Stem Cell Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease
Degeneration of the intervertebral disc, often called "degenerative disc disease" (DDD) of the spine, is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one's life.
While disc degeneration is a normal part of aging and for most people is not a problem, for certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe constant chronic pain. Often, degenerative disc disease can be successfully treated without surgery. One or a combination of treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT) and other chiropractic treatments, osteopathic manipulation, anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, traction, or spinal injections often provide adequate relief of these troubling symptoms.
Degenerative discs typically show degenerative fibrocartilage and clusters of chondrocytes, suggestive of repair. Inflammation may or may not be present. Histologic examination of disc fragments resected for presumed DDD is routine to exclude malignancy.
Fibrocartilage replaces the gelatinous mucoid material of the nucleus pulposus as the disc changes with age. There may be splits in the annulus fibrosis, permitting herniation of elements of nucleus pulposus. There may also be shrinkage of the nucleus pulposus that produces prolapse of the annulus with secondary osteophyte formation at the margins of the adjacent vertebral body.
The pathologic findings in DDD include protrusion, spondylolysis, and/or subluxation of vertebrae (sponylolisthesis) and spinal stenosis.
Stem Cell Treatment and Degenerative Disc Disease NIH Streaming Database
Intervertebral Disc Repair by Allogeneic Mesenchymal Bone Marrow Cells: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Related Articles Intervertebral Disc Repair by Allogeneic Mesenchymal Bone Marrow Cells: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Transplantation. 2017 Aug;101(8):1945-1951 Authors: Noriega DC, Ardura F, Hernández-Ramajo R, Martín-Ferrero MÁ, Sánchez-Lite I, Toribio B, Alberca M, García V, Moraleda JM, Sánchez A, García-Sancho J Abstract BACKGROUND: Degenerative disc disease often causes severe low-back pain, a public health problem with huge economic and life quality impact. Chronic cases often require surgery, which may lead to biomechanical problems and accelerated degeneration of the adjacent segments. Autologous mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) treatments have shown feasibility, safety and strong indications of clinical efficacy. We present here a randomized, controlled trial using allogeneic MSC, which are logistically more convenient than autologous cells. METHODS: We randomized 24 patients with chronic back pain diagnosed with lumbar disk degeneration and unresponsive to conservative treatments into 2 groups. The test group received allogeneic bone marrow MSCs by intradiscal injection of 25 × 10 cells per segment under local anesthesia. The control group received a sham infiltration of paravertebral musculature with the anesthetic. Clinical outcomes were followed up for 1 year and included evaluation of pain, disability, and quality of life. Disc quality was followed up by magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: Feasibility and safety were confirmed and indications of clinical efficacy were identified. MSC-treated patients displayed a quick and significant improvement in algofunctional indices versus the controls. This improvement seemed restricted to a group of responders that included 40% of the cohort. Degeneration, quantified by Pfirrmann grading, improved in the MSC-treated patients and worsened in the controls. CONCLUSIONS: Allogeneic MSC therapy may be a valid alternative for the treatment of degenerative disc disease that is more logistically convenient than the autologous MSC treatment. The intervention is simple, does not require surgery, provides pain relief, and significantly improves disc quality. PMID: 27661661 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Read more...