Stem Cell Knee Injury Treatment: Anecdotal Evidence of Effectiveness. Is there a stem cell treatment for knee injuries? According to a report on the University of Liverpool website, a trial is being conducted using a stem cell bandage for knee injuries. So far, the results are very encouraging.
The U of Liverpool gives us some details: “A ‘living bandage’ made from stem cells, which could revolutionise the treatment and prognosis of a common sporting knee injury, has been trialled in humans for the first time by scientists at the Universities of Liverpool and Bristol. The Cell Bandage has been developed by spin-out company Azellon, and is designed to enable the meniscal tear to repair itself by encouraging cell growth in the affected tissue.
A prototype version of the Cell Bandage was trialled in five patients, aged between 18 and 45, with white-zone meniscal tears. The trial received funding support from Innovate UK and the promising results have been published today in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.”
So how does the stem cell bandage treatment work exactly? As in the case of other stem cell treatments we’ve blogged about earlier, it involves harvesting cells from the bone marrow and reintroducing them to the patient.
The U of L reports on the procedure: “The procedure involved taking stem cells, harvested from the patient’s own bone marrow, which were then grown for two weeks before being seeded onto a membrane scaffold that helps to deliver the cells into the injured site. The manufactured Cell Bandage was then surgically implanted into the middle of the tear and the cartilage was sewn up around the bandage to keep it in place.”
The trial result for the stem cell knee treatment has been described as promising but what does that mean for the patients/participants?
Apparently, all the five patients — who previously had meniscal tears — had an intact meniscus 12 months after their cell bandage treatment. After 24 months, 3 of the 5 participants “retained an intact meniscus and had returned to normal knee functionality”.
What about the other two patients? They had to undergo surgery on their meniscus because of a new tear or return of symptoms. Three out of 5 who are still going well is pretty good eh? And we can’t say that the cell bandage did not work on the other two patients because it did work if not for the new tear.
Stem Cell Knee Injury Treatment: Cell Bandage Trial – University of Liverpool. Posted 8 January 2017.