Bone repair ‘breakthrough’ at Hadassah Hospital
November 20, 2009
A team at Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Medical Center has managed for the first time in the world to separate platelets and adult stem cells from the blood and bone marrow of patients with fractures and inject them – causing the bones to meld in a quarter to third of the time it usually takes to repair bones, and repairing some breaks that without the therapy would fail to heal at all.
Prof. Meir Liebergall, chairman of the orthopedics department on the Ein Kerem campus, gene therapy expert Prof. Eithan Galun and colleagues worked for years on the technique, which he said involves a “breakthrough in concept and overcomes major scientific and logistical problems.”
All seven of those who received the experimental cell-based therapy have seen the broken tibias in their legs heal, even though the fractured bone in at least one control group patient who received only conventional treatment of screws or bone grafts failed to meld. Instead of taking six to nine months to heal, the fractures treated with adult stem cells and platelets healed in two months.