Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, published the results of a meta-analysis, showing disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are no better than placebo for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease, associated with aging, that affects mainly the articular cartilage and is caused by chronic wear and tear, or injury to the cartilage. Osteoarthritis can occur in one joint or multiple joints and most commonly occurs in the knees, hips, fingers and lower spine region.

Osteoarthritis is the result of damage to the articular cartilage caused by aging, joint trauma, obesity, or altered movement of the joint. Because inflammation is not the root cause of osteoarthritis, OA has historically been classified as a noninflammatory arthritis. However, a large number of patients with OA have significant inflammation of the synovium due to immune responses to the damage of the cartilage.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used to reduce inflammation and pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a systemic autoimmune inflammatory disease. Since these drugs are effective at reducing inflammation, researchers wanted to see if they could also effectively reduce the pain and swelling in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

Previous animal models suggested DMARDs might be useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis but results from the meta-analysis, of 11 randomized controlled trials, published in June, in the journal Rheumatology, showed DMARDs were ineffective for the treatment of OA. The analysis included 1205 patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis and results showed there was no statistically significant difference between DMARDs or placebo for the reduction of pain.

Researchers believe the role of inflammation in OA is significantly different than the role of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Clinicians know that patients with osteoarthritis have inflammation in the joint; they can see it in the MRI, but the exact role of inflammation is unclear.

Current conventional, non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis treat the symptoms, but not the underlying disease, and may have serious adverse events associated with long term use. Surgery is the only FDA approved treatment that can provide a long-term solution, but there can be serious surgical related complications. Complete recovery from surgery can take up to one year. You can usually resume normal activity after 6 weeks, but it can take 3 months to 1 year for the pain and inflammation to subside.

A stem cell transplant, at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, can reduce the symptoms of OA including: improve range of motion, reduce inflammation, reduce stiffness, and potentially delay or eliminate the need for surgery; allowing patients to fully engage in the activities they enjoy.

Mesenchymal stem cells:

  • Promote self-healing
  • Repair or replace bone or cartilage tissue
  • Have potent anti-inflammatory capabilities
  • Modulate abnormal immune system responses
  • Prevent additional premature cell and tissue damage
  • Reduce scarring
  • Stimulate new blood vessel growth improving blood flow

Stem cell therapy, at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, may help patients suffering with osteoarthritis that; are not responding adequately to standard drug treatment, cannot tolerate their current recommended treatment, are newly diagnosed, would like to try stem cell therapy before initiating drug treatment, or would like to avoid the risk, pain, and lengthy recovery of surgery.

The experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute are committed to providing personalized service and the highest quality of care to every patient. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and are interested in the potential benefits of stem cell therapy, contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute today.




Monica S M Persson, Aliya Sarmanova, Michael Doherty, Weiya Zhang; Conventional and biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Rheumatology, , key131,