Friday, August 1, 2008
Medical Reports: Dog Stem Cells
Stems cells are helping people with everything from paralysis to heart disease. Now a new stem cell therapy being used on dogs could soon help people suffering from chronic pain. Seven's Christine Cruz has details in tonight's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Getting a massage is one of Maggie Mae's favorite things. Maggie Mae was a rescued dog that had been abandoned.
Terry Hays: "She just touched my heart really strongly."
But the neglect left her in pain, suffering from arthritis.
Terry Hays: "She stays pretty still. She moans and groans when she lays down or when she gets up."
But doctors are going to treat Maggie Mae with a one-of-a-kind stem cell therapy to help reduce her pain.
Terry Hays: "She's got three joints that are, we hope, will be positively effected by the stem cell treatment."
The Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell, or VSRC therapy is now being used in small animals to treat arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries. The stem cells are taken from the dog's own fat.
Dr. Jeff Peck: "So it's not from embryo, and it's not from the bone marrow. It's taken from fat, and that's one of the huge advantages of it because, number one, you always have a donor."
Once Maggie's fat is removed stem cells and regenerative cells are then isolated, those cells are injected directly into her joints.
Dr. Jeff Peck: "We know we are not going to make those tissues normal, but it will suppress inflammation, slow the progression of the degenerative changes in many cases but also provide pain relief."
Fast forward six weeks after surgery, and this is Maggie now. The good news, the same therapy that helped Maggie is now being used in clinical trials to see if it could provide pain relief for humans.
Christine Cruz: "The other good thing, traditional surgery to repair Maggie's joints would have cost about $5,000. Stem cell therapy costs about half that."
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