Royal North Shore Hospital will help drive one of the world’s largest clinical trials into the effectiveness of stem cell therapy for those with knee osteoarthritis.
Kolling researcher Professor David Hunter will lead the two-year study, which is currently recruiting more than 400 participants for the trial sites at RNSH and the Menzies Institute in Hobart.
“We will evaluate whether stem cell injections can improve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease in people with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis,” he said.
“Participants will receive three injections over a 12 month period, with researchers to assess levels of pain, physical activity and quality of life throughout the trial.”
All participants will receive the same stem cell product, developed from cells from a single, young healthy person.
The study follows some small trials which have indicated stem cell therapy may reduce inflammation, and help the body repair cartilage.
David said there is tremendous community interest and many stem cell products available, but to date, there has been no good, rigorous evidence to suggest
these products are effective in this context.
“It’s really important that we have high-quality trials like this one to produce the evidence that we need around efficacy and safety,” he said.