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Stem Cell Research

Athletes could get racehorse stem cell treatment

14 years, 1 month ago

2070  0
Posted on Oct 24, 2005, 8 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A stem cell treatment that has kept several thoroughbred horses racing could be used to treat injured athletes and others suffering serious tendon injuries. According to the Telegraph , a

A stem cell treatment that has kept several thoroughbred horses racing could be used to treat injured athletes and others suffering serious tendon injuries.

According to the Telegraph , a £250,000 extended trial on horses with tendon damage will be launched this month.

The Telegraph reports:

For the past three years, Prof Roger Smith and his team at the Royal Veterinary College in North Mimms, Herts, have recovered stem cells from bone marrow and used them to treat more than 160 horses...

In the new treatment, a damaged tendon is rapidly "repopulated" by flexible new tendon tissue, rather than leathery scar tissue that naturally forms over a period of up to 18 months.

About 70 per cent of treated horses have returned to racing form—more than double the percentage that would be expected had they received conventional treatment.

Smith says the treatment hasn't yet been subject to the rigor of a human clinical trial, but work on rats and rabbits is very encouraging.

"If I had a tendon injury, I would certainly consider this treatment," Smith told the Telegraph . "But before we use this on people, we need more evidence that it works."

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