Stem Cell Therapy: Knee Joints and Horse Sense
A recent study by veterinary researchers, found that when different tissue horse stem cells are grown in a lab they are identical. The stem cells are equally distributed over a collagen scaffold by a special device known as a perfusion bioreactor, the stem cells are then grown to differentiate into bone or cartilage.
The researchers found that both bone marrow and adipose stem cells that were grown in this manner, were identical under a microscope. The use of lab grown or cultured stem cells has been implied for a long time. Research into culture expanded cells has not cleared the FDA hurdles in humans due to many factors. Culture expanding the stem cells may increase numbers, however it may carry a reduced life span of the multi-divided cells. Also, a human trial with culture expanded cells revealed the larger number of stem cells placed into a knee with osteoarthritis, had poorer results at long term followup. Initial safety trials have all shown stem cell therapy to be safe.
The trials in knees did not reveal any adverse effects. However, treating a knee or another joint may be simpler by using the patients own stem cells. This is exactly what veterinarians have continued to do. It is more cost effective, and with none of the potential problems associated with using someone else’s cells. This is also what is currently acceptable and practiced in humans. Sometimes simpler is better.
About Dennis M. Lox, M.D.
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.