Musculoskeletal Care of the Mature Patient
Pontifical Council for culture
The imprimatur is accompanied by a stem cell conference to be held in Rome at The Vatican, this November. Dr Christopher Centeno, of Regenexx will present his data and share his experience with the use of adult autologous mesenchymal stem cells in knee and hip osteoarthritis to a conference featuring such notables as Tony Blair and many international stem cell experts and scientists.
As the awareness and the potential benefits of adult mesenchymal stem cells gain the attention of those limited by arthritis, so too must the medical consumer be increasingly more aware of hucksters, flimflam and charlatans. As I surf the net, the number of outlandish claims for rejuvenation increase every week. It reminds me of a wonderful book I read last year, “Charlatan” by Pope Brock, 2008, Crown Publishers, in which the true story of John R. Brinkley is told. In 1917, Dr Brinkley set up a medical practice in Milford, Kansas and introduced a surgical method of restoring fading virility by using goat glands. Sound outrageous? It actually happened turning the good Doctor into America’s richest and most famous surgeon. The quack busting that followed led to American medical education and practice, as we now know it. Similar attempts are underway in the modern world of stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapy through standardization and outcomes data collection via the International Cellular Medicine Society. I personally am attending a Platelet Rich Plasma International symposium to be held in Los Angeles in two weeks that will serve to advance knowledge and standardize technique.
What are patient protections regarding stem cells and platelet rich plasma? A sophisticated web site and an expensive fee is not sufficient evidence that you will receive a required concentration of stem cells or growth factors to realize potential benefits.
I suggest that membership in the ICMS is a first requirement for the physician performing any type of stem cell therapy. My 40 years of orthopedic surgical practice has been based on the integration of research with clinical practice and education. My recommendation is that whoever you chose as your clinician be actively involved in data collection. As well, the tissue preparation must take place in a laboratory facility administered by a trained and certified technician; no bedside aspiration, preparation and injection. At this time, the use of adipose tissue as a source of stem cells for arthritis is illegal in the United States. Only homologous usage is within the standard of practice; skeletal derived cells for arthritis If you want to have the best chance of avoiding joint replacement surgery by a stem cell procedure, demand quality assurance.