May 12, 2010
Dr. Thomas Einhorn at Boston Medical Center has now treated about 50 patients for painful degenerative hip disease with the patient's own adult stem cells. One of those patients, Jose Belsol, was training for a triathlon when diagnosed. Einhorn used Jose's bone marrow adult stem cells, injected into the hip, to help generate new bone. Jose now has hope that he will be able to compete in sports again. Dr. Einhorn notes:
"As long as I can win the race against time to replace that tissue with cells that can make bone and prevent that collapse from happening, Mr. Belsol should be OK."
UK doctors have also had success using adult stem cells to repair hip bones.
A Korean team led by Dr Seok-Jung Kim recently published their data using cells cultured from bone marrow to speed bone healing after fractures. The 31 patients who received injection of their own cells showed significantly faster bone healing compared with the 33 patients who healed without use of added cells.
Dr. Lew Schon has also used bone marrow adult stem cells to speed bone healing. For one of his patients, Rob Attori, the treatment decreased healing time from the usual 3-6 months in a brace down to nine weeks, in time for him to make a 4,000-mile bike ride he had planned. Rob now works with Dr. Schon on stem cell research.
Dr. Schon says:
"I started to use it on my high risk patients, the patients who had rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, who had failed prior surgeries. The patients were healing better. They were healing faster, they were healing more completely."
Adult stem cells keep helping patients.