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Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of producing different specialised cells that are found in skeletal tissues.

Spanish researchers at the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) have successfully carried out a clinical trial that shows the effectiveness of treatment with stem cells from healthy donors to treat knee osteoarthritis.

The results of the work prove the validity of this therapy as an alternative to conventional treatments that do not regenerate the cartilage.

Today, around 30% of the Spanish population over the age of 60 suffer from this type of pain and the annual cost of conventional treatment is around €1,500 per patient, according to data from the Spanish Rheumatology Society.

The research group at the Cell Therapy Network at the ISCIII designed a clinical trial with 30 patients suffering from chronic knee osteoarthritis unresponsive to conventional treatment. Those who were treated with stem cells did not experience any side effects, and showed considerable pain relief, as well as a clear improvement in the cartilage quality, which was shown through magnetic resonance imaging.

The outcome of the work conducted by the Spanish researchers has been published in Transplantation, the leading international scientific journal in the field of transplants and cell therapy.

The Cell Therapy Network (TerCel) is a joint project that began its activity in 2003 with the aim of fostering research into cell therapy and transfer scientific progress in this field to the National Health System.

TerCel forms part of the Cooperative Health Research Thematic Networks (RETICS) of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), the main Public Organisation that funds, manages and carries out biomedical research in Spain.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47317/

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