Stem cells effectively treat arthritis of the knee

A clinical trial in Toronto, Canada has demonstrated that a single injection of MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) can safely reduce pain and improve quality of patients with late-stage osteoarthritis of the knee.

As we age all cells in our body deteriorate, and cases of Osteoarthritis increase. The most common form of Osteoarthritis in the UK is Arthritis, which affects around 10 million people and by causing painful and stiff joints. Although it is more likely in older patients, Arthritis can affect people of all ages, including children.

MSCs found in umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and bone marrow can be injected into human cartilage – the connective tissue that aids bone movement. In this newly published clinical trial, these specialist stem cells have been proven to help treat osteoarthritis.

The clinical trial, published in April 2019, involved injecting MSCs into the affected joint area, to renewed functionality of cartilage cells that have become less active or stopped functioning all together. Results show improved effectiveness of the connective tissue, reducing pain associated with the osteoarthritis and better quality of life the patients.

Our goal was to test for safety as well as to gain a better understanding of MSC dosing, mechanisms of action and donor selection,

– Dr. Viswanathan, researcher at Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto

A total of 12 patients took part in this trial, all aged 45 to 65 with moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. They were split into three groups, each receiving a different dose of MSCs.

12 months later, researchers observed significant improvements in the patients. The study also concluded that MSCs were a safe form of treatment at various dose levels, and that effectiveness of  treatment was dose-dependent.

These MSCs can be sourced by isolating the cells in bone marrow (most commonly from the pelvis), umbilical cord tissue stored after a child is born, or a milk tooth pulp. Here at Future Health Biobank we specialise in cord bloodcord tissue and dental pulp stem cell banking for your children. We have over 190,000 samples stored for families across the globe, and have released over 1118 samples for life-affecting treatments like Osteoarthritis. Storing your child’s youthful stem cells from birth or an early age gives them a valuable lifeline for potential future treatments, long into adulthood.


Benzinga. “Clinical Trial Shows Promise of Stem Cells in Offering Safe, Effective Relief from Arthritic Knees | Benzinga.” Benzinga, Benzinga, 9 Apr. 2019, Accessed 10 Apr. 2019.

Chahal, Jaskarndip, et al. “Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Patients with Osteoarthritis Results in Overall Improvement in Pain and Symptoms and Reduces Synovial Inflammation.” STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, 9 Apr. 2019, 10.1002/sctm.18-0183. Accessed 10 Apr. 2019.