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Understanding and Comparing Your Stem Cell Treatment Options

Are there other products available that have stem cells other than your own?

Amniotic Tissue, Umbilical Cord Tissue & Cord Blood

There is a new business model being marketed where limited practitioners hire MD’s or D.O.’s to provide joint and other injections using products that claim to have stem cells from amniotic tissue, umbilical cord tissue or cord blood.

Burst Biologics, in the regulatory a component of its website, states that it is “intended for homologous use only, as reflected by the labeling, advertising, or other indications of the manufacturer’s objective intent.” Homologous use means that a tissue can be utilized to replace something similar to it, i.e., cord blood product being utilized to produce red blood cells in the recipient. Non-homologous use means that the product is put in a place that is not consistent with the tissue’s origin. These uses would be considered experimental. BioBurst Rejuv is a product marketed by Burst Biologics.

Liveyon is another company marketing regenerative medicine products. According to the website it “the exclusive worldwide distributor of a regenerative medicine product that is derived from umbilical cord.” A published review of their product testing results indicates that there are very few stem cells present in their product. No comparison to the millions of stem cells present in a properly harvested and processed fat derived stem cell treatment. The default to position, of course, is that it is really the growth factors present that provide the results. Unfortunately, the growth factors present are nowhere close to replicating the growth factors contained in a high density PRP product that is taken from the treated subject.

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow aspirate taken from the patient and and in injected into the same patient is a legitimate source of stem cells.

Regenexx is a nationally marketed bone marrow aspirate stem cell treatment that is primarily provided by orthopedic surgeons. In the original process of bone marrow aspirate was harvested and then cell cultured to increase the number of viable stem cells. The FDA determined that this was more than minimal manipulation of a sample and therefore the process would be subject to additional regulations. The response to this was to create a new procedure where the bone marrow aspirate was concentrated. Concentration increases the number of stem cells per volume, but does not increase the absolute number of stem cells present in the product.

One of the major reasons we use fat derived stem cells at our practice is that fat has 250 to 1000 times more stem cell than the same volume of bone marrow aspirate.  In the Regeneris protocol that we utilize, a Moxiflow device is used to count the number of viable stem cells present in the sample and therefore objectively confirms the number of stem cells provided to the patient’s affected joint.

The Bottom Line

While there are several other alternatives to the fat-derived stem cell therapy we utilize at our practice, neither stem cells from bone marrow nor anything that comes in a bottle can come close to the healing possible by using stem cells from your own body fat.

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1 Regenerative therapy repairs to body tissues are permanent as compared to joint replacements, which must be re-replaced in the future. Multiple stem cell treatments may be required for severely damaged joints.

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