STEM CELL SAFETY
Regenerative veterinary medicine has been practiced in the United States since the mid-2000s. As such, it is both new and established. New in that researchers continue to rigorously study and test different approaches; established in that certain procedures have been in the market for over a decade and a half. New in that there are currently no FDA-approved veterinary stem cell services; established in that there have been numerous satisfied pet owners and successful clinical trials using stem cell therapies in the US, with a few stem cell therapies gaining regulatory approval in Europe over the past several years.
As with any frontier of scientific innovation, and indeed any medical innovation, there is a balance between the benefit to be gained and the potential risks associated with something new. JangoPet continually assesses this balance in the services it provides.
“The physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future — must mediate these things, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”
In addition, JangoPet makes the following commitments:
- We follow all current FDA guidance established by the Center for Veterinary Medicine.
- We assiduously follow developments in the state of stem cell science, being a collection not only of practitioners of the art but also life-long researchers, academics, and scientists.
- We will treat your animal with the same care and love with which
we have treated our own pets (many of whom were the first beneficiaries of JangoPet stem cell therapies).
stem cell safety data from previous studies
Researchers have been injecting stem cell products into companion animals since the mid-2000s. These studies, some of which have been fully powered clinical trials, establish a robust literature on the effects of intraarticular application of stem cell products for the treatment of joint diseases and injuries. The following information is summarized from a recent scholarly review of previous stem cell applications in dogs.
Brondeel et al., Review: Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in Canine Osteoarthritis Research: “Experientia Docet” (Experience Will Teach Us), Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8:668881 (May 19, 2021).
- This paper reviews all mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) studies in dogs (as of the date of the paper) where MSCs were injected as a treatment for joint degeneration like osteoarthritis (OA). The tables below summarize the safety of studies for autologous and allogeneic treatments for naturally occurring OA.
Table 1: Autologous Stem Cell Treatments in Dogs
As Table 1 shows below, there were eleven studies performed between 2007 and 2018 involving injections of autologous stem cells in dogs.
- Total canine patients: 139.
- Total adverse events: 1.
Adverse event description from the original study:
- Vilar et al., 2014: “In this study, only one dog [experienced] a transitory worsening after injection. This fact could probably be attributable to incorrect technique in the administration of the cells, because the researcher had to perform various attempts to reach the articular space.”
Table 2: Allogeneic Stem Cell Treatments in Dogs
As Table 2 shows below, there were nine studies performed between 2014 and 2020 involving injections of allogeneic stem cells in dogs.
- Total canine patients: 539.
- Total adverse events: 13.
Adverse event descriptions from the original studies:
- Kriston-Pal et al., 2017: “Side effects were rare, with swelling for several days in 2 of 39 treated joints.”
- Shah et al., 2018: “Of all the dogs undergoing CAD-MSC therapy [203 dogs], none displayed any severe adverse events other than slight discomfort; two of the dogs exhibited a mild skin allergy which was managed on antiallergic medication.”
- Cabon et al., 2019: “Mild, immediate self-limiting inflammatory joint reactions were observed in 5/22 joints after the first injection, and in almost all dogs having a subsequent injection. No other MSC-related adverse medical events were reported, neither during the 6 months follow up visits, nor during the long-term (2-years) safety follow up.”
Conclusion from a Review of Previous Stem Cell Studies
TAKEAWAY: The incidence of adverse events following intraarticular stem cell injections in dogs is incredibly small and all complications directly related to the cell injection are minor (temporary swelling and discomfort, mostly due to the injection temporarily increasing the volume of fluid in the joint). Compared to the known (and more severe) side effects of existing therapeutic options (NSAIDs and other pain killers), stem cell injections into arthritic joints offer an efficacious and demonstrably safe therapy.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE?
Regenerative medicine is ever-changing as researchers and doctors learn more about the exciting possibilities of stem-cell-based therapies. JangoPet is committed to leveraging the current state of knowledge to provide customers and veterinarians cutting-edge therapeutic options to help animals affected by the degenerative effects of aging. Click below to explore our current services or to contact us directly.