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Stem cell treatment may offer option for broken bones that don't heal
Date:6/5/2011

fracture healing than did mice either left untreated or treated only with stem cells. Compared with controls left to heal on their own or recipients of stem cells only, treated mice had more bone bridging the fracture gap, and the new bone was three to four times stronger, according to Spagnoli.

"More excitingly, we found that stem cells empowered with IGF-I restored the formation of new bone in a mouse lacking the ability to repair broken bones. This is the first evidence that stem cell therapy can address a deficiency of fracture repair," she said.

This success in an animal model of fracture non-union, Spagnoli said, "is a crucial step toward developing a stem cell-based treatment for patients with fracture non-unions."

"We envision a clinical use of combined mesenchymal stem cells and IGF-1 similar to the approach employed in bone marrow transplant, in which stem cell therapy is combined with growth factors to restore blood cells," she said. "I think this treatment will be feasible to start testing in patients in a few years." IGF-I is currently approved for treatment of children with a deficiency of this hormone, causing growth failure.


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Contact: Les Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-966-9366
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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