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North America’s first clinical osteoarthritis Mesenchymal stem cell trial
Dianne MacDonald, study participant.

​​​​Dianne MacDonald, study participant.​​

D​onor funding was a catalyst in providing the Arthritis Program with the resources needed to initiate a landmark trial. In 2014, Health Canada granted approval to the Arthritis Program to conduct the first mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) trial for knee osteoarthritis in North America.

A portion of MSCs contain stem cells, which are form many cell types including bone and cartilage cells. Under the leadership of Arthritis Program clinician scientist Dr. Jas Chahal, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, and Dr. Sowmya Viswanathan, an Affiliate Scientist at the Buchan Arthritis Research Centre at the Krembil Research Institute and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, the MSC clinical trial comprises 12 patients between the ages of 40 and 65 who have moderate to severe osteoarthritis in their knees.