Stem cell knee injection shown to regenerate meniscus, reduce pain

Results of a randomized, double-blind controlled study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery supported the use of human mesenchymal stem cell for meniscal regeneration and the control of knee pain.
“There was evidence of meniscus regeneration and improvement in knee pain following treatment with allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells,” C. Thomas Vangsness Jr., MD, and colleagues wrote in the study. “These results support the study of human mesenchymal stem cells for the apparent knee-tissue regeneration and protective effects.”
The study followed 55 patients at seven institutions who underwent partial medial meniscectomy and received the study treatment 7 days to 10 days after meniscectomy via a superolateral knee injection.

Investigators divided the patients into Group A, which received of 50×106 allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells, Group B, which received 150×106 allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells, and Group C — the control group — which received a sodium hyaluronate injection.
At 1 year postoperatively, 24% of Group A patients and 6% of Group B patients met the 15% increase in meniscal volume threshold, but none of the patients in Group C achieved a significant change in meniscal volume.

Based on VAS pain scores, Groups A and B reported having less pain than the patients in Group C. The VAS scores for all patients improved significantly compared to baseline values.
“The results of this study suggest that mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to improve the overall condition of the knee joint," Vangsness and colleagues wrote. – by Christian Ingram

Disclosures: One or more of the authors received payments or services from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. None of the authors or their institution(s) have had any financial relationship in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work.