I have often discussed the benefits of using stem cell therapy to restore and repair injured tissue and joints – eliminating the need for invasive reconstructive surgery and pain medications for people suffering from conditions such as degenerative disc disease, desiccated discs, spinal stenosis, facet arthrosis, sacroiliac joint syndrome, osteoarthritis of any joint, and sports or overuse injuries.
The results from stem cell therapy have been impressive and exciting. But now, stem cell researchers are generating even more excitement by taking stem cell therapy to an entirely new place – inside the womb. In January, medical teams in Europe will be trying stem cell therapy to help fetuses diagnosed with severe brittle bone disease, also known as osteogenesis imperfecta. This bone disease is a genetic disorder caused by a problem with collagen production that makes bones so fragile they fracture constantly, even before the baby is born. The brittle bone condition is extremely painful and those with severe forms of the disorder are often confined to wheelchairs.
Surgeons around Europe will inject mesenchymal stem cells – a type of cell that’s already on course to become bone – into fetuses with brittle bone disease. The technique is currently in experimental use for adults, as well as for other tissue and immune diseases.
The trial, led by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, is enlisting 30 pregnant women for the research. The team at the institute has already performed this stem cell therapy on two fetuses who have since been born. The two kids have continued to receive periodic “boosters” of stem cells, which have reduced the number of fractures compared to children with brittle bone disease and no stem cell treatment.
“It’s important to remember that this is not a cure,” the primary investigator on the clinical trials told BuzzFeed News. At his point, researchers are hoping to turn severe brittle bones into a mild condition, improving the sufferer’s quality of life.
In the U.S., researchers have used similar stem cell treatments on lamb fetuses that were bred to match humans with spina bifida, a spinal birth defect. The success of those animal trials suggests that prenatal stem cell therapy has promise for other genetic disorders.
This clinical trial in Europe is very important because scientists don’t know much about how fetuses will respond to stem cell therapy. In the fetal environment, the immune system is underdeveloped, so the transplant may be able to stay in the fetus longer.”
While our doctors at New Jersey Pain Care Specials are currently using FDA-approved stem cell therapy a variety of painful and disabling joint and tissue ailments, there is clearly potential for treating an array of other diseases and disorders. The future of medicine will be enhanced by stem cell therapy. And for many painful conditions, the future is now.
Contact our offices to see how stem cell therapy currently performed at NJPCS can provide relief that can change your life.
At the present time, Stem Cell Therapy is not covered by medical insurance.