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BROOMFIELD, Colo., Dec, 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — New research from Regenexx®, which provides advanced interventional orthobiologics, shows greater potential for treating osteoarthritis of the knee with cell-based therapies. The study, published on December 13, 2018, in the Journal of Translational Medicine, was a randomized controlled trial of patients’ own bone marrow concentrate (BMC) and platelet-rich plasma products versus an exercise therapy regimen for patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis, with clinical outcomes documented over a two-year period.

The study included 48 patients, with 22 in the control group (exercise) and 26 receiving the treatment of bone marrow concentrate (which contains mesenchymal stem cells, platelets, and other cells with healing and regeneration potential) and platelet-rich plasma. All patients in the control group crossed over to the BMC treatment group at three months.

Patients who received the BMC treatment improved significantly in activity levels and stability at three months over those who followed the exercise therapy program. Over the two-year period, after receiving the BMC treatment, significant reduction in pain and increased functionality were maintained.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial comparing patients’ own bone marrow concentrate and therapeutic exercise for knee osteoarthritis,” said Christopher Centeno, M.D., lead researcher on the study. “While exercise therapy alleviated osteoarthritis symptoms and improved function, the specific BMC protocol, while warranting further investigation, had a greater positive impact on the patients.”

Osteoarthritis, one of the most common causes of chronic joint pain, affects more than 50 million adults in the United States. Annual costs due to medical expenses and lost wages exceed $100 billion. Current treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are not curative and are associated with side effects; corticosteroid injections, which demonstrate only modest clinical benefits; aquatic therapies, which provide short-term benefits; and physical therapy.

While exercise or physical therapy has been shown to improve function and reduce pain, this study showed cell-based therapy to be more effective.

To review the full study and outcomes in the Journal of Translational Medicine, click here.