Researchers from Jerusalem found that a minimally invasive stem cell-based therapy decreased time to union and produced no complications in patients with distal tibia fractures, according to the results of a recently published preliminary study.
“Our study shows that a composite graft comprised of freshly isolated autologous [mesenchymal stem cells] MSCs mixed with [platelet-rich plasma] PRP and demineralized bone matrix (DBM) is safe in the early management of fractures of the distal tibia,” Meir Liebergall, MD, from the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, and colleagues wrote in their study. “Further investigation and optimization of the system may yield even better results.”
In their prospective trial, Liebergall and colleagues randomized 24 patients who had operative treatment for a distal tibial fracture. The intervention group received a fluoroscopic-delivered composite graft with PRP, sorted MSCs in suspension and DBM, and was compared to a control group who received no treatment. All patients were followed up at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.
The investigators found no complications in either group. At 12-month follow-up, they saw no significant differences between the groups regarding pain or quality of life measures. There were no delayed unions in the intervention group. The investigators found that the fractures of three patients in the control group did not unite by 3-month follow-up.
“Future applications of freshly isolated MSCs may include delivery with active signal molecules and transient or permanent genetic and functional modifications of the cells,” Liebergall and colleagues wrote. “This graft, in turn, may be applied preventively in cases where difficulties in fracture healing are foreseen.”
Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.