DOD awards Beaumont Health $1.5M to research osteoarthritis post ACL tears

Written by Jackie Drees | October 30, 2018 | Print  |

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded $1.5 million to Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health System for its research on immune systems' ability to prevent and treat osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament tears.

Here are five things to know:

1. Beaumont Director of Orthopedic Research Kevin Baker, PhD, is leading the team of researchers.

2. Dr. Baker said the research consists of finding a strategy to reduce the immune system's response to joint injury. Researchers are find ways for stem cells to mitigate ACL-injured joints and then treating the same cells with a drug to diminish or prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

3. Researchers are focusing on a new immune therapy altering approach used in cancer immunotherapy, which uses medications to inhibit "checkpoint" molecules that cancer cells overproduce.

4. By using checkpoint molecules, Beaumont researchers are slowing down or eliminating damage that occurs to bone and cartilage as a result of joint injury.

5. PTOA is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. military. Joint injuries, specifically ruptured ACLs, are the primary reason for PTOA development in the knee.

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