Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy
Adult stem cells are the means by which our bodies naturally heal throughout our lifetime. A mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) is a type of adult stem cell. MSCs are cells that can self-replicate and then differentiate into different cell types. Scientists have successfully grown bone, fat and cartilage cells in the laboratory from MSCs harvested from adults. Injecting a high concentration of adult stem cells into an injured or degenerative part of the body, promotes healing by modulating the inflammatory process, contributing to an antimicrobial environment and ultimately generating new cells.
The MSCs used in therapy come from your own body. They can be harvested from either bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat). Dr Archer’s preference is using adipose tissue as it has some advantages over bone marrow harvesting:
- The procedure for harvesting adipose tissue is safer and much more comfortable for the patient
- The concentration of MSCs in bone marrow declines with age, however in adipose tissue it remains relatively stable
- Adipose tissue has a multitude of other cells, which provide a “bio-scaffold” to the differentiating cells.
Our MSC therapy mixes the harvested adipose tissue with PRP to further enhance the effect of the MSCs. MSC has advantages over PRP alone as it has a far better reparative effect and has longer-term improvement in pain and functioning. It also modulates the immune system to deter the inflammatory process from again taking over the site.
As of now, no curative therapies for osteoarthritis exist, and thus health care providers should acknowledge that management of OA should be directed toward pain control, function optimisation, and, more importantly, therapies that can modify the natural history of the disease (disease-modifying therapies). Early basic science and clinical studies have elucidated the benefits of MSCs for the treatment several condition in both animal and human models with a very safe profile.
To understand the process better and find out if your condition is suitable for MSC therapy, please make an appointment with Dr Archer by calling the surgery or clicking here.