McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
faculty member J. Peter Rubin, MD, is co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Adipose Stem Cell Center. Studies there focus on the isolation, growth and differentiation, biology, and therapeutic applications of stem cells derived from adipose tissues. Dr. Rubin and the Center’s researchers are isolating, characterizing, and testing adult stem cells from fat (or adipose tissue) for use in therapeutic applications in humans. Today, some of the potentially promising regenerative medicine applications using fat-derived stem cells are already in use in horses and dogs. Recently, Dr. Rubin weighed in on the science and therapeutic benefits of adipose stem cells for some of man’s best friends.
In 2002, Vet-Stem, Inc. was formed to bring regenerative medicine technology to the veterinary profession. The goal was to be the conduit for the latest developments in human medical technology and provide easy-to-use services and products to the practicing veterinarian. Recently, Dr. Rubin weighed in on the science and therapeutic benefits of adipose stem cells for some of man’s best friends.
"This is a very interesting therapy and one where the results have been fairly striking," Dr. Rubin said. "It's definitely based on evidence, and they are showing good data to support these changes for a number of years now. I believe the results are real."
This regenerative cell therapy has demonstrated successful therapeutic outcomes in horses with tendon and ligament injuries, fractures, and joint disease. This same therapy is now being used to treat osteoarthritis in dogs. Since 2005, selected veterinary clinics have treated dogs with osteoarthritis and orthopedic soft tissue injuries. Initial studies demonstrate that intra-articular administration of this cell-based therapy significantly decreases pain and improves comfort in the majority of cases. Duration of the benefit from a single injection varies from several months to more than 1 year. Depending on how many joints need injections, the cost ranges from $2,400 to $3,000.
Fat, or adipose tissue, contains an abundant number of adult stem cells, over 10 times more than in bone marrow. These cells not only regenerate adipose tissue, but they can reconstruct a variety of injuries and defects by being coaxed to develop into nerves, bone, or cartilage—areas of research being conducted at the Adipose Stem Cell Center.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (12/28/08)
Bio: Dr. Peter Rubin