Hadassah’s physicians have already demonstrated that injections of healthy bone marrow stem cells into fracture sites help hard-to-heal breaks knit firmly together. This Advanced Trauma Treatment (ATT) program has been Young Hadassah International’s fundraising project for the past two years. Now Hadassah is launching Phase I of the clinical trial for this technique, which is only done at Hadassah.

The patients are volunteers with “non-union” fractures—those at high risk for healing poorly, either because of location of the break, infection, or devascularization of the bone. Most of their injuries are the result of trauma, usually caused by road and street accidents.

All of the patients will have their fractures set at Hadassah’s operating rooms; however, only 12 of the 24 will also have bone marrow harvested from the pelvis, a sample of which will go to the lab where scientists will use the new technique to isolate the stem cells and treat them with materials that stimulate bone formation. This bone-healing package will then be injected into the fracture site, guided by X-ray fluoroscopy.

Hadassah physicians believe that this clinical trial will validate their new technique, which would solve the problem in 10 to 15 percent of all fractures that heal imperfectly. In addition, countless patients would be spared limb amputation.