Ankle osteonecrosis in fifty-one children and adolescent’s leukemia survivors: a prospective randomized study on percutaneous mesenchymal stem cells treatment

Abstract

Purpose

Corticoid treatment associated with haematologic treatments can lead to ankle osteonecrosis in children’s survivors of acute leukemia (ALL). Based on the efficiency of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in hip osteonecrosis, we performed an evaluation of this treatment in 51 children and adolescents who had symptomatic ankle osteonecrosis after therapy for haematologic cancer.

Material and methods

The 51 patients had a total of 79 osteonecrosis sites on MRI, with 29 talus sites, 18 metaphyseal tibia sites, 12 epiphyseal tibia sites, eight calcaneus sites, six fibula sites, four navicular sites, and two cuboid sites. In this prospective randomized trial, 37 ankles were addressed for cell therapy, 37 others for core decompression alone, and 20 were considered as a control group without treatment. We analyzed the outcome of this treatment osteonecrosis, the number and characteristics of bone marrow mesenchymal cells (MSCs) that could be transplanted, and the risks of tumorigenesis in these patients with haematologic cancers. The patients were operated on over a period of ten years from 2000 to 2010 and were monitored through December 31, 2019.

Results

Despite a normal systemic blood cells count, MSCs in the iliac crest (counted as CFU-F) were in low number (1021 MSCs/mL; range 314–3015) and were of host origin after even allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Better clinical outcomes (pain, foot and ankle deformity) and osteonecrosis repair on MRI with absence of collapse were obtained in ankles that received cell therapy as compared with those with core decompression alone or those without initial surgery. No tumour was found on MRI at the sites of injection and this study found no increased risk of recurrence or of new cancer in this population after an average follow-up of 15 years.

Conclusions

These results suggest that autologous MSCs can improve the quality of life of leukemia survivors with ankle osteonecrosis.

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Data availability

Data are in Henri Mondor Hospital.

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Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

PH: surgery, data collection, and redaction; JC A: statistics; AD: surgery; CH FL: surgery; HR: cell therapy.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Philippe Hernigou.

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All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Hernigou, P., Auregan, J.C., Dubory, A. et al. Ankle osteonecrosis in fifty-one children and adolescent’s leukemia survivors: a prospective randomized study on percutaneous mesenchymal stem cells treatment. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-021-05051-z

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Keywords

  • Leukemia survivors
  • Ankle osteonecrosis
  • Talus osteonecrosis
  • Distal tibia osteonecrosis
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Children cancer
  • Corticosteroid osteonecrosis
  • Children osteonecrosis