Can we identify markers to predict which treatments people with knee cartilage damage will respond best to?

Disease - Osteoarthritis

Lead applicant - Dr Karina Wright

Organisation - Keele University

Type of grant - Project Grant

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £189,195

Start date - 1 September 2015

Reference - 20815

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This study aims to develop markers to predict which people with knee cartilage damage will respond well to cellular therapies and to see what these markers can tell them about how damaged cartilage leads to osteoarthritis.

Why is this research important?

If left untreated, knee cartilage damage can lead to osteoarthritis. Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) is one of the most frequently used treatments to repair knee cartilage. Here, cartilage is removed from the damaged knee, grown in a lab, and reimplanted back into the knee to repair the damage. This is successful about 80% of the time. These scientists want to find markers to identify the 20% of people that won't respond to this treatment before performing ACI. They hope that these markers will also shed light on why that group don't respond, enabling them to design an effective therapy for all people.

How will the findings benefit patients?

These biomarkers would allow doctors and surgeons to make more informed treatment decisions leading to more appropriate therapies and better care for people with knee damage. Understanding how osteoarthritis develops can help researchers to create treatments to reduce the damage to joint potentially reducing the need for joint replacement surgeries.