Researchers of Tokai University has found a new medicine approach that can treat osteoarthritis of the knee. The reports were published in the journal npj Regenerative Medicine on 21 February 2019.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease that is caused by the collapse of the cartilage (a biological lubricant) in the joints. These cartilages do not contain any blood vessels or nerves and they are mainly known as chondrocytes.
Osteoarthritis can poorly affect human mobility. A patient suffering from OA experiences a hard time to do the basic daily task, thus it degrades the quality of life.
Currently, there is no cure available in the market to stop the osteoarthritis progression. This disease is almost non-treatable that even chondrocytes transplantation cannot be helpful, like for other cases.
Earlier this transplantation of chondrocytes sheets for cartilage repair was only been performed on animals models. Now, this procedure has been applied to humans.
For this study, scientists enrolled eight patients who were suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. This experiment involved conventional surgery aligning and stabilizing the bones in the joints. Then, scientists transplanted the sheets of chondrocytes cells into the cartilage defects.
As a result, scientists found that this combination of conventional surgeries and chondrocyte cell-sheet transplantation showed improvements in these patients and proved promising for the treatment of OA in the knee.
However, scientists have also noticed some of the drawbacks of this study. The experiment was performed on eight patients and for only three years. For the complete implementation of this experiment, scientists need to perform this experiment for a longer period of time with more participants.
According to the statement released by the researchers at Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), stated, “Although the method used in our clinical study is challenging for the regulatory authorities, we believe it is essential to continue investigating the outcomes in more patients with OA of the knee. Determining the true effectiveness of this therapy for OAK requires longer-term follow-up and strict comparative studies."
Today osteoarthritis has affected more than 237 million (23.7 crores) people around the world. Usually, people who are 60 years old and above suffers from this disease. On an average 10% males and around 18% are females suffers from osteoarthritis. In the US about 30 to 53 million (3 to 5.3 crore) people are suffering from Osteoarthritis.
For this experiment researchers have also faced some challenges such as this therapy is a combination of different procedures. Also, it was difficult for the scientists to collect the data of the effects of every intercession, hence they faced a problem in sticking up with rules and regulations.