Nav: Home

Caution urged in using PRP or stem cells to treat young athletes' injuries

May 19, 2017

Physicians, parents and coaches should be cautious when considering treating injured young athletes with platelet rich plasma (PRP), stem cells or other types of regenerative medicine, says a nationally recognized sports medicine clinician and researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth Sports Medicine Institute.

"While regenerative medicine appears to have promise in many areas of medicine, little is known about the safety or effectiveness of these treatments for bone, cartilage, ligament or muscle tissue injuries in children and adolescents," said Thomas Best, M.D., Ph.D., professor of orthopedics, family medicine, biomedical engineering and kinesiology, and team physician for University of Miami athletics and the Miami Marlins. "Everyone wants a young athlete to get back to sports as quickly as possible, but it is important to look first at treatments that have been shown to be effective, before considering unproven options."

Best was the lead author of a new collaborative study, "Not Missing the Future: A Call to Action for Investigating the Role of Regenerative Medicine Therapies in Pediatric/Adolescent Sports Injuries," published May 15 in the American College of Sports Medicine's Current Sports Medicine Reports.

"Evidence from laboratory and veterinary research suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may provide an alternative treatment option for conditions that affect muscle, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage," said the authors. "This evidence, however, is based largely on studies in adults and it remains unknown whether these results will be duplicated in our younger populations."

Young athletes are vulnerable to a wide range of injuries, including overuse of arm, shoulder and leg muscles, ligaments and joints in sports like baseball, tennis, soccer and golf, said Best, who is past president of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). "Unregulated clinics may sound attractive to parents and youngsters seeking aggressive regenerative therapy," Best said. "But far more scientific research is necessary to determine if those treatments are helpful in overcoming sports injuries and, more importantly, without serious short- or long-term side effects."

The new ACSM study grew from an August 2016 meeting of sport medicine clinicians, researchers, and a bioethicist who felt that a call to action was urgently needed to understand the current evidence, risks and rewards, and future directions of research and clinical practice for regenerative medicine therapies in youth sports. The meeting was supported by the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute, a partnership between the American College of Sports Medicine and SanfordHealth, a Midwest HMO.

The collaborative study included a seven-point call to action:
    1. Exercise caution in treating youth with cell-based therapies as research continues.

    2. Improve regulatory oversight of these emerging therapies.

    3. Expand governmental and private research funding.

    4. Create a system of patient registries to gather treatment and outcomes data.

    5. Develop a multiyear policy and outreach agenda to increase public awareness.

    6. Build a multidisciplinary consortium to gather data and promote systematic regulation.

    7. Develop and pursue a clear collective impact agenda to address the "hype" surrounding regenerative medicine.

Reflecting on the evidence, the study's authors wrote, "Despite the media attention and perceived benefits of these therapies, there are still limited data as to efficacy and long-term safety. The involvement of clinicians, scientists and ethicists is essential in our quest for the truth."
-end-


University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Related Stem Cells Articles:

A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells
Researchers have identified a protein that must be present in order for mammary stem cells to perform their normal functions.
Approaching a decades-old goal: Making blood stem cells from patients' own cells
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have, for the first time, generated blood-forming stem cells in the lab using pluripotent stem cells, which can make virtually every cell type in the body.
New research finds novel method for generating airway cells from stem cells
Researchers have developed a new approach for growing and studying cells they hope one day will lead to curing lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis through 'personalized medicine.'
Mature heart muscle cells created in the laboratory from stem cells
Generating mature and viable heart muscle cells from human or other animal stem cells has proven difficult for biologists.
Mutations in bone cells can drive leukemia in neighboring stem cells
DNA mutations in bone cells that support blood development can drive leukemia formation in nearby blood stem cells.
Scientists take aging cardiac stem cells out of semiretirement to improve stem cell therapy
With age, the chromosomes of our cardiac stem cells compress as they move into a state of safe, semiretirement.
Purest yet liver-like cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells
A team of researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and elsewhere has found a better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells.
Stem cell scientists discover genetic switch to increase supply of stem cells from cord blood
International stem cell scientists, co-led in Canada by Dr. John Dick and in the Netherlands by Dr.
Stem cells from diabetic patients coaxed to become insulin-secreting cells
Signaling a potential new approach to treating diabetes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Related Stem Cells Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...