Features September 2011 Issue

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Future Potential

Cell-based treatments for joint problems hint at a future fix for arthritis sufferers.

We are getting increasingly frequent glimpses into research that could dramatically change the way many people are treated for arthritis. It involves harvesting stem cells from an individual’s body, growing and concentrating them for a period of time, then returning them to a joint that has been damaged. To be clear, this does not involve embryonic stem cells, but rather non-embryonic, adult stem cells that transform themselves into chondrocyte (cartilage) cells to produce new cartilage tissue. Adult stem cells maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found—in this case, in a joint that has been worn away by arthritis.

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