Our Annual Stem Cell Research in Orthopedics Update—2016 Edition

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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Orthopedic Stem cell research

Every year for the last few, I’ve created an infographic summarizing the stem cell research in orthopedics. Every year, the list gets bigger and the number of patient results represented grows. This year is no different!

How Is This Created?

I searched the US National Library of Medicine under several search terms around bone marrow concentrate and/or mesenchymal stem cell treatment under various orthopedic body areas looking for human studies. The only studies I excluded were case reports that were published later, after larger case series had already been reported. No attempt was made to try to figure out if any of the patients being reported were repetitive (some obviously were, and in some it was impossible to determine if the newer publication represented a new follow-up on a prior published set of patients or a new set).

How Does It Work?

The infographic above is one massive PDF devoted to a summary document of stem cell research in orthopedics. Click on the picture above to be taken to that PDF. Each circle represents a research study and is hyperlinked to the abstract or the full text article in the US National Library of Medicine or elsewhere. The main author is listed as well as the area of treatment, the number of patients involved, and the type of bone marrow stem cells used (either autologous bone marrow concentrate [BMC] or cultured mesenchymal [cult MSC] [autologous or allogenic]). The scalpel or injection icons represent the three types of delivery techniques: injection, surgical, or both. Centeno-Schultz publications are highlighted.

What Does It Show?

The stem cell research in orthopedics is rapidly expanding. The total number of patients represented in this infographic increased from 5,513 last year to 8,207 this year. We now have two very large safety papers: Herigou’s n=1,873 paper, showing no safety issues around increased cancer rates, and our n=2,273 safety paper, reporting all adverse events and also showing an excellent safety profile. Reports of clinical outcome are mostly still small to large retrospective or prospective case series, but a few smaller randomized controlled trials are shown. Finally, almost every body part is represented: knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, lumbar spine, and hand.

What Are We Proud Of?

Regenexx patients now represent 51% of the total patient n reported on this document. That’s a testament to the fact that we are a research-based therapy and that we were the first in the U.S. to use this technology. In addition, we have always spend heavily tracking our patient outcomes. It’s also due to our great research team:

  1. The staff at more than 30 Regenexx sites across the U.S. that start the patient-registry process
  2. The Interventional Orthopedics Foundation staff that tracks patients
  3. The Regenexx Corporate biostats and clinical-research team
  4. The research writing team that we have assembled, including Dr. Freeman at OHSU, our annual fellows at the Centeno-Schultz clinic (hat tip to Dr. Pitts, Dr. Bashir, and Dr. Markle), and others.

Taking a rough idea for a registry-based study and refining it over months to something that can be submitted to a medical journal is an arduous and time intensive process. Hence a big thank you to all above!

Let’s Keep the Stem Cell Research in Orthopedics Tradition Going

This annual infographic is a labor of love, and as it gets bigger, it gets a little tougher to manage with each passing year. Last year a few kind souls let me know of a few broken or misdirected links, which were fixed. This year I’ve tried to check every hyperlink from scratch. However, if you find something that needs an edit or a study that should be on this one, don’t hesitate to reach out to me through my personal office e-mail at [email protected] I have no issues sharing this with others who want to use it in medical-conference presentations—just drop me a line asking permission and I’ll be happy to allow it to be used (with an appropriate source credit).

The upshot? The stem cell research in orthopedics continues to look promising. This field is really the best of physician-based innovation—doctors seeing a problem on the ground and offering new solutions. In this type of innovation, physicians build the research base from scratch, which differs from the FDA/pharma route, where promising animal experiments get turned into clinical trials with high failure rates. While there are pros and cons to each type of innovation, I’m so thankful to be able to be a part of innovating in this field of orthopedic stem cells.

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15 thoughts on “Our Annual Stem Cell Research in Orthopedics Update—2016 Edition

  1. Denis

    Thank you Regenexx research team for the impressive, very helpful infographic! I like to search the PubMed site using their controlled vocabulary/subject/author headings etc., but I undoubtedly miss relevant studies, which you have helped rectify. The safety results are reassuring as well as the increased number of patients using these procedures. Maybe someday in the not-too-distant future, HMOs will wake up and see the cost benefit to all this.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Denis,
      Glad it helps. Hoping it will eventually work towards that goal!

  2. Omeeve

    At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, once having my
    breakfast coming yet again to read other news.

  3. GG Verone

    How can I become part of a trial?

    1. Regenexx Team

      GG,

      There are currently 2 Trials still recruiting: http://www.regenexx.com/results/research/

  4. Mary Bradish

    Is Dr. Scheinkoff still working with stem cells in Chicago and how are his results with for example hip replacement or stem cells.
    Email [email protected]

    1. Regenexx Team

      Mary,
      Yes, Dr. Sheinkop is still doing amazing work saving joints in Chicago! : http://www.sheinkopmd.com/. He only works on knees and hips, and has great results. He did a study comparing his results of Regenexx SD knee procedure vs. the results of a knee replacement study he had done for Zimmer before his “enlightenment” that there had to be a way to save joints rather than amputate them, and the Regenexx procedures fared very well. I’m not aware of a similar study on hips.

  5. John Bresnan

    does this work on ankles

    1. Regenexx Team

      John,
      Yes, we treat ankles regularly: http://www.regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/ankle-surgery-alternative/ If you’d like to see if you would be a good Candidate for a Regenexx Procedure, please fill out the Candidate Form.

  6. Sue Nelson

    Are there any research centers dealing with stem cell healing using my own stem cells for the purpose of healing of Rhematory Arthritis.in the Fort Worth, Texas USA area?

  7. M. Weichmann

    Is it possible to get in a trial in the Chicago area?

    1. Regenexx Team

      M. Weichmann,
      Unfortunately you missed it. We had been recruiting for a Knee Osteoarthritis RCT in Chicago, but enrollment is closed. We are currently recruiting for both an ACL, and a Rotator Cuff RCT, however they are both based in Colorado: http://www.regenexx.com/results/research/

  8. Edward

    I read about your stem cell treatment of hip joints. In one of your articles, you mentioned that this treatment will only last for 2-5 years. I thought that the stem cell injected into the hip joints will slowly grows and repair the damaged cartilage. How is the successful rate for this type of treatment ?

  9. Edward

    I’m curious as well on how long a stem cell treatment will last as well. I just had this done about a month ago and the results are good so far. Feeling Less pain and getting stronger little by little each and everyday.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Edward,
      Feeling less pain and getting a little stronger each day is great! Most patients have one treatment, some need updates, but that depends on case specific factors.

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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