Painful Intervertebral Disc: Cell Therapies
Intervertebral disc-related low back pain is a common helath issue, responsible for disability for numerous patients world-wide. Disc degeneration is a process with an almost universal development at advancing age and is connected not only with low back pain, but also with disc herniation and neurological deficits. Conservative treatment for discogenic low back pain is mainly symptomatic, often has short effect and/or is inadequate for a subgroup of patients. Surgical treatment is does not address the biology of disc degeneration, is connected with morbidity and may hasten adjacent level disc degeneration. Among the biological treatments being investigated, aiming to hault or even reverse the degeneration process, cell therapy has attracted rising interest recently, including the administration of both autologous and allogenic stem cells and chondrocytes. In this study, it is attempted to review the recent literature concerning application of cell treatment to patients suffering from discogenic low-back pain and highlight certain promising results, as well as future obstacles for further clinical trials and possible clinical application of cell therapy. Twelve clinical trials and case reports have been included, all published since 2006.
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