As you know, our research group tries to publish several papers a year. This year is off to a great start with many papers submitted and one that was just published and indexed in the US National Library of Medicine. That’s a mid-term analysis of our shoulder rotator cuff tear randomized controlled trial. Let’s dig in.
The Classic Stem Cell Clinic Research Bait and Switch
If you look around at various “stem cell” websites, many have research sections listed, but few have any published research of their own. In fact, many of the studies listed have little to do with the therapies offered by that clinic. Meaning, to simplify, if the clinic offers a therapy using apples, the research is done by someone else on a therapy using oranges. For example, the clinic may claim to use off the shelf umbilical cord stem cells (but that’s a scam since these products contain no live and functional stem cells), but posts research using bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells derived from culture.
Regenexx’s Commitment to Research Is VERY Rare
At Regenexx, when you see a scientific paper listed on our site under research (which you can find above under “Results” and then “Research”), what you see listed are studies actually authored by our physicians and scientists. Meaning almost everything listed there is research on various Regenexx procedures. These are the same procedures that you can sign up for if you’re a good candidate. That happens much less than 1% of the time right now when you find a clinic offering stem cell or regenerative medicine.
Research Is Expensive
So why do clinics put up studies on their website that have little to do with what they offer? Why do clinics not perform and publish research on what they actually do? It’s all VERY expensive.
For example, at Regenexx Clinical HQ in Colorado we have:
- A state of the art research lab with all of the same equipment you would find in any university lab
- A state of the art cleanroom processing lab
- A Ph.D. lead lab research team
- A Ph.D. lead clinical research team
- A full-time biostatistician
- A team of physicians and assistants who can make the research happen
- A full-time medical director (yours truly)
- Fellows who are involved in assisting in research design and writing
Meaning every clinical study (like a randomized controlled trial) you see published by Regenexx costs at least hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce and sometimes more.
Our Latest Published Research on Rotator Cuff Tears
Our clinical research team has just finished recruiting a multi-year study on whether bone marrow stem cell injections can help heal rotator cuff tears or eliminate the need for surgery. Last year we submitted for publication a mid-term analysis on that data as it takes about 2 years to get all of the information collected on every patient. That’s because we track them for two years after the treatment.
This new study is a high-level randomized controlled trial (aka RCT) where the patients either got the precise stem cell injection or physical therapy. Why PT? Because many of the better orthopedic surgical studies are designed this way, with a physical therapy control.
The study looked at both partial and full-thickness rotator cuff tear patients who were surgical candidates. For 25 patients (the full study when published will have 50), pain and function were better in the stem cell injection than PT group. In addition, MRI lesion size analysis showed evidence of healing in the bone marrow group.
The upshot? Regenexx is devoted to researching what we do and choosing the best therapies that provide the best results. While research is expensive and time-consuming, we are pretty unique in the amount we spend as a company making sure the research gets done.