Home News and Updates Mesenchymal stem cell therapy: The scientific evidence

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy: The scientific evidence


Mesenchymal stem cell therapy has yielded excellent results in patients across the globe, treating conditions from neurological disorders to bone and cartilage diseases. If you haven’t read our previous post on how mesenchymal stem cell therapy works, this provides a great starting point on what this treatment is all about. 

This post will focus on the scientific evidence that demonstrates the efficacy of this procedure and the promising results that have been observed in practice.

A report of four patients with knee osteoarthritis described the notable improvement seen in walking time for the pain to appear, the number of stairs they could climb, and the pain on the visual analogue scale. Moreover, although only minor, an improvement was observed in the overall range of motion. Collectively, this validated the conclusion that mesenchymal stem cell therapy should be considered in patients with advanced osteoarthritis (Davatchi et al., 2011). This study primarily focused on the short term implications of this treatment on osteoarthritis, with a follow-up period of 12-months. However, Davatchi et al. reported on the same patients in the long-term follow-up period at five years. Here, it was observed that, although a mild deterioration was noted, all parameters were better than before the treatment. This included walking time, stair climbing, gelling pain, patella crepitus, flection contracture, and the visual analogue score on pain (Davatchi et al., 2016).

A 2020 systematic review hypothesised that mesenchymal stem cell therapy represents a feasible option for idiopathic knee osteoarthritis and may delay or even avoid the joint replacement. A thorough assessment of the current literature was carried out, with the findings collaboratively supporting this hypothesis. A total of 18 studies were identified, treating 1069 knees in total, with 72% of patients receiving bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and the remaining 28% receiving adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. We go into more detail on the difference between these approaches here. Across all patients, following administration of mesenchymal stem cell therapy, a remarkable improvement in clinical and functional outcomes were observed. In addition, the pain and function scores also showed a considerable improvement, resulting in a significant improvement in overall quality of life and the patients’ ability to participate in recreational activities (Migliorini et al., 2020).

New evidence is being published on a regular basis as we gain more data on the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell therapy. At Opus, we want to ensure that you have access to the most up-to-date information; therefore, as this new research is released, we will relay that through our content.



Davatchi, F., Abdollahi, B. S., Mohyeddin, M., Shahram, F. & Nikbin, B. 2011.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis. Preliminary report of four patients. Int J Rheum Dis, 14, 211-5.

Davatchi, F., Sadeghi Abdollahi, B., Mohyeddin, M. & Nikbin, B. 2016. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis: 5 years follow-up of three patients. Int J Rheum Dis, 19, 219-25.

Migliorini, F., Rath, B., Colarossi, G., Driessen, A., Tingart, M., Niewiera, M. & Eschweiler, J. 2020.
Improved outcomes after mesenchymal stem cells injections for knee osteoarthritis: results at 12-months follow-up: a systematic review of the literature. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg, 140, 853-868.

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