Trauma is the number one cause of death and disability in Americans under the age of 50, and the most frequent cause of life-long disability from trauma is severe extremity injury. Extremity injury is a common complication of automobile accidents, athletic injuries, gunshot wounds and many other causes. Unsurprisingly, the most common battlefield injury is also extremity trauma. All of these injuries can lead to permanent damage to the nerves, muscles and vasculature of the limb, leaving patients with life-long disability. At the CRM, we are leading the way in harnessing the regenerative power of a patient's own stem cells from their bone marrow to help patients rebuild or regenerate muscle, vascular and nerve tissues and strive towards a more complete recovery.
Our approach to the challenge
The CRM Team has developed a new therapeutic treatment to regenerate these damaged tissues beginning shortly after the time of injury using bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) extracted from the patient's own bone marrow. These cells are pre-programmed to fight adverse inflammation and equip neighboring cells with the tools they need to heal and grow. One of the challenges of cell therapy is delivering therapeutic cells to the damaged tissues that need them the most. We've developed a promising technique for BM-MNCs delivery that can be integrated into the existing surgical procedures necessary to treat compartment syndrome.
This straightforward, safe and cost-effective treatment offers patients an accelerated and improved healing therapy, which could allow those once condemned to a lifetime of disability to instead lead normal lives.
Our treatment has already been proven in translational pre-clinical studies and very recently accepted by the FDA as the basis to move forward to the first treatments in patients. The Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine, that envisions a potential important treatment for injured soldiers has committed to fund half the cost of the first clinical trial to establish feasibility and safety studies in humans.
Advancing cell therapy
Armed with the ability to treat debilitating tissue damage previously considered incurable, we are at the advent of an exciting new stage in medicine. Our current work with extremity injuries has the potential to directly improve the lives of millions of people. Moreover, the knowledge and expertise that is gained here will inform the development of other cell based therapies to treat different conditions such as catastrophic loss of muscle cells during heart attacks.