Safety of Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Knee Pain Confirmed in New Study

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A research study launched in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine has actually validated the security of an unique kind of cellular treatment for knee discomfort brought on by osteoarthritis. Conducted by a multi-institutional group of scientists in Japan who had actually established the brand-new treatment, the research study was developed to validate that their treatment – which includes transplanting the client’s own mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the impacted knee – did not trigger growths.

The results revealed that 5 years after transplant, osteoarthritis-related tears to the knee meniscus had actually recovered and, simply as notably, none of the clients experienced any severe negative effects from the treatment. The meniscus is a crescent-shaped cartilage in the knee joint that contributes in shock absorption. Age-associated damage to the meniscus typically causes the development of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Chronic knee discomfort is a significant concern for the aging, impacting around 25 percent of all grownups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Osteoarthritis is the most typical reason for this condition in individuals aged 50 and older. Along with discomfort, which can be devastating, knee issues can substantially impact the individual’s movement and lifestyle.

Knee replacement surgical treatment is the gold requirement of treatment, with most of individuals experiencing a remarkable decrease in discomfort and, therefore, enhancement in their capability to live a typical life. However, though unusual, such surgical treatment does include threats such as the possibility of infection.

Mitsuru Mizuno and Ichiro Sekiya

Lead detective Mitsuru Mizuno, DVM, Ph.D. and matching author Ichiro Sekiya, M.D., Ph.D. Credit: AlphaMed Press

Cellular treatments are revealing terrific prospective as a less intrusive method to deal with difficult-to-heal knee injuries. The group behind the existing research study, that included scientists from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Kyoto University and Kazusa DNA Research Institute, just recently established a treatment including the transplant of MSCs stemmed from the knee’s soft tissue (the synovium) into the hurt meniscus. MSCs are multipotent adult stem cells present in the umbilical cable, bone marrow, fat, oral and other body tissues. Their capability to produce biologically active particles that put in advantageous impacts on hurt tissues makes them an appealing target in regenerative medication.

But some stem cell treatments have actually been understood to trigger growths, which is why the group wished to make sure that their treatment was devoid of any unfavorable negative effects. In specific, they wished to examine the security of any MSCs that may reveal a kind of chromosomal condition called trisomy 7.

“Trisomy 7 occurs frequently in patients with severe knee disease such as osteoarthritis. The detection of trisomy 7 in epithelial cells has been associated with tumor formation. However, the safety of these cells after transplantation has not been investigated. That’s what we wanted to learn from this study,” stated matching author Ichiro Sekiya, M.D., Ph. D., director and teacher of the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (CSCRM) at Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

Mitsuru Mizuno, DVM, Ph.D., assistant teacher with CSCRM, worked as the research study’s lead detective. He reported on the outcomes. “We recruited 10 patients for the study and transplanted their own stem cells into the affected knee joints, then followed up with MRIs over the next five years. The images revealed that tears in the patients’ knee meniscus were obscured three years after transplantation. We also identified trisomy 7 in three of the patients, yet no serious adverse events including tumor formation were observed in any of them.”

Dr. Sekiya included, “Keep in mind that these were autologous MSCs utilized in our research study, which suggests that the transplanted MSCs originated from the clients themselves. Any issues that may occur when it comes to allogeneic cells, which are contributed by somebody aside from the client, still require to be identified.

“Nevertheless, we believe that these data suggest that MSCs with trisomy 7 are safe for transplantation into human knees and show much promise in treating osteoarthritis.”

“This study highlights the ability of a patient’s own stem cells to potentially heal torn cartilage in the knee,” stated Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “These outcomes suggest a potential approach that could change the overall physical health of patients who suffer from osteoarthritis and experience debilitating joint pain. We look forward to the continuation of this research to further document clinical efficacy.”

Reference: “Transplantation of human autologous synovial mesenchymal stem cells with trisomy 7 into the knee joint and 5 years of follow-up” by Mitsuru Mizuno, Kentaro Endo, Hisako Katano, Naoki Amano, Masaki Nomura, Yoshinori Hasegawa, Nobutake Ozeki, Hideyuki Koga, Naoko Takasu, Osamu Ohara, Tomohiro Morio and Ichiro Sekiya, 3 August 2021, STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.
DOI: 10.1002/sctm.20-0491



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