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Canadian Study shows benefits of autologous Bone Marrow Stem Cells for Knee Arthritis.

Interesting Canadian pilot study (N=12) on cultured bone marrow derived MSCs used for knee osteoarthritis (KL3 and KL4) This is one of the very few published papers showing dose dependent outcomes (higher dose…better outcome) with autologous cultured bone marrow derived MSCs.

Of note is that the MRIs didn’t change out to one year.  Clinics routinely telling patients that their xrays and MRIs will improve from a stem cell procedure should just stop!
Remember we can’t culture stem cells and use them without specific FDA regulatory approval in the USA so even the lowest dose in this study (1 million, 10 million, 50 million) is far out of reach of our same day procedures where we can expect to be delivering 5,000 up to 50,000 MSCs depending on how much marrow we harvest and whether it is centrifuged or not.  Hint:  We draw more bone marrow and then centrifuge because we get 3-5x more stem cells on the same day that way!

We do have some published data on same day bone marrow MSC outcomes for knee osteoarthritis so it is interesting to compare improvements in pain and functional score to see if culturing is “worth it”. Maybe the pain and function improve so much more than a same day procedure that culturing will ultimately be shown to be worth the additional cost?


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