Mayo Clinic finds surprising results on first-ever test of stem cell therapy to treat arthritis

Alexander ThermosNews

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida have conducted the world’s first prospective, blinded and placebo-controlled clinical study to test the benefit of using bone marrow stem cells, a regenerative medicine therapy, to reduce arthritic pain and disability in knees.

The researchers say such testing is needed because there are at least 600 stem cell clinics in the U.S. offering one form of stem cell therapy or another to an estimated 100,000-plus patients, who pay thousands of dollars, out of pocket, for the treatment, which has not undergone demanding clinical study.

The findings in The American Journal of Sports Medicine include an anomalous finding — patients not only had a dramatic improvement in the knee that received stem cells, but also in their other knee, which also had painful arthritis but received only a saline control injection. Each of the 25 patients enrolled in the study had two bad knees, but did not know which knee received the stem cells.

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