Scientific Literature - Research - Resource Material

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National Center for Biotechnology

Homologous Use of Allogeneic Umbilical Cord Tissue to Reduce Knee Pain and Improve Knee Function

According to the American Academy of Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of disease affecting joints is one of the
most predominant causes of chronic pain and disability in developed nations, including the United States. Specifically, knee OA represents over 80% of the types of osteoarthritis, affecting almost one-fifth of American adults over the age of 45 years [1]. Almost 23% of
U.S. adults (an estimated 54.4 million people) report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Even without a doctor’s diagnosis, almost half of American adults experience limitations in performing activities of daily living, secondary to arthritis [2]. In recent decades, high body mass index (BMI) has become rampant in the United States. Being overweight or obese is a
risk factor for knee OA due to joint overloading and adiposity-induced inflammation. Based on an analysis of data from 2010–2012 from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), it is projected that 26% of adults will be diagnosed with arthritis by 2040. Arthritis
and other rheumatic conditions are leading causes of work disability among U.S. adults.

Adults with arthritis are almost three times more likely to fall and suffer injury than their non-arthritic counterparts. In a group of patients with knee and hip OA, 25% were unable to perform major activities of daily living, and 40% described their health as fair
to poor, which ranks them high in disability-adjusted life years. Because knee pain limits physical activities such as walking, bending, and climbing stairs, reducing pain can improve physical activity and conditioning.

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Cartilage Regeneration in Osteoarthritic Patients by a Composite of Allogeneic Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Hyaluronate Hydrogel: Results from a Clinical Trial for Safety and Proof-of-Concept with 7 Years of Extended Follow-Up

Few methods are available to regenerate articular cartilage defects in patients with osteoarthritis. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of articular cartilage regeneration by a novel medicinal product composed of allogeneic human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs). Patients with Kellgren-Lawrence grade 3 osteoarthritis and International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) grade 4 cartilage defects were enrolled in this clinical trial. The stem cell-based medicinal product (a composite of culture-expanded allogeneic hUCB-MSCs and hyaluronic acid hydrogel [Cartistem]) was applied to the lesion site.

Safety was assessed by the World Health Organization common toxicity criteria. The primary efficacy outcome was ICRS cartilage repair assessed by arthroscopy at 12 weeks. The secondary efficacy outcome was visual analog scale (VAS) score for pain on walking. During a 7-year extended follow-up, we evaluated safety, VAS score, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective score, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and histological evaluations. Seven participants were enrolled. Maturing repair tissue was observed at the 12-week arthroscopic evaluation.

The VAS and IKDC scores were improved at 24 weeks. The improved clinical outcomes were stable over 7 years of follow-up. The histological findings at 1 year showed hyaline-like cartilage. MRI at 3 years showed persistence of the regenerated cartilage. Only five mild to moderate treatment-emergent adverse events were observed. There were no cases of osteogenesis or tumorigenesis over 7 years. The application of this novel stem cell-based medicinal product appears to be safe and effective for the regeneration of durable articular cartilage in osteoarthritic knees. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:613-621.

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Intra-articular injection of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a proof-of-concept clinical trial

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known to have a potential for articular cartilage regeneration. However, most studies focused on focal cartilage defect through surgical implantation. For the treatment of generalized cartilage loss in osteoarthritis, an alternative delivery strategy would be more appropriate.

The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of intra-articular injection of autologous adipose tissue derived MSCs (AD-MSCs) for knee osteoarthritis.

We enrolled 18 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and injected AD MSCs into the knee.

The phase I study consists of three dose-escalation cohorts; the low-dose (1.0 × 10(7) cells), mid-dose (5.0 × 10(7)), and high-dose (1.0 × 10(8)) group with three patients each.

The phase II included nine patients receiving the high-dose. The primary outcomes were the safety and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included clinical, radiological, arthroscopic, and histological evaluations.

There was no treatment-related adverse event. The WOMAC score improved at 6 months after injection in the high-dose group. The size of cartilage defect decreased while the volume of cartilage increased in the medial femoral and tibial condyles of the high-dose group. Arthroscopy showed that the size of cartilage defect decreased in the medial femoral and medial tibial condyles of the high-dose group.

Histology demonstrated thick, hyaline-like cartilage regeneration. These results showed that intra-articular injection of 1.0 × 10(8) AD MSCs into the osteoarthritic knee improved function and pain of the knee joint without causing adverse events, and reduced cartilage defects by regeneration of hyaline-like articular cartilage.

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Increased knee cartilage volume in degenerative joint disease using percutaneously implanted, autologous mesenchymal stem cells

Background: The ability to repair tissue via percutaneous means may allow interventional pain physicians to manage a wide variety of diseases including peripheral joint injuries and osteoarthritis. This review will highlight the developments in cellular medicine that may soon permit interventional pain management physicians to treat a much wider variety of clinical conditions and highlight an interventional case study using these technologies

Objective: To determine if isolated and expanded human autologous mesenchymal stem cells could effectively regenerate cartilage and meniscal tissue when percutaneously injected into knees.

Design: Case Study

Setting: Private Interventional Pain Management practice.

Methods: An IRB approved study with a consenting volunteer in which mesenchymal stem cells were isolated and cultured ex-vivo from bone marrow aspiration of the iliac crest. The mesenchymal stem cells were then percutaneously injected into the subject’s knee with MRI proven degenerative joint disease. Pre- and post-treatment subjective visual analog pain scores, physical therapy assessments, and MRIs measured clinical and radiographic changes.

Results: At 24 weeks post-injection, the patient had statistically significant cartilage and meniscus growth on MRI, as well as increased range of motion and decreased modified VAS pain scores.

Conclusion: The described process of autologous mesenchymal stem cell culture and percutaneous injection into a knee with symptomatic and radiographic degenerative joint disease resulted in significant cartilage growth, decreased pain and increased joint mobility in this patient. This has significant future implications for minimally invasive treatment of osteoarthritis and meniscal injury.

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Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell therapy for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: safety and efficacy

Background: This study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

In this ongoing cohort, 172 patients with active RA who had inadequate responses to traditional medication were enrolled. Patients were divided into two groups for different treatment: disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) plus medium without UC-MSCs, or DMARDs plus UC-MSCs group (4×10(7) cells per time) via intravenous injection.

Adverse events and the clinical information were recorded. Tests for serological markers to assess safety and disease activity were conducted. Serum levels of inflammatory chemokines/cytokines were measured, and lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood were analyzed.

No serious adverse effects were observed during or after infusion. The serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 decreased after the first UC-MSCs treatment (P<0.05). The percentage of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells of peripheral blood was increased (P<0.05). The treatment induced a significant remission of disease according to the American College of Rheumatology improvement criteria, the 28-joint disease activity score, and the Health Assessment Questionnaire.

The therapeutic effects maintained for 3-6 months without continuous administration, correlating with the increased percentage of regulatory T cells of peripheral blood. Repeated infusion after this period can enhance the therapeutic efficacy. In comparison, there were no such benefits observed in control group of DMARDS plus medium without UC-MSCs. Thus, our data indicate that treatment with DMARDs plus UC-MSCs may provide safe, significant, and persistent clinical benefits for patients with active RA.

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Articular cartilage regeneration with autologous peripheral blood stem cells versus hyaluronic acid: a randomized controlled trial

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare histologic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation of articular cartilage regeneration in patients with chondral lesions treated by arthroscopic subchondral drilling followed by postoperative intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid (HA) with and without peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC).

Methods: Fifty patients aged 18 to 50 years with International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) grade 3 and 4 lesions of the knee joint underwent arthroscopic subchondral drilling; 25 patients each were randomized to the control (HA) and the intervention (PBSC + HA) groups. Both groups received 5 weekly injections commencing 1 week after surgery. Three additional injections of either HA or PBSC + HA were given at weekly intervals 6 months after surgery. Subjective IKDC scores and MRI scans were obtained preoperatively and postoperatively at serial visits. We performed second-look arthroscopy and biopsy at 18 months on 16 patients in each group. We graded biopsy specimens using 14 components of the International Cartilage Repair Society Visual Assessment Scale II (ICRS II) and a total score was obtained. MRI scans at 18 months were assessed with a morphologic scoring system.

Results: The total ICRS II histologic scores for the control group averaged 957 and they averaged 1,066 for the intervention group (P = .022). On evaluation of the MRI morphologic scores, the control group averaged 8.5 and the intervention group averaged 9.9 (P = .013). The mean 24-month IKDC scores for the control and intervention groups were 71.1 and 74.8, respectively (P = .844). One patient was lost to follow-up. There were no notable adverse events.

Conclusions: After arthroscopic subchondral drilling into grade 3 and 4 chondral lesions, postoperative intra-articular injections of autologous PBSC in combination with HA resulted in an improvement of the quality of articular cartilage repair over the same treatment without PBSC, as shown by histologic and MRI evaluation.

Level of evidence: Level II, randomized controlled trial (RCT).

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Partial regeneration of the human hip via autologous bone marrow nucleated cell transfer: A case study

History: This is a case report of a 64-year-old white male with a 20 year history of unilateral hip pain that had become debilitating over the last several years. On intake, Harris hip score was rated as: Pain subscale = 10, Function subscale = 32, Deformity subscale = 4, Motions subscale = 4.775 with a total score of 50.8 out of 100. MRI of the affected hip showed severe degeneration with spurring, decrease in joint space, and several large subchondral cysts. The patient had been evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon and told he was a candidate for bipolar hip replacement.

Method: Two autologous nucleated cell collections were performed from bone marrow with subsequent isolation and transfers into the intra-articular hip using a hyaluronic acid and thrombin activated platelet rich plasma scaffold. Marrow samples were processed by centrifugation and lysis techniques to isolate nucleated cells.

Conclusion: This report describes partial by articular surface regeneration 8 weeks after intraarticular bone marrow transfer. Post-op 3.0T FGRE MRI showed neocortex formation when compared to immediate pre-op MRI and objective improvements were noted that coincided with subjective reports of improvement.

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Stem cell paracrine actions and tissue regeneration

Stem cells have emerged as a key element of regenerative medicine therapies due to their inherent ability to differentiate into a variety of cell phenotypes, thereby providing numerous potential cell therapies to treat an array of degenerative diseases and traumatic injuries.

A recent paradigm shift has emerged suggesting that the beneficial effects of stem cells may not be restricted to cell restoration alone, but also due to their transient paracrine actions. Stem cells can secrete potent combinations of trophic factors that modulate the molecular composition of the environment to evoke responses from resident cells.

Based on this new insight, current research directions include efforts to elucidate, augment and harness stem cell paracrine mechanisms for tissue regeneration. This article discusses the existing studies on stem/progenitor cell trophic factor production, implications for tissue regeneration and cancer therapies, and development of novel strategies to use stem cell paracrine delivery for regenerative medicine.

cancerimmune, modulationparacrine, actionsstem, cellstissue, regenerationtrophic factors

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Glad I decided to have the stem cell therapy instead of a replacement

I’m sooo glad I decided to have the stem cell therapy instead of a replacement.

Great result, no downtime or recovery time, or rehab!

So happy I made that decision. Great result, no downtime or recovery time, or rehab!

Nurse crippled with arthritis

My pain prior to procedure was so bad I was severely limited to what I could do. 24 hours after procedure I could notice a large difference.

Didn’t think I’d ever be able to go on another trip but we’re planning it this fall

Review Score I received an invitation to a dinner to learn about pain. Thought I’d go hear what options were available. I had a nurse come do my injections and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go on another trip but we’re planning it...

Back on the pickle ball court in 3 weeks

Active 63 year old, avid runner. -. I had treatment on my right knee for meniscus tears, and was in a brace for the past 6 months. My left knee locked up a few months ago and after intense physical therapy I opted to have the tissue therapy rather then arthroscopic surgery. I resumed most activities after a few days and was back on the pickle ball court in 3 weeks with no pain and will continue to ease back into my activities.

Degenerative arthritis in my lower back

Degenerative arthritis in my lower back was affecting my quality of life for many years. It took a few months to work, but now I have almost no pain. I should have done this several years ago.

I injured my right knee

Review Score Several years ago I injured my right knee when I missed the bottom rung of a ladder. I’ve had pain in my right knee ever since. There were also times that it would give out on me for no reason. I learned about Reclaim Health Group at an informational...

Pain down the back of my leg

I had back pain that was preventing me from sleeping, since my injections and I'm still feeling great. Sleeping through the night and no more back pain.

Best medical decision I ever made!

Best medical decision I ever made! The stem cell procedure is quick, easy, and has no recovery down time!

The seminar I went to was very educational

Review Score The seminar I went to was very educational. I elected to do the white glove program and have them come to me. The injections were quick and easy. It’s been about 8 months now and I’ve had a lot of relief in my low back. Melinda P. ← I needed shoulder...