Stem cell therapy is an area of regenerative medicine that has gained much interest in the last few years. Touted by some providers as the “holy grail” to treat many musculoskeletal conditions such as bursitis, tendinitis, ACL tears, rotator cuff tears, arthritis and other disease, it has become an area of great controversy because of the lack of adequate studies and the cash fees charged by some for unproven and unapproved uses . This section will provide you with transparent, TRUTHFUL information on stem cells and other cell therapies.
Many providers advertise that they are now harvesting “stem cells” and injecting them into various site to “cure” degenerative disease. In fact, stem cells can be made from bone marrow, adipose (fat) cells and other tissues. However, it is not LEGAL to process these tissues in order to obtain pure, viable stem cells. In fact, what is being injected is simply centrifuged cells and other factors in uncontrolled concentrations. This cell population may contain some true pluri-potential cells but is not of sufficient concentration to constitute a “stem cell” therapy. Processing the cells to actually create a viable stem cell line requires using unapproved methods to multiply the cells and process them, and remove cells that are potentially harmful. This is not legal nor FDA approved in the United States and thus is NOT available except in other countries.
As cited from Richard K. Burt, MD et al, JAMA. 2008;299(8):925-936. doi:10.1001/jama.299.8.925.
Stem cells harvested from blood or marrow, whether administered as purified HSCs or mesenchymal stem cells or as an unmanipulated or unpurified product can, under appropriate conditions in select patients, provide disease-ameliorating effects in some autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Clinical trials are needed to determine the most appropriate cell type, dose, method, timing of delivery, and adverse effects of adult HSCs for these and other nonmalignant disorders.