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The entire staff and medical team here at Apex Biologix appreciates the opportunity to be part of an emerging field of medicine that is changing the lives of patients around the world. Still, we read the news like anyone else. It can be disheartening to see so many critics come out against regenerative medicine procedures like PRP and stem cell therapy based solely on the fact that such procedures are not regulated by the FDA to the same extent as most of the rest of modern medicine.
From our perspective, stem cell therapy is about improving the quality of life for patients. The procedures we train doctors to use involve autologous stem cells donated by the very patient being treated. Stem cell material is obtained either from fat tissue or bone marrow. That, by the way, is the primary reason such procedures do not have to be FDA approved.
Patients who seek out the treatments we teach do so because they have either run out of options or they do not want the other options available to them. Surgery is but one example. More than one patient has sought out stem cell therapy because going under the knife to repair a bad knee is considered more serious and risky. Stem cell injections are an alternative that, in some cases, mitigates the need for surgery.
Take the time to scan the news for stories about stem cell therapy for orthopedic procedures and you are likely to find a lot of articles that employ blanket generalizations to condemn the entire regenerative medicine industry. One of the hot topics right now involves a story out of Florida in which three patients receiving stem cell injections from macular degeneration were actually harmed by those injections.
The clinic that performed the procedures should by all means be held accountable. But the actions of one clinic does not justify generalizing the entire regenerative medicine industry as being a scam. There are patients who die every year in the midst of heart surgery, but no one is criticizing the surgical community or the procedure itself. We all know that there are no guarantees in healthcare; we all know things happen.
The other thing to consider is that generalizations are rarely applied uniformly. They are typically applied only to prove one’s point. For example, the critics of autologous stem cell therapy rarely mention the fact that this therapy has been successfully used to treat leukemia patients for decades. That’s where regenerative medicine pioneers got the idea to apply the same concept to orthopedics.
We will not deny the fact that there is a lack of voluminous research indicating the efficacy of stem cell therapy for things like osteoarthritis and sports injuries. There are some studies we can look at, but most of the evidence in support of such treatments is anecdotal. At the same time, there are very few reports of people being harmed by the therapies either.
Scientific research is ongoing, and it is making headway. Researchers are looking at promising treatments for things such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia-related diseases, and even numerous forms of cancer. There is even ongoing research intended to come up with a way to mass produce body tissue using stem cells.
The more we learn about stem cells, the more promise they hold. In the meantime, our stem cell training courses give doctors yet another tool for improving the quality of life for their patients. We firmly believe there is nothing wrong with that.