Lately I have encountered a number of patients who tell me they have seen a physician who is beginning to perform Regenerative Medicine procedures such as PRP and stem cell injections. They are starting to “dabble” in this field. Their reasons are many fold. What they are doing is not fair to the patient or for that matter the entire field of regenerative medicine. I have seen a similar phenomenon in the past. Many years ago I was involved in some work where physicians used collaganase and chymopapain to reduce the size of a herniated disc. When we looked at the result of this technique a definite pattern emerged. Those doctors who were properly trained in the field and understood what they were doing had in general very good results. When this technique was released to the general medical public than the results suffered significantly.
I suspect that same thing might happen with Regenerative Medicine. Some doctors think just using a PRP or placenta growth factors will be the panacea for many musculoskeletal problems. They do not realize that many times there is much more to a successful result than just preforming a PRP or using off the shelf growth factors. Do these doctors know and utilize various growth factors. For instance in our clinic we deliver growth factors into the joint and we give them orally where they are absorbed under the tongue. The newest means that we are utilizing these growth factors is by means of a patch. Our clinic and some others that I am affiliated with are the only facilities in the world that are delivering a proprietary blend of amino acids that mimic the growth factors that the body makes. These amino acid growth factors are essential to a successful result and are sometimes lacking in a typical PRP regardless of its concentration. These factors are delivered by an iontophoresis patch (please see my previous blog on iontophoresis). Sometimes these growth factors are injected and they are many times used orally. We sometimes use placenta growth factors but these are neither new or game changers to us. We laugh at the thought that some physicians are utilizing these growth factors from placenta tissue and calling it a stem cell treatment.
Typically the “Dabblers” will not have other methods to stimulate the regenerative cells. We make extensive use of lasers and other types of lights which have a significant positive effect on stem cells and other regenerative cells. If you ask other physicians about these aspects I suspect they would have little to say due to their lack of knowledge of these subjects.
A question to ask these these physicians is if they utilize extracorporeal shock wave therapy. This is a very important modality which we extensively use in our office. It releases growth factors, causes stem cell homing to the area, and increases micro-circulation.
Another trait of the Dabblers is that they typically only use one type of treatment. Most of the time it could be a PRP injection. The more bolder ones will utilize some fat with that. Rarely will they use Bone Marrow. I suspect few of these docs will be using V cells or as they are also called Very Small Embryonic Like Stem Cells or Adult Pluripotent Stem Cells. I believe these cells will be game changers. These are our own cells yet they are similar to embryonic stem cells. We have had tremendous results when using these cells for auto immune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis. The other intriguing aspect of these cells is that they appear to have a profound effect on osteoporosis. We have had some patients have a 14% increase in bone density in less than six months! As you can see there are many aspects in Regenerative Medicine that separate the Dabblers from the real deal. Hopefully, this blog gives you some pointers and questions to ask.
Thanks Dr. P