Friday, June 20, 2008

A Fatty and Muscular Problem for Cartilage Repair

As you may know from prior posts, I've been concerned that products that claim to mobilize adult stem cells from bone marrow to blood may be barking up the wrong tree when it comes to musculoskeletal repair.  In particular, the cells being mobilized are not true MSC's, but cells which are good at muscle repair and not cartilage, bone, ligament, or tendon repair.  A recent study just confirmed this again, this time in-vivo (meaning placing muscle stem cells in a rat knee joint to see if they were capable of cartilage repair).  This study showed that in fact, muscle derived MSC's performed very poorly, as did cells derived from fat.  However, synovial derived cells and bone marrow cells (the kind currently used by RSI), performed very well at cartilage repair.  While entire industries are now springing up to save adipose derived MSC's from liposuction surgeries, the ability of these cells to produce cartilage remains in doubt.  For now, it looks the bone marrow derived and synovial tissue derived cells are the only game in town.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Adipose Nightmare?

A recent study published in the journal stem cells raises a few questions on the appropriateness of using fat derived stem cells in clinical patients at this time.  While the study injected fat derived mesenchymal stem cells with tumor cells (nothing any clinician would ever consider doing) and found that they created bigger tumors, it does raise a point that long-term MRI follow-up for tumor creation is needed.  RSI has obtained that data over the past two years on the Regenexx procedure and is readying that for publication.  What it shows is that MSC's grown with our proprietary technique do not promote tumor formation as measured by state of the art 3.0 T MRI imaging (images before and after the procedure).  This is very important, as what we don't know is if cells grown with other procedures (for example one that requires exogenous growth hormones or other cells sources-fat instead of the Regenexx source of bone marrow) might promote tumor growth.  We will be readying this data for publication over the next few weeks and hope to have this in the research lexicon by fall of this year.