South Denver Neurosurgery Blog

VAST Study

Posted by Ben Guiot, MD on Jan 11, 2018 4:25:29 PM

Green plants and scientific equipment in biology laborotary.jpegRegenerative therapy has received increasing amounts of attention in recent years. And now we’re studying how best to use a novel therapy to treat degenerated discs that cause lower back pain. Degenerative disc disease is an age-related phenomenon affecting the intervertebral discs. These discs are spacers that act as cushions between the bones of the spine. As we age, the discs dry out, tear and become compressed. Degenerative disc disease can be quite painful, limiting mobility and affecting quality of life.


Symptoms of disc degeneration include:

  • Nagging to severe pain, especially in the lower back, buttocks, and thighs
  • Pain that gets worse with sitting, bending, lifting, or twisting
  • Pain that comes and goes for days or months
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet

New Regenerative Therapy Study for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Beginning in early 2018, South Denver Neurosurgery will be participating with other spine centers around the nation in a study, called VAST. (VAST, in case you’re wondering, stands for Viable Allograft Supplemented Disc Regeneration in the Treatment of Patients with Low Back Pain with or without Intervertebral Disc Herniation. And that’s why we refer to it simply as VAST.) VIA Disc is a tissue therapy that includes the implantation of allograft nucleus pulposus matrix to supplement the patient’s own nucleus, potentially restoring the cushioning support of the intravertebral disc.

In this study, we will be exploring whether VIA Disc can bring about disc regeneration, and in turn help relieve pain. Study participants will be divided into three groups:

  • Group 1 will receive injections of VIA Disc.
  • Group 2 will receive placebo injections.
  • Group 3 will receive non-operative care.

Participation in this type of research is an honor and so important. We are one of only a dozen centers in the country that’s been selected to participate in this prestigious trial, and we look forward to the outcome.

If you have lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease and are interested in participating in the VAST study, make an appointment at South Denver Neurosurgery by calling our offices at 720-996-1260.


Topics: research, VAST study