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FOTO Rehab Outcomes Blog

Stem Cells in the Management of Rheumatic Diseases

As technology changes and provides new treatment options, are we ready to evaluate the changes that may occur with the care we provide? Meaning... is there a difference in the rehabilitation outcomes of someone who has received stem cell treatments versus someone who hasn't? 

I know that typically this my questions would typically be answered via a randomized controlled trial. Yet... shouldn't we also know the answer with real life patients using practice based evidence?

FOTO has a way, built into its system, for you to create your own special groups of patients. You can definitely create a category of patients who have had stem cell treatment and a category for patients who have not. You can easily compare. The capability to do this could definitely set you apart with physicians in the community who are truly interested in being able to compare results. Granted, many colleagues will be thinking there is a bias... there isn't any randomization.... the clinician knows what treatments the patient has received in the past. Reality: real clinical life is messy and in the real world, clinicians have to treat patients on their schedules. Practice based evidence looks at retrospective data to help clinicians learn.

Below you will find a quick view of the abstract.


The potential role of adult stem cells in the management of the rheumatic diseases.



Adult stem cells are considered as appealing therapeutic candidates for inflammatory and degenerative musculoskeletal diseases. A large body of preclinical research has contributed to describing their immune-modulating properties and regenerative potential. Additionally, increasing evidence suggests that stem cell differentiation and function are disrupted in the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases. Clinical studies have been limited, for the most part, to the application of adult stem cell-based treatments on small numbers of patients or as a 'salvage' therapy in life-threatening disease cases. Nevertheless, these preliminary studies indicate that adult stem cells are promising tools for the long-term treatment of rheumatic diseases. This review highlights recent knowledge acquired in the fields of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cell therapy for the management of systemic sclerosis (SSc), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) and the potential mechanisms mediating their function.

 2017 Jul;9(7):165-179. doi: 10.1177/1759720X17704639. Epub 2017 Apr 20.