Regrowing human cartilage has always been the holy grail of arthritis treatment. While we have great success treating arthritis using stem cells to help heal damaged cartilage and decrease inflammation avoiding joint replacement in most treated patients, our treatment did not entail growing new cartilage until now. In a technique developed by Gustavo Moviglia MD PhD with whom we partner, new cartilage has been able to be grown and result in sustained clinical benefit in human patients. The first paper reporting this was published in the influential journal Science Advances in February. And now this week in Barcelona, Spain there will be an oral presentation at the prestigious International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) in Barcelona Spain of a paper on which I am a co-author showing sustained clinical benefit.
The technique differs importantly from simple stem cell injection. The principal difference is the use of the patient’s own lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, in addition to stem cells. These lymphocytes, termed effector cells, remove scarring in the joint, attract stem cells to the damaged areas of the joint, and cause the stem cells to partially differentiate into progenitor cells for cartilage as well as for bone, ligament, tendon, and muscle.
This technique is available nowhere else in the world. There are plans to begin an FDA study of the technique in the United States. But until this is completed, which will take many years, the technique cannot be performed in the US. The treatment is not covered by any insurance plan. However, we are able to offer the technique in Buenos Aires Argentina and have treated patients there successfully, even those with bone-on-bone changes. The procedure is completely safe and there have been no serious adverse events. No drugs are used. The procedure involves a simple injection of the modified lymphocytes and stem cells into the joint. Patients are functional immediately. Results usually begin to manifest after several weeks or a few months. Several treatments are usually required. The treatment is not covered by any insurance plan. It can be applied to any joint and to the back.
Free remote or in person evaluations are performed at no charge, to see whether a patient is a candidate for this or other treatment. They may be scheduled by calling 847-699-6810, ext. 202 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.