Stem cells for Back Pain

Stem cells for Back Pain

Stem cells for Back Pain

0

Lately,  I am seeing more and more advertisements on the use of stem cells to cure almost everything. This is concerning to me as the science (or the FDA)  is not yet behind many of the treatments now being offered by many clinics and physicians. The FDA is now “cracking down” on many of these businesses for everything from improper handling of the cells, false advertising, and no regulation of treatment.

To simplify what we currently know, stem cells are cells that have not yet transformed to perform a certain function. Most cells in your body have already changed,  or differentiated to do certain things.  To give an example,  muscle cells are specifically designed to elongate,  and contract.  This allows you to move the bones, and the attached ligaments and tendons in a specific coordinated manner.  Once changed into a muscle cell,  that cell will always be a muscle cell.

Stem cells are different.  These are cells that have not yet changed.  Scientist believe these cells will transform when placed into a certain environment to accommodate a certain need. As in the example above,  if the stem cell is located near the bones,  and there was a need to develop muscles,  the cells will transform to become muscle cells.

Three types of stem cells have been identified:

adult stem cells

human embryonic stem cells

induced pluripotent stem cells

All three of these cells are capable of surviving for long periods, and dividing to make additional stem cells. They are unspecialized and can become specific types of cells and can be developed into specialized cell types. The only stem cell product that is actually approved by the FDA is Hemacord, a cord blood-derived product manufactured by the New York Blood Center and used in patients with disorders affecting the body’s blood forming system.

In the past few years,  there has been much excitement,  using various adult stems cells from fat,  skin,  etc and placing them in diseased areas,  hoping for transformation,  and healing of certain conditions.  The areas of research includes work related to heart muscles,  spinal cord nerves, eye corneal tissue,  diabetes, etc.  The cells are “manipulated” to hopefully transform into the appropriate cell.

In the spine, there is much work being done to see if certain cells can differentiate into cartilage producing cells,  and help reverse the disk degeneration process. For the spine patients,  we are still not certain what type of cells work best in the very low oxygen environment of a diseased disk.  Also,  we are still struggling with the need for any other environment modifications such as compression reduction,  nutrition supply,  vascular supply,  and stem cell survival in the processing,  and manipulation stages.

While all the science seems promising,  we are still far from actually knowing if some of these techniques will actually work,  and help in the long run,  without causing unintended complications. For patients who want to consider these treatments, the FDA recommends you ask your physician if FDA approval has been obtained or if you will be a part of a FDA regulated clinical study (my recommendation). Also check out this article http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/28/health/fda-stem-cells-bn/

Even if the cells are your own ,there are safety risks, especially if they are put in an area where they are not performing the same biological function as in their original location. Cells in a different environment may multiply, form tumors or migrate somewhere else. We don’t know.

Still,  if interested,  many academic centers throughout the country are currently enrolling study patients.The technology looks promising,  but the results are still unknown,  and the costs currently,  are significant and not covered by any insurance entities.  Beware of the hype,  and learn the science before you jump in.

Citations

  • Yousef MAA, LaMaida GA, Misaggi B. Long-term Radiological and Clinical Outcomes after Using Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Concentrate Obtained with Selective Retention Cell Technology in Posterolateral Spinal Fusion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jun 1; PubMed PMID: 28574883
  • Khazaei M, Ahuja CS, Fehlings MG. Generation of Oligodendrogenic Spinal Neural Progenitor Cells From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol. 2017 Aug 14;42:2D.20.1-2D.20.14. PubMed PMID: 28806852

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Disclosure Statement

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 
The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
Please note all articles, blogs and Q&A’s on this site are general information and are not to be used as medical advice for individuals. No specific diagnosis or treatment should be made based on this information. Only a physician can provide you with advice specific to your situation. Please followup with your physician if you would like to discuss your individual condition.

If you are having a medical emergency,  contact your Doctor immediately,  or go to the Emergency Room.
ShimSpine and ShimSpine.com is committed to honoring and respecting the privacy and anonymity of the individuals using its website(s) and/or services. The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to inform the individuals about the collection, processing and protection of information done by ShimSpine what information we collect, why we collect this information and how we use this information.

This Privacy Policy will be reviewed regularly to reflect the up-to-date practices of ShimSpine.