Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel or uterus) herniate into the vagina, causing incontinence, voiding, bowel and sexual dysfunction, negatively impacting upon a woman's quality of life. POP affects 25% of all women and results from childbirth injury. For 19% of all women, surgical reconstructive surgery is required for treatment, often augmented with surgical mesh. The surgical treatment fails in up to 30% of cases or results in adverse effects, such as pain and mesh erosion into the bladder, bowel or vagina. Due to these complications the Food and Drug Administration cautioned against the use of vaginal mesh and several major brands have been recently been withdrawn from market. In this review we will discuss new cell-based approaches being developed for the treatment of POP. Several cell types have been investigated in animal models, including a new source of mesenchymal stem/ stromal cells (MSC) derived from human endometrium. The unique characteristics of endometrial MSC, methods for their isolation and purification and steps towards their development for good manufacturing practice production will be described. Animal models that could be used to examine the potential for this approach will also be discussed as will a rodent model showing promise in developing an endometrial MSC-based therapy for POP. The development of a preclinical large animal model for assessing tissue engineering constructs for treating POP will also be mentioned.
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Endometrial mesenchymal stem cells
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Tissue engineering
- Regenerative medicine