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Stem Cells Transl Med. 2019 Mar;8(3):215-224. doi: 10.1002/sctm.18-0053. Epub 2018 Dec 28.

Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) for Knee Osteoarthritis: Repeated MSC Dosing Is Superior to a Single MSC Dose and to Hyaluronic Acid in a Controlled Randomized Phase I/II Trial.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile.
Cells for Cells & Consorcio Regenero, Santiago, Chile.
Program for Translational Research in Cell Therapy, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile.
Laboratory of Nano-Regenerative Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile.
Department of Radiology, Clínica Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile.
Department of Rheumatology, Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile.


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of pain and disability. Although conventional treatments show modest benefits, pilot and phase I/II trials with bone marrow (BM) and adipose-derived (AD) mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) point to the feasibility, safety, and occurrence of clinical and structural improvement in focal or diffuse disease. This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of the intra-articular injection of single or repeated umbilical cord-derived (UC) MSCs in knee OA. UC-MSCs were cultured in an International Organization for Standardization 9001:2015 certified Good Manufacturing Practice-type Laboratory. Patients with symptomatic knee OA were randomized to receive hyaluronic acid at baseline and 6 months (HA, n = 8), single-dose (20 × 106 ) UC-MSC at baseline (MSC-1, n = 9), or repeated UC-MSC doses at baseline and 6 months (20 × 106 × 2; MSC-2, n = 9). Clinical scores and magnetic resonance images (MRIs) were assessed throughout the 12 months follow-up. No severe adverse events were reported. Only MSC-treated patients experienced significant pain and function improvements from baseline (p = .001). At 12 months, Western Ontario and Mc Master Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC-A; pain subscale) reached significantly lower levels of pain in the MSC-2-treated group (1.1 ± 1.3) as compared with the HA group (4.3 ± 3.5; p = .04). Pain Visual Analog scale was significantly lower in the MSC-2 group versus the HA group (2.4 ± 2.1 vs. 22.1 ± 9.8, p = .03) at 12 months. For total WOMAC, MSC-2 had lower scores than HA at 12 months (4.2 ± 3.9 vs. 15.2 ± 11, p = .05). No differences in MRI scores were detected. In a phase I/II trial (NCT02580695), repeated UC-MSC treatment is safe and superior to active comparator in knee OA at 1-year follow-up. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2019;8:215&224.


Disability; Knee; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Osteoarthritis; Pain

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