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Human Clinical Trial Shows Stem Cell Therapy Hastens Bone Repair

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 11 Jul 2013
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Treatment of fractures of the pelvic bones with stem cells halved recovery time in a clinical study conducted over the past four years.

Investigators at the Hadassah Medical Organization (Jerusalem, Israel) worked with a group of 24 patients with severe pelvis fractures. Breaks of this kind are especially slow to heal due to the scant layer of muscle and bone support tissue present as well as reduced blood supply.

The protocol used in this study called for 50 milliliters of bone marrow and 100 milliliters of blood to be extracted from the patient's pelvic area. Mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from the bone marrow, and an enriched platelet fraction was prepared from the blood. The stem cells and enriched platelet fraction were mixed with demineralized bone matrix (DBM) and injected under fluoroscopic control into the fracture site. A control group did not receive stem cells.

Results published in the June 4, 2013, online edition of the journal Molecular Therapy revealed that the stem cell therapy was a safe and efficient procedure, as no complications occurred in either group. The median time for bone repair was 1.5 months in the stem cell treated group and three months in the control group.

First author Dr. Meir Liebergall, professor of orthopedic surgery at the Hadassah Medical Organization, said, “A process that began 15 years ago eventually led to this clinical trial at Hadassah, the first of its kind in Israel. The trial included 24 patients with severe pelvis fractures. This research is a medical breakthrough. Publication of this study and its findings will most likely change the currently accepted principles of treating complicated fractures. Now, we face the challenge of understanding this healing mechanism and how it works.”

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Hadassah Medical Organization

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