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Sports Health. 2015 Jan;7(1):38-44. doi: 10.1177/1941738114529727.

Current concepts: the role of mesenchymal stem cells in the management of knee osteoarthritis.

Author information

1
University Health Network Arthritis Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, Illinois.
3
University Health Network Arthritis Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ; University of Toronto Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Program, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Cell Therapy Program, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The number of adults with osteoarthritis in the United States is expected to nearly double from 21.4 million in 2005 to 41.1 million by 2030. As a result, medical costs and associated comorbidity will exponentially increase in the coming decades. In the past decade, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have emerged as a novel treatment for degenerative joint disease.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:

PubMed (from 1990 to 2013) was searched to identify relevant studies. Reference lists of included studies were also reviewed.

STUDY DESIGN:

Clinical review.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level 3.

RESULTS:

We identified 9 animal and 7 human studies investigating the use of MSCs in the treatment of osteoarthritis, with varying levels of support for this therapy.

CONCLUSION:

While MSCs have shown potential for improving function and decreasing inflammation in animal studies, translation to patients is still in question. There is a great deal of heterogeneity in treatment methods. Standardizing the manufacturing and characterization of MSCs will allow for better comparisons.

KEYWORDS:

mesenchymal stem cells; osteoarthritis; treatment

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