Australian scientists make osteoarthritis breakthrough

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New Australian research proves that stem cell treatment stops and can reverse osteoarthritis.

The biggest stem cell trial of its type in the world has proved beyond doubt that pure stem cells provide a more effective treatment for osteoarthritis than traditional therapies, such as pain relief drugs, anti-inflammatories, prescribed exercise and knee surgery.

The new research provides osteoarthritis sufferers with a non-surgical option that reduces pain, increases mobility, stops the progression of arthritis and has, in some instances, regrown patients’ cartilage, lead researcher Associate Professor Julien Freitag said.

Almost one-sixth of Australians suffer with osteoarthritis and the only treatment options available to most are pain relief drugs, prescribed exercise, knee surgery and joint replacement.

The world-first research found significant pain and function improvement following stem cell therapy in 85 per cent of patients.

Trial subjects experienced a dramatic decrease in pain and a big increase in functional activity with stem cell treatment, resulting in their quality of life scores improving 290 per cent.

The subjects reported an average pain improvement of 69 per cent after 12 months and significant pain improvement compared to current conventional therapies, including use of anti-inflammatories, a prescribed exercise program and knee arthroscopy.

Progression of arthritis halted in 89 per cent of participants who underwent multiple stem cell injections and the stem cell therapy was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events.

“The results of this study are specifically for adipose (fat) derived, high-dose, expanded stem cells,” Dr Freitag explained.

“It takes up to eight weeks to harvest, expand and perform quality control measures to ensure that stem cells are pure, viable and not contaminated.

“Other treatment options – often same-day procedures – which might be described as stem cell therapy, do not show the evidence that this research has found.

“It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s advice, which may be to continue with traditional methods such as exercise and weight management, which are important additional factors in achieving a healthy and active lifestyle.”

“Stem cell therapy may be one piece of the puzzle in the management of arthritis, but it does not replace the proactive measures that can be achieved by patients themselves.”

Do you suffer from osteoarthritis? Would you consider stem cell therapy to treat your symptoms?

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