Stem Cells Plus BMP-2 Fracture Remedy
A Vienna researcher developed a new treatment for severe orthopedic injuries to the extremities during her research fellowship at the Center for Advanced Orthopedic Studies at the Harvard Medical School. The researcher is Martina Hauser-Schinhan from the University Department of Orthopaedics at the MedUni, Vienna, Austria.
In her research Hauser-Schinhan used the body's own stem cells, obtained from fat or bone marrow, combined with BMP-2 genes which, she said, are known to promote bone healing. She embedded the autologous stem cells, genetically modified with ad.BMP-2, in a fibrin gel which she applied between the two broken parts of the bone. She reported that the stem cells continuously produce BMP-2, like a power plant, with the combination causing the bones to heal. "Until now, in cases of severe injury that we would be able to treat with this method, amputations or bone shortening surgery were often necessary, " she said.
Hauser-Schinhan said that the new treatment option has been used in in vivo trials and clinical studies are set to follow. The results so far invite the conclusion that healing occurs within a few weeks. "Its use even after the removal of bony tumors, which involves taking away large portions of bone, appears to be possible, ” she said.