Allogeneic disc progenitor cells safe for patients with lumbar disc degeneration: Study

Spine

Progenitor cells from intervertebral disc tissue were found to be safe for increasing disc volume and reducing pain in lumbar disc degeneration patients, according to a study in the June 2024 issue of the International Journal of Spine Surgery.

Sixty patients with symptomatic single-level lumbar degenerative disc disease were enrolled in the randomized double-blind study. They were put into four groups — low-dose cell intradiscal injections, high-dose cell intradiscal injection, vehicle alone and placebo.

After 52 weeks, patients in the high-dose cell group had a mean visual analog scale decrease of 62.8% from their baseline. The high-dose group was the only one to have a significant change in disc volume with mean increases of 249 millimeters at 52 weeks. 

The low-dose and placebo groups didn't have significant improvements in their VAS scores, and the vehicle group had a smaller significant decrease.

The study concluded, "High-dose allogeneic disc progenitor cells produced statistically significant, clinically meaningful improvements in back pain and disc volume at one year following a single intradiscal injection and were safe and well tolerated. These improvements were maintained at two years post-injection."

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