MESENCHYMAL CELLS TO TREAT OSTEOARTHRITIS

To Henry Mosque. Medical Journal

A team from the CEU-Cardenal Herrera University of Valencia and the García Cugat Foundation is developing in a canine model, and with the coordination of José María Carrillo, a pioneering project for the treatment of osteoarthritis through the use of mesenchymal cells obtained from adipose tissue and plasma rich in growth factors. They hope that this regenerative therapy will help produce tissue that supplies the functions of damaged cartilage.

So far there is no treatment that completely solves osteoarthritis and, therefore, the objective of current therapies is focused solely on reducing pain and discomfort, reducing clinical signs, slowing the progression of the disease and promoting the repair of injured tissue, thus improving the quality of life of the patient. In this context, the CEU-Cardenal Herrera University, Valencia, and the García Cugat Foundation are developing a pioneering project in the research of osteoarthritis by using mesenchymal cells obtained from adipose tissue and plasma rich in growth factors.

Although this first phase is being developed in a canine model, the results obtained to date allow to consider that this type of regenerative therapies will be a new treatment way to achieve a repair as close to the native cartilage of patients, without the need to resort to more aggressive techniques and that cause greater damage to the body.

The principle of new regenerative therapies, both with mesenchymal cells and with plasma rich in growth factors, is based on the ability of cells obtained from adipose tissue to differentiate into different cell types, thus being able to repair and supply physiological functions in the affected joint.

In addition, growth factors can optimize the result, facilitating the differentiation of these types of cells and thus improving therapy. In this way, they allow to overcome the regenerative difficulty of the cartilage, maintaining or improving the structure and joint function.

As told by DIARIOMÉDICO José María Carrillo, member of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the CEU-Cardenal Herrera University and the García Cugat Foundation“animals have been treated with severe arthrotic processes that gave them a serious functional limitation, and those who had only one sedentary life left under the effects of painkillers or prosthetic surgery.”

After treatment with mesenchymal cells extracted from their own adipose tissue and plasma rich in growth factors, the results obtained have been“spectacular”. Carrillo has stated that“there has been a 72 percent improvement in functional mobility in animals, allowing them to live without treatment of painkillers for more than a year (15 percent of their half-life) with a single application.”

Optimism

For specialists, these results allow you to be optimistic about a similar approach and results in humans. “In human medicine, treatments with growth factors in arthrotic processes have already been tested with good results and, in fact, Ramón Cugat is a pioneer in this type of treatments at the Quirón Clinic in Barcelona. In addition, the possibilities of mesenchymal fat cells in cardiac muscle regeneration and cosmetic surgery have recently been discovered”.

Therefore, in Carrillo’sopinion,“the combination of the two therapies can offer a new option to the eternal problem of osteoarthritis, giving us a possibility that avoids substitute prostheses in the not too distant future.”

Another sign that invites optimism is that the preliminary results of this research will be presented at the world’s most important congress on osteoarthritis, that of the International Osteoarthritis Research Society, to be held in June in Philadelphia.

Example of multidisciplinary collaboration

Multidisciplinary collaboration is one of the great challenges and objectives in making progress in the field of biomedical research. A good example is this work, as José María Carrillo and Mónica Rubio, of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University, lead the research in collaboration with the García Cugat Foundation. This institution is named after García Cugat in homage to the orthopedic surgeon, traumatologist and specialist in physical education medicine José García Cugat, founder of the Spanish Association of Artroscopy.

In addition, this multiple approach can also be applied to related phenomena or pathologies.

Without going any further, joint degenerative disease is a very common pathology, but it also stands out for being the first cause of functional incapacity for work and leading to a very high consumption of economic resources of the health system, both in the public and private sectors.

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