Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is offered in the U.S.A. and here at Stem Cell Worx we often get asked what is the difference between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy?
PRP is a mix of concentrated platelets and serum. Platelets are the smallest of the three major types of blood cells.
PRP is created when the Doctor takes blood from a patient’s vein and places it in a special centrifuge that concentrates the platelets. Platelets are like fertilizer. Natural growth factors within the platelets help rev up the local repair response. This treatment has been most beneficial for tissue, ligament, tendon and bone injuries. PRP is generally good for assisting recovery for those injuries or weaknesses that may either heal on their own (given enough time) or those that are stuck in the healing process and need a “kick-start” to get things moving towards repair. While PRP helps recruit some new stem cells to the area, several treatments may be needed in order to recruit adequate stem cells numbers to the injured or treatment site.
Stem cell injection therapy or full adult stem cell replacement therapy is more powerful than PRP because these treatments enable a greater concentration of stem cells to proliferate and be administered to the treatment site providing quicker renewal and repair response times. These applications also involve a greater concentration of growth and immune factors that are crucial for the initiation of one’s own adult stem cells. Stem Cell therapy therefore remains the gold standard.
Why Isn’t Full Stem Cell Replacement Therapy Being Offered In the U.S.A?
Although adult stem cell treatments have been widely used in hospitals for the treatment of blood cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, experts here in the U.S.A. are restricted. The current ruling means treatments whereby the cells are subjected to “minimal manipulation”, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that the therapy becomes a “drug”, which must be specifically approved for use.
Although this regulation does not apply to those patients who are enrolled in registered clinical trials in the U.S.A. it does result in strict regulation for all routine clinical use stem cell treatments. For the patient and the medical provider this can be frustrating as it is a very detailed, expensive and lengthy process for the health expert to obtain approval of a clinical use stem cell treatment. It results in many U.S.A citizens having to travel overseas for their full adult stem cell treatments and therapies.
An example of “minimal manipulation” would be adding additional natural growth and immune factors to the adult stem cells or increasing the adult stem cells in number while they are outside of the body. Although these processes enhance the renewal and repair process once the stem cells are injected back into the body they are prohibited in the U.S.A. unless performed as part of a clinical trial.
There is good news. Successful results of so many U.S.A. clinical trials using adult stem cells provide absolute validation for why these treatments are needed and why they must be made widely available. Of course there must be regulation, but progress should not be stopped because of it. Currently, worldwide adult stem cell treatments are being used to help patients recover from over 150 debilitating chronic conditions that were previously thought to be untreatable.
The U.S.A. has a brilliant opportunity to make adult stem cell treatments widely accessible. Let’s hope it happens sooner rather than later.
The video below shows Dr. Brian Cole of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He is eliminating the need for patients to have surgery by injecting platelet-rich plasma. Marci provides an update on her procedure one year on.