Is it the stem cells or the growth factors?

The New York Times: 2019/05/13 “Stem cell Treatments Flourish with Little Evidence That They Work”

Several years ago, I asked a question of a cellular biologist as to how is Bone Marrow Concentrate effective if the number of adult mesenchymal stem cells diminish as we age? His response: “Bone Marrow contains lots of things including stem cells and proteins called cytokines or growth factors. It may be that the growth factors are most important in joint restoration and blocking pain.”

Let’s take for example, inflammatory arthritis such as Rheumatoid and Psoriatic arthritis. The common denominator is a pro-inflammatory cytokine called Tissue Necrosis Factor found in the body’s immune system.  The growth factor, TNF-alpha blocker is now used to control the inflammation and alter the body’s immune response to the proinflammatory protein. As a result of TNF-alpha blockers, Phil Mickelson is a very competitive golf professional, (You have seen him as a spokes person for Psoriatic Arthritis treatment with Humira). Since the introduction of TNF alpha blockers in Scandinavia five years ago, there has been a 40% reduction in Total Knee Replacements for inflammatory arthritis. When Kobe Bryant traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany almost nine years ago, he received treatment for a very arthritic knee with Interleukin -1 Receptor Antagonist Protein, along with other blockers. Shortly thereafter, he returned to play another five years in the NBA. The IRAP that Bryant received was and is an anti-inflammatory, a growth factor blocker, a cytokine.

As I agree in part with the  criticism in the New York Times concerning Stem Cells, those who read this Blog will recall that I don’t “sell” stem cells. Bone Marrow is used in part because of the fact that it contains stem cells; but more importantly as we age, Bone Marrow contains Growth Factors, the anti-inflammatory protein Cytokines that restore a joint by minimizing pain and improving function. Over the last eight years, we have accumulated the evidence that Bone Marrow Concentrate works for arthritis via stem cells, growth factors, or all of the above. Recently we have taken a major step forward by filtering high concentrations of Growth Factors from the Platelet Poor Plasma, previously discarded, that remained after we centrifuge the bone marrow and add the filtrate to that which is injected into the painful joint. Stem Cells maybe, highly concentrated Growth Factors that act to block pain and improve function, for certain.

You may learn more by visiting my web site at  or call for a consultation (847)390-7666

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It on Pinterest