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Stem Cell Repair -

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PART THREE OF STORY

NARRATION:

So far in the programme we've only heard about implanting an animal's or a person's own cells. But
there's an alternative.

GRAHAM PHILLIPS:

There are two types of stem cell implants possible. One is called autologous, where you take the
patients own stem cells and put them back in, but also allogeneic implants are possible where the
stem cells come from a completely different person.

NARRATION:

Ryan's will be from a different person...mass produced off-the-shelf stem cells. And that's why his
trial could be such a breakthrough: to make treatment broadly available.

PROF. SILVIU ITESCU:

The costs of developing personalised cell therapy on a patient by patient basis are exorbitant and
while that is realistic from an experimental perspective.

To try to bring stem cell therapies to the broad market for very large and common diseases is going
to require something that is relatively inexpensive.

NARRATION:

But what about immune rejection?

PROF. SILVIU ITESCU:

It just so happens that these particular cells, the mesenchymal stem cells have unique properties.
They don't have certain molecules on their surface that activate the immune system and they seem to
produce certain factors that switch off the immune system.

NARRATION:

Finally the much talked about injection arrives: off-the-shelf stem cells to treat arthritis. It's
a double blind trial...a third of the people will get only placebos. Ryan's hoping he's getting the
real deal.

GRAHAM PHILLIPS:

Done! How do you feel?

RYAN OGDEN:

Done! The same! So let's hope those stem cells do what they meant to do and yeah back to life as
normal.

GRAHAM PHILLIPS:

Doctors should know within a year or so whether the implants are having an effect, and if it all
does go to plan, treatment could be available in as little as five years.