Monday, 14 January 2013

Mesenchymal stem cells, a safety study

The past two days have been quite slow with nothing new worth mentioning, so I decided to post about an interesting study published in 2010. During the study, which lasted from 2005 to 2009, Dr. Chris Centeno and his team  used mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat various orthopaedic conditions. Purpose of the study was to show whether or not MSCs are safe to use.

One of the most common fears when using stem cells is that due to their potency they may lead to tumour development. A total of 227 patients participated in the study, which is a very good sample size to get reliable results. Patients were followed for up to 3 years and were tested in a common basis for cancer. None, except one, of the patients was diagnosed with cancer, neither in the operated site or anywhere else. Taking into consideration the size of the group, it is most probable that the mesenchymal stem cell therapy had nothing to do with the one patient that did develop cancer.

Mesenchymal stem cell
A mesenchymal stem cell

During the study, 7 patients had some complications which were most probably related to the stem cell transplantation. All complications were minor and were successfully treated using simple therapeutic measures.

The study proves that autologous mesenchymal stem cells are safe to use, at least when cultured and grown with the same method Centento's team used, and along with Khay Yong Saw's study on cartilage regeneration, it shows that MSCs may hold the key for better cartilage and bone treatments in the future.

Video of Dr. Chris Centeno

Centeno CJ, Schultz JR, Cheever M, Freeman M, Faulkner S, Robinson B, & Hanson R (2011). Safety and complications reporting update on the re-implantation of culture-expanded mesenchymal stem cells using autologous platelet lysate technique. Current stem cell research & therapy, 6 (4), 368-78 PMID: 22023622

- Site news: We recently added a new page with a list of clinics offering stem cell treatments

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