Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy May Reduce Pain and Restore Meniscus
The Orthobiologic Institute (TOBI) alumni, Thomas Vangsness Jr MD, recently published a ground-breaking article examining the intra-articular application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) following partial medial meniscectomy. In a randomized, double blind, controlled study the effects of MSCs on post-operative meniscus regeneration and osteoarthritis changes were investigated.
The study consisted of 55 patients who underwent a partial medial meniscectomy, and received one of three different intra-articular knee injections 7-10 days post-operatively. Patients received either allogeneic MSCs with a cell concentration of 50 x 106, allogeneic MSCs concentrated at 150 x 106, or a control, consisting of Sodium Hyaluronate. The patients were followed for 2 years and assessed for overall clinical outcomes, meniscal regeneration, and safety.
The study revealed significantly increased meniscal volume (>15% increase), quantified via MRI, in 24% of patients who received MSCs concentrated at 50 x 106 and 6% in patients who received the higher concentration of MSCs. No patients in the Sodium Hyaluronate control group reached the clinically significant 15% increase in meniscal volume. Furthermore, increased pain reduction was exhibited in those patients with osteoarthritic changes who received MSC injections, when compared to the control group.
This article represents a ground-breaking study in the application of Orthobiologics for post-operative healing and tissue regeneration. The results revealed evidence of meniscus regeneration and decreased Osteoarthritic pain levels with the application of post-operative MSCs. The increased meniscus volume regeneration at the lower MSC concentration, may suggest a potential “sweet spot” for the regenerative potential of MSC, and further studies should examine the therapeutic efficacy of different MSC concentrations. Most importantly, the study did not illustrate any unsafe side effects or ectopic tissue growth. The results of this study support the regenerative potential of MSCs and suggest the potentially safe and effective use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells following partial medial mensisectomy. Although more human trials are needed to completely evaluate the efficacy of post-operative MSCs, this new study adds validity to the mounting evidence for Orthobiologics in orthopedics.
Learn more of the latest research bridging surgical and non-surgical orthopedics using biologics at the upcoming The Orthobiologic Institute (TOBI) 5th Annual PRP & Regenerative Medicine Symposium with Cadaver Lab, June 6-7, 2014 in Las Vegas. www.prpseminar.com.