Sanford Health is conducting the first clinical trial approved by the FDA to treat injured shoulders using patients’ adipose stem cells.
“A number of studies have demonstrated that fat-derived stem cells have great healing potential by boosting the immune system and helping the natural healing process,” Jason Hurd, MD, a principal investigator of the study and orthopedic surgeon at Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told Orthopedics Today. “Also, isolation of fat tissue is less invasive than isolation of other pools of stem cells, such as those found in the bone marrow, which might include a more complicated surgical procedure.”
Hurd and Mark Lundeen, MD, the other lead investigator of the study, began the trial in December to determine whether adipose stem cells, extracted from a patient’s abdominal fat, could repair partial thickness tears in the rotator cuff, according to a press release from Sanford Health. Investigators hypothesize that injecting the stem cells into the injured area could activate the patient’s body’s natural healing process, accelerate healing and regenerate tissue.
“Sanford Health physicians and scientists are the first in the country to work with the FDA on a trial using adipose stem cells in rotator cuff tears, which are common,” Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and chief executive officer of Sanford Health, said in the release. “We have been monitoring the potential of these types of stem cells for some time. In Europe, adipose stem cells have been used as a therapy option for damaged tissues and are approved to carry the CE mark, which signifies that a product has been assessed by and meets certain safety, health and environmental protection requirements in the European Union.” ‒ by Monica Jaramillo
Disclosures: Hurd reports no relevant financial disclosures.