New clinical trial into treating osteoarthritis with stem cells

A new clinical trial has been launched in the EU which investigates the use of fatty tissue stem cells to treat the painful and presently incurable disease; osteoarthritis.

We talk to Nathan Walker, to get his view on this latest development involving adipose stem cells.

Adipose-derived (fatty tissue) stem cells may be able to help suffers of osteoarthritis of the knee. A large scale EU-funded clinical trial is expected to be underway across Europe by the end of the year.

Osteoarthritis is caused by chronic inflammation of the soft tissue and bony structures of the joint. This progressively worsens over time leading to the thinning of the articular cartilage, this deterioration often results in debilitating pain, joint stiffness and loss of function. Currently, there are around 4.71 million people in the UK that have been diagnosed with this condition.

Presently, there are no known medicines or therapies to halt the progression of the disease; therefore total joint replacement surgery is often necessary in severe cases.

A grant of 6 million euros has been awarded for a trial called “ADIPOA-2” by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding program.

Phase I of the program saw 18 patients injected with stem cells cultured from the patient’s own fatty tissue. The results were encouraging enough to warrant a larger, multi-centre phase II study. There will be 10 hospitals within Europe, studying the treatment of 150 patients to determine the safety and efficacy of treating advanced osteoarthritis of the knee.

Professor Christian Jorgensen, Head of The Clinical Unit for Osteoarticular Diseases, University Hospital Montpellier in France, said "Ambitious as it sounds, we are aiming to deliver an effective treatment for the debilitating and incurable condition of osteoarthritis within as little as five years. We have arrived at this point because of a great deal of work by many scientists, clinicians and stem cell experts who have made enormous contributions in understanding the therapeutic potential of stem cells."

Whilst still in clinical trial, the results of this adipose stem cell treatment have shown some very positive results for future treatment possibilities of this atrocious disease

For more information relating to this fascinating new trial, visit: