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Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis *

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the second most common form of arthritis and the most common inflammatory joint disorder in the UK, affecting more than 400,000 people with around 12,000 new cases diagnosed every year. The condition is chronic and degenerative, causing pain and swelling, stiffness and fatigue. The disorder affects females to males at a ratio of approximately 3:1 with an overall incidence of around 1 in 100. It is most commonly reported in people aged >40 years with most first diagnoses occurring at age <60 years and life expectancy may be reduced by up to 18 years. With such high prevalence, extensive work has been done to investigate causes, early diagnosis and treatments for RA, yet much about the disease remains elusive, no cure currently exists and treatment options are limited. Drug treatment and physiotherapy are first line approaches. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are common treatments. Recent research for novel treatments has led to the introduction of biological antibodies, such as anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNF-α). Whilst significant impact has been made in alleviating symptoms, 50 % of RA sufferers prescribed with biological treatments discontinue the use after 2 years due to declining efficacy or adverse side effects. In untreatable cases, the last resort is joint replacement. It is advantageous in treating multifaceted disorders to utilise a multifaceted therapy and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) infusion offers this potential. This chapter reviews the application of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of RA and current research perspectives. The advantages of MSC therapies are discussed alongside evaluation of optimum models for use in in vivo testing of novel treatments. Outcomes of both preclinical and the few clinical trials conducted to date are discussed to develop both the potential and future of stem cell therapy for autoimmune conditions such as RA.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 03-10-2017
Authors: Alasdair G. Kay, Jim Middleton, Oksana Kehoe