View Full Version : Vet innovations: Stem cell therapy

01-30-2006, 10:04 AM

Vet innovations: Stem cell therapy

Prof Chris Proudman FRCVS

30 January, 2006
Stem cell therapy is a new treatment that may help more equine athletes return to competition following tendon injuries

Tendon injury is a major cause of lameness in athletic horses. Eventers and racehorses, particularly national hunt horses and point-to-pointers, are susceptible to injury of the superficial digital flexor tendon.

Until recently, the only scientific treatment for these injuries was prolonged rest to allow natural healing. Recent developments in tissue engineering have enabled stem cell technology to be used to treat tendon and suspensory ligament injuries.
Stem cells are immature cells produced by the body that grow into whatever type of cells are required to replace old or diseased ones. The horse is able to fend off the effects of ageing and recover from injury and disease by the growth and differentiation of stem cells.

Stem cell therapy involves harvesting stem cells, usually from the bone marrow of the horse to be treated. This tissue is sent to a specialist laboratory, where the stem cells are selected and multiplied by cell culture.

The purified cell sample is then transported back to the vet supervising the treatment, who injects them into the injury site. Here, the stem cells will develop into tendon cells and produce new tissue to replace the damaged tendon.

The whole science of tissue engineering is very new in both the medical and the veterinary world. Scientists are still learning about the best ways to purify and treat stem cells to ensure as many as possible turn into tendon cells and assist the process of repair.

Trials to evaluate the effectiveness of this treatment are also in their early stages. Although there have been some well-publicised successes, it is too early to state with absolute certainty that this method of treating strained tendons is better than rest alone.

Scientists will continue to evaluate stem cell therapy as a treatment for tendon injuries and, within a few years, it should be possible to determine the true benefits of treatment.

This veterinary feature was first published in Horse & Hound (12 January, '06)

06-02-2006, 05:23 PM
This kinda shows where we are in the line for a therapy,

oh to be a horse

06-02-2006, 05:28 PM
This kinda shows where we are in the line for a therapy,

oh to be a horse
Well, they make sausages of you a year later :)

But I was posting this to show that some SCI’d ppl with tendon injuries hopefully also can benefit from stem cell research when it comes to this.

06-02-2006, 07:42 PM
We have a company in San Diego.
They process stem cells from fat taken from the horse and send them to the vet.

Not only used in tendon..but cartilage and some muscle issues in horses. They say they are going to try some on dogs soon.

The results seem amazing really.

I would let my vet take a sample from me in his surgery. It is spotless. Maybe we need to go to vets to get some stem cells.

If it's going to take 10+ years to get regenerative therapies..heck this treatment at least could keep joints from going totally south. I have a feeling though joint replacement industries wouldn't like that much.

Why wouldn't this work on humans?
We get excited over stuff working on rats and mice.
Horses well they are a larger animal test subject one would think.

Look at all the people here with hips going out..and shoulders failing..and wrists..and knees and fingers..all because the muscles are worthless. This would give them and me some time. I don't get it.

06-02-2006, 08:22 PM
Humans exactly,

i read about $1,500.00 a treatment that is often covered by insurance.


thanks for post Leif and thanks for link Lindox

this is not right....duh... and should be translated to humans

i'll ask our vet school to look into this....a researcher there has done sci work in the past.

06-03-2006, 02:09 PM
Good luck.
Researchers researching this is just fine..but they are already DOING the process. What is the difference in the fat cells from a horse and a human that they can't just do the same process with some human fat and see if it works?

It is just like lazer disc ablation..the surgeons are NOT interested in the proven success of this procedure even in DOGS..for DOGS. No it's much more profitable for them to do the invasive, often dangerous and often recurring laminectomies. Why you ask? They pay big time..and little is invested by the surgeons except what they already have purchased to perform all their surgeries. $1500.00 wouldn't even pay for half of most laminectomies. Might cover an MRI..put nothing else.

The lazer preventative procedure is around a grand and about one sixteenth the recovery time.

Dr. Wise has said the doctors that worked with us old polios way back when made a mockery out of us..I don't agree they did EVERYTHING they knew to do and more sometimes...THIS is a mockery. We are too old to be here for the regenerative therapies of the anterior horn cells..but damn it we ain't dead yet..and this is HERE now. Now that's a mockery. If we can't be cured damn it at least give us what you got.

I know one thing if my childhood ortho was still able to hold a knife..HE would try it in a heartbeat. What happened to those kind of doctors?