I had cause recently to review our application for The Autologous Bone Marrow Concentrate Outcomes Research Project that was approved by the Institutional Review Board on March 9, 2012. The Clinical Study Background stated, “ While the knowledge of cellular and molecular mechanisms of stem cells has been increasing at an exponential rate, clinical progress in the related management of arthritis has been minimal. Bone Marrow Concentrate contains elements directly capable of promoting regenerative potential and decreasing ongoing inflammation.”
Osteoarthritis and Stem Cell Therapy
The scientific approach for our stem cell research project was based on the fact that Bone Marrow Concentrate is known to contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and other progenitor cells. This rich community of cells has regenerative properties, immune response modification capacity and ability to generate growth factors. While our clinical emphasis to date has been on regeneration and the anti-inflammatory possibilities, what we have neglected to emphasize is the potential of slowing the progressive of degeneration usually seen in Osteoarthritis. Simply stated, our goal is to relieve pain, promote healing and modify progression. You may conclude, the outcome will be better if the Stem Cell intervention is earlier in the onset. On the other hand, please recognize that maximum medical improvement may not be reached until 18 months after a BMAC procedure. It is increasingly evident that the patient population has not taken home that latter message.
I will attempt to help a potential patient with, or remind an exiting patient about milestones after a Bone Marrow Concentrate Procedure. First and most important, if you haven’t moved on to a joint replacement, you’re enjoying a satisfactory outcome. At six weeks, certainly it would be great if your pain and swelling were gone but that might not happen for three to six months after the fact. Even I get impatient, which is why I will offer a booster Platelet Rich Plasma if the goal isn’t met. I remind you and need to remind myself that the final end point may not be reached until 18 months.
How might a patient do better faster? If you check out the Regenexx web site at WWW.Regenexx.com, there is a new listing about The Regenexx Advanced Stem cell Support Formula purported to ”help support healthy stem cell function and cartilage production”. Please do not take this as an endorsement of product. It is strictly informational and I receive nothing in return, though I hope it helps.