article Minimally Manipulated Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review of Clinical Evidence B. Di Matteo , 1,2 F. Vandenbulcke , 1,2 N. D. Vitale,1,2 F. Iacono,1,2 K. Ashmore,1,2 M. Marcacci,1,2 and E. Kon 1,2,3

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