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osteoarthritis hand imageStem cells and other innovative intraarticular therapies for osteoarthritis: what does the future hold?.

Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis in the world, is associated with suffering due to pain, productivity loss, decreased mobility and quality of life. Systemic therapies available for OA are mostly symptom modifying and have potential gastrointestinal, renal, hepatic and cardiac side effects.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders recently published a study showing evidence of reparative effects demonstrated by homing of intra-articularly (IA) injected autologous bone marrow stem cells in damaged cartilage in an animal model of OA, along with clinical and radiographic benefit. This finding adds to the growing literature showing the potential benefit of IA bone marrow stem cells.

Other potential IA therapies include IL-1 receptor antagonists, conditioned autologous serum, botulinum toxin and bone morphogenetic protein-7. For each of these therapies, trial data in humans has been published, but more studies are needed to establish that they are safe and effective.

Several promising new OA treatments are on the horizon, but challenges remain to finding safe and effective local and systemic therapies for OA.Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/12/259

Author: Jasvinder A Singh
Credits/Source: BMC Medicine 2012, 10:44

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