Stem cell treatment could prevent amputations
Nine out of ten patients who face leg amputations due to deadened blood vessels could save the limb as a result of stem cell treatment from their own bone marrow.
Tests on 29 patients by the Dutch-based company Biomet in cooperation with the University of Indiana show that blood vessels recover after a stem cell injection. The tests were done at the Indiana University of Medicine in Indianapolis.
During a two-hour operation bone marrow is extracted filtered in a centrifuge and the stem cells isolated.
The stem cells are then injected into the muscle tissue. After a year, 86.3 percent of patients no longer needed an amputation. Patients also had less pain. Two patients did experience serious side effects.
The results of the study have been published in Journal of Vascular Surgery.
Dr Michael P. Murphy, clinical consultant for stem cell therapy said "The results of this study are a crucial step in alternative therapy for patients facing amputation as the only option."
Biomet, a world leader in orthopedic products and implants, has called it a milestone for the promising therapy. The company has its head European headquarters in Dordrecht near Rotterdam.
The company plans to expand the tests in the future.
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