New stem cell transplant holds promise for treatment of degenerative disc disease
Researchers have said that recent development in stem cell research could help treat degenerative disc disease.
Senior author, Wenchun Qu, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said that this landmark study draws the conclusion in pre-clinical animal studies that stem cell therapy for disc degenerative disease might be a potentially effective treatment for the very common condition that affects people's quality of life and productivity.
Dr. Qu said not only did disc height increase, but stem cell transplant also increased disc water content and improved appropriate gene expression.
He said that these exciting developments place us in a position to prepare for translation of stem cell therapy for degenerative disc disease into clinical trials.
The increase in disc height was due to restoration in the transplant group of the nucleus pulposus structure, which refers to the jelly-like substance in the disc, and an increased amount of water content, which is critical for the appropriate function of the disc as a cushion for the spinal column, the researchers concluded.
The researchers performed a literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases and also manually searched reference lists for original, randomized, controlled trials on animals that examined the association between IVD stem cell transplant and the change of disc height. Six studies met inclusion criteria. Differences between the studies necessitated the use of random-effects models to pool estimates of effect.
What they found was an over 23.6 per cent increase in the disc height index in the transplant group compared with the placebo group (95 per cent confidence interval [CI], 19.7-23.5; p is less than 0.001).
(Posted on 10-03-2014)
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