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Equine Stem Cell Therapy
"Following our recent research on VetCell-treated horses, we are now confident that VetCell's stem cell treatment is currently the best way to treat an overstrain injury of the superficial digital flexor tendon. We have been able to show that VetCell-treated horses have approximately half the risk of re-injury compared to horses treated with other techniques. The quality of this data means that we are confident that it is truly representative of the effect of the treatment."
Professor Roger Smith, The Royal Veterinary College
The Stem Cell
Stem cells have the unique capacity to generate a range of specialised cell types, so for years researchers have looked for ways to use them to replace damaged or diseased tissues. As long ago as 1961 it was shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could develop into tendon cells in the lab and by the end of the 1990s the regeneration of new tendon-like tissue had been shown in vivo.
In 2005 Hankemeier et al. demonstrated that the implantation of MSCs induced a better quality and stronger repair in rat patella tendon. These earlier results are supported by recent data generated by VetCell both experimentally and by clinical follow-up which show significantly improved quality and function of equine tendons post-injury (Smith et al. data submitted for publication). The re-injury rate following VetCellâ€™s StemRegen treatment is so low that VetCell is pleased to offer the VetCell Plus Promise service in which the cost of stem cell culture will be repaid if re-injury occurs within 3 years of treatment (conditions apply).
Tendon & Ligament Treatment
Autologous MSCs for use in the treatment are extracted from a sample of the injured horse's bone marrow which is taken either from the sternum or tuber coxae under standing sedation and local anaesthesia. (VetCell offers training for its stem cell therapy procedures, click here for more details). The sample is then packaged and couriered to VetCell's laboratory partner company Biobest where the stem cells are extracted and cultured - a process that takes an average of 18 days. The cultured cells are re-suspended in bone marrow supernatant before being returned to the veterinary surgeon for ultrasound directed implantation directly into the lesion. The horse then undergoes a carefully controlled rehabilitation programme which takes approximately one year and encourages a return to full fitness and full work. VetCell is proud to be one of only two authorised stem cell laboratories supplying the UK and Europe (authorised by DEFRA's Veterinary Medicines Directorate).
The VetCell stem cell therapy process