“I believe this is the future treatment of osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions”
-Simon Moyes, leading knee surgeon based at the London Bridge Hospital.
This blog post focuses on an article on express.co.uk, a London news source. The article proves that around the globe stem cell therapy has been a hot topic. If you Professional athletes have been taking advantage of stem cell therapy to get back in the game quicker after surgery. Elderly people who have been suffering from chronic knee pain are now walking without support. Even pets are becoming more active after having their hips treated with stem cell therapy.
You can’t go far without hearing someone talking about ethical concerns regarding stem cells or the benefits of stem cell therapy. As of lately, the UK has been displaying their opinions about stem cell therapy publically. Thankfully the opinions from the United Kingdom have been very positive.
Is Stem Cell Therapy an Arthritis Cure?
People in the United Kingdom believe that stem cell therapy is the cure to osteoarthritis. Currently, according to the source, arthritis affects 15% of people over 25 years of age and 66% of people who are considered “pensioners”. The UK believes that the cure to this huge problem is Stem Cell Therapy. That is stem cell therapy and what type of stem cell therapy are they referring?
Stem Cells from your Own Body
The type of stem cell therapy that this article is referring to is stem cell therapy that uses your own body’s stem cells. In this particular situation this is a technique where a small sample of fat is removed from the body from which stem cells are separated out and grown over several days or weeks.
Your body has the potential to grow stem cells in different areas. One place in particular, your fat, is a place where stem cells can be extracted. Once the stem cells are extracted and separated from the rest of the fat, the stem cells are reproduced over a period of days or weeks. Once there has been enough reproduction of cells, the stem cells are injected back into the problematic areas. The problematic areas that we are talking about are parts of the body that prone to arthritis. These areas include the knees, hips, lower back, or any other area that can be exposed to arthritis.
After you inject the concentrated stem cells back into the affected areas the cells will begin to regrow cartilage and tissue. The main cause of arthritis is cartilage degeneration. If stem cells can regrow the cartilage, then you essentially treat the arthritis.
The news article discusses a recent patient trial and goes on to say:
“The trial involved 18 patients given a single injection of cultured stem cells. The results were so successful that Professor Barry’s team is to recruit 150 patients from 10 hospitals for a largescale multi-million-pound follow-up in Ireland, France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.”
Unfortunately, the article doesn’t dig too deep into details regarding the patient’s success. The article doesn’t tell us how much cartilage was regrown from the stem cell injections or the percentage of people who were able to get rid of their walkers. However, the news article does say that the small 18 patient trial was so successful that they immediately began recruiting a larger audience for a larger research study.
Interestingly enough the article does discuss a very successful study in Australia on a very similar stem cell therapy technique. The article says:
“In a separate Australian study on a similar stem cell technique, 80 per cent of nearly 400 patients reported a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep and joint function”
Those are great statistics.
Stem Cell Therapy in The United States
It seems as though stem cell therapy may not be available in all parts of Europe. The news article emphasizes that this treatment will be available for the public within 5 years. However, in the United States this sort of treatment has been taking place across the country. However, many stem cell clinics in the U.S. are choosing a more effective technique compared to using your own stem cells.
Many stem cell clinics in the United States are treating patients with amniotic stem cells, the most effective stem cells for re-growing cartilage. As attractive as it sounds to use your own stem cells there are a few reasons why one may want to consider amniotic stem cell therapy instead.
- Amniotic stem cells are the most effective for healing and growing cartilage
- Using your own stem cells is an invasive process
If you are choosing regenerative medicine you want to use the most effective cells for growing cartilage. When you are older, the stem cells in your body aren’t as effective at growing cartilage as when you were younger. This means choosing your body’s stem cells is not the most effective method.
Amniotic stem cells are donated from a mother after a C-section birth and the cells come from the amniotic sack or the umbilical cord blood. They are the most effective stem cells at growing cartilage and no one is harmed to obtain the stem cells.
Besides the fact that your body’s stem cells aren’t as effective as amniotic stem cells, the process of using your body’s cells is more invasive than using cells that are donated. The reason why you chose regenerative treatments in the first place is because you wanted a non-invasive alternative to surgery. If you are obtaining fat tissue or harvesting stem cells from other areas of your body, the extraction process may be slightly invasive. Yes, the procedure of obtaining your own stem cells isn’t nearly as invasive as surgery, but the least invasive alternative to surgery would be using amniotic stem cells for stem cell therapy.
- Johnston, Lucy (August 30, 2015), EXCLUSIVE: Stem cell therapy will be available in five years. (Online News) Retreived from: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/601716/Stem-cell-therapy-available-within-five-years