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Knee Pain Treated Using Stem Cells in North Carolina

Carolina Newswire, June 20, 2007

The premiere orthopedic practice in the Raleigh-Durham area, Triangle Orthopedic Associates, is trying to see if cartilage in the knee, the torn meniscus specifically, can be repaired using stem cells. Developed by Osiris Therapeutics, a stem cell product called Chondrogen for the treatment of this common knee injury is being evaluated by Triangle Orthopedics as part of a clinical trial.

“If left untreated, meniscal tears can result in harmful consequences,“ said Dr. David Dellaero, M.D., Orthopedic Sports Medicine surgeon at Triangle Orthopedic Associates, and principle investigator for the study. “We are thrilled to offer a cutting-edge treatment that we hope will provide positive results for our patients suffering from this very common, yet highly painful injury.”

When the meniscal tissue is made to bear a large amount of weight, a meniscus tear becomes a possibility. A severe blow to the knee or a twisting of the joint is the most common cause of meniscal tearing. The development of arthritis due to a tear in the knee is still possible even though a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery can alleviate some of the disability and pain associated with the injury.

One week following the removal of the torn meniscus with standard arthroscopy, an injection of Chondrogen is administered into the patient's knee. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC's) are a component of the solution. This particular type of stem cell has delivered promising results in animal models where a meniscectomy, or removal of the torn meniscus, has been performed. In addition to a placebo or injection of Chondrogen, standard post-surgical treatment protocol was followed for all patients one week post surgery.

“We continue to follow our patients both clinically and by serial MRI scans and are excited to see the ultimate results of this trial,” said Dr. Dellaero. “The number of medical trials involving the application of stem cells is increasing, and Triangle Orthopedic Associates feels privileged to be part of such an important study that can offer our patients a unique opportunity.”

Triangle Orthopedic Associates, P.A. is the Triangle’s largest physician-directed medical practice. Together with Osiris Therapeutics, they hope to move the orthopedic treatment forward. Osiris is currently focused on developing treatments to prevent congestive heart failure and repair heart attack damage as well as treat Crohn's Disease and cancer. They also aim to treat and prevent arthritis. All of Osiris Therapeutics therapies involve the use of non-controversial adult stem cells.


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