Why Are Newborn Stem Cells Being Studied For Osteoarthritis?

Many people know someone with osteoarthritis (OA), which affects more than 30 million people in the United States and over 300 million globally.1,2 Ailments like these, which occur over time with age, are prime examples of conditions that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cord tissue could potentially help with in the future.  

What is OA? 

OA is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage between bones breaks down. It can occur from aging, joint overuse or injury, inflammation, obesity, or from a number of hereditary issues. Unfortunately, there is no cure, so current treatments like drugs and surgery are used to alleviate the pain and improve joint function.1 

Enter MSCs 

The MSCs inside our bodies play an important role in the maintenance of joints. In fact, they can turn into cartilage cells, making them a great candidate as a potential treatment option for OA. MSCs also send signals to other cells, helping them repair tissue and reduce inflammation.3  

If the inflammation can be reduced, and signals can be sent to other cells to help repair the damaged cartilage or joint, then stem cells could possibly stop the progression of OA or repair some of the damage. 

Scientists are even researching how to take it one step further: MSC-derived exosomes. These special stem cell cargo packages have been shown to repair and regenerate cartilage tissue in OA.2,4    

Why cord tissue MSCs are so special 

More and more, researchers are considering cord tissue stem cells for helping to treat many degenerative and autoimmune conditions, including OA.  

Why? Because, compared to other sources of MSCs, cord tissue MSCs have special advantages.3 They can also be collected non-invasively — double win! 

Can I use cord tissue today for OA? 

No. MSCs from any source are not an approved treatment for OA, as their safety and efficacy are still being evaluated in clinical trials. Also, current clinical trials studying newborn stem cells for OA are not using privately banked cord tissue.  

And although OA usually affects people in later stages of life, it’s a great example of a condition that may be treatable when a child is older—reiterating the importance of preserving now for the future. 

CBR is committed to ensuring our families will be able to use newborn stem cells for experimental applications within the appropriate regulatory guidelines. We work hand-in-hand with all of our families enrolling in FDA-approved clinical trials that accept privately banked newborn stem cells.  

As always, we’ll keep you posted as the science moves forward. Keep on the lookout for our next article, and don’t forget to share with friends and family! 

Expecting a child? Have friends or family who are expecting? Enroll with us today or log into your account for your unique referral code. When someone you refer banks with CBR, you’ll get one year of free cord blood storage—and they’ll receive special pricing on our newborn stem cell bundle!* 

References:

1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm 2. Ni Z, Zhou S, Li S, et al. Exosomes: roles and therapeutic potential in osteoarthritis. Bone Res 8, 25 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41413-020-0100-9 3. Liang H, Suo H, Wang Z et al. Progress in the treatment of osteoarthritis with umbilical cord stem cells. Human Cell (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13577-020-00377-z 4. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Exosomes for Cartilage Regeneration: A Systematic Review of Preclinical In Vivo Studies 

*This program applies only to existing CBR clients (“Referring Clients”) referring new clients to CBR (“Referred Clients”); one cannot qualify as a Referred Client under this program if he/she already stores newborn stem cells with CBR. Referred Client must enroll using referral link provided by Referring Client or mention Referring Client when enrolling over the phone. Referred Clients will receive a discount of $200 when storing both cord blood and cord tissue or $100 when storing one of cord blood or cord tissue. This program may not be combined with other offers; Referred Clients aware of other promotions will receive the greater (but not combined) discount amount if mentioned at time of enrollment. Once the Referred Client has stored, the Referring Client will receive a credit on their account for one free year of cord blood storage (a value of up to $175). This program does not offer any credit for cord tissue storage. Important notes: This program is subject to change at any time at the discretion of CBR. By participating in this program, you agree to additional terms which can be reviewed here

2 thoughts on “Why Are Newborn Stem Cells Being Studied For Osteoarthritis?

    1. Hi Gregory,

      Thank you for your question. MSC infusion is permitted under certain research/experimental protocols. Research is still underway to determine safety and efficacy. If treatments are proven, MSC infusions could be available for the general population in the future.

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