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Stem cells 'could play future role in regenerative medicine'

02 June 2011

Posted by Jayne Kavanagh

The use of patients' own stem cells could offer substantial breakthroughs in the field of regenerative medicine, it is claimed.

According to an article in the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons' official journal, material taken from bone marrow could assist with healing joints.

By using stem cells to encourage bone and cartilage to heal, scientists have found through preliminary studies the meniscus of knees can be repaired.

The organization suggested stem cell therapy could have orthopedic applications, with cells cultured and injected into joints, potentially preventing osteoarthritis sufferers from having to have knees replaced.

However, the US agency warned regulations imposed by the Food and Drug Administration could prevent the swift development of such treatments, as they are licensed in a similar way to pharmaceuticals.

A trial at the Burden Neurological Institute at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol will take place in 2011 to test whether multiple sclerosis sufferers can benefit from bone marrow stem cell therapy.

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