What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that occurs when one’s immune system attacks its own tissues by mistake. This autoimmune disorder mostly impacts the lining of small joints in one’s hands and feet. Eventually, the inflamed lining will cause a painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity. In addition to attacking the joints, the condition can affect the lungs, skin, eyes, and even blood vessels.
The disorder can affect people of all ages but is most prevalent in those over 40 and is found more commonly in women. The earliest signs of rheumatoid arthritis appear within the smallest joints first, like fingers and toes. Once the condition has been identified, it can come and go in various stages called “flares.” Some symptoms include tender joints, morning stiffness, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. There is no known cure available.
How can Celltex stem cell therapy help?
Given their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, mesenchymal stem cells hold promise in the treatment of RA. In pre-clinical studies, MSCs have been shown to suppress immune responses and down-regulate inflammation. MSCs have also been shown to reduce the presence of pathogenic T-cells and induce the generation or activation of regulatory T cells. While MSCs may differentiate into chondrocytes that produce cartilage, it is unclear if cultured MSCs that are delivered as a suspension can contribute to cartilage regeneration. However, MSCs have been shown to reduce pain without adverse events. Also, a clinical study of patients with refractory RA demonstrated that standard drug treatment in combination with MSCs was safe and reduced disease activity for several months, and that repetitive treatment could stabilize disease outcomes in certain patients. More work is required to understand the mechanism of action, which should be useful to defining how to maximize therapeutic benefit and appropriate dosing regimen. Transplantation of MSCs in humans for a variety of conditions has been generally well tolerated, although results have been variable as a function of delivery route, and the variability in potency of cells between donors, tissue sources and culture conditions has been well documented.
Research articles on use of stem cells in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Examples of current and completed clinical trials registered at FDA.gov that investigate use of mesenchymal stem cells: