Study: Mesenchemyal Stem Cells May Prevent Post-Injury Arthritis
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time. It’s the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world. Following a joint injury the chance of developing a type of osteoarthrisis, called post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) increases greatly.1 Although no cure exists today, a recent study funded by the Arthritis Foundation and National Institute of Health demonstrated a stem cell therapy that could potentially be used after a joint injury to prevent the onset of PTA.
For the therapy researchers at Duke University Health System used a specific group of stem cells, called mesenchemyal stem cells (MSCs), because of their beneficial properties in other areas of the body. The MSCs were extracted from bone marrow of mice, expanded to achieve a purified source of cells, and then delivered to the joints of mice with fractures that typically would lead to them developing arthritis. The result?
The MSCs were able to prevent PTA from developing by changing levels of certain immune factors and altering the bone healing response.
The study findings are good news not only for the world of stem cell research but also for expecting parents, because MSCs can be found in sources other than bone marrow – including a newborn’s umbilical cord tissue. In fact, umbilical cord tissue is an abundant source of highly potent MSCs. The opportunity to collect these valuable stem cells through a non-invasive procedure from a source that is otherwise discarded after birth is something that should be taken into consideration.
At ViaCord we understand the value of MSCs and see their potential role in future stem cell therapies.* That’s why we go the extra mile for our families by using an exclusive extraction2 and processing method to save MSCs from umbilical cord tissue. We don’t simply freeze the cord tissue; we prepare the cells so they are treatment ready.
Additional research would be required to validate the potential for umbilical cord tissue MSCs to be used in future treatments like the one described above.* However, by collecting and storing cord tissue stem cells today, you’ll have a treatment ready source of MSCs available to you as new scientific discoveries are made.
* Medical treatments using family banked cord tissue stem cells are not available today; there is no guarantee that therapies will be developed in the future.
Mayo Clinic, Osteoarthritis; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019
Data on File, PerkinElmer, Inc