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:

First events in stem cells becoming specialized cells needed for organ development
Cell biologists at the University of Toronto shed light on the very first step stem cells go through to turn into the specialized cells that make up organs.
Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells
New sensational study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development.
The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.
Healthy blood stem cells have as many DNA mutations as leukemic cells
Researchers from the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology have shown that the number of mutations in healthy and leukemic blood stem cells does not differ.
New method grows brain cells from stem cells quickly and efficiently
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a faster method to generate functional brain cells, called astrocytes, from embryonic stem cells.
NUS researchers confine mature cells to turn them into stem cells
Recent research led by Professor G.V. Shivashankar of the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, has revealed that mature cells can be reprogrammed into re-deployable stem cells without direct genetic modification -- by confining them to a defined geometric space for an extended period of time.
Researchers develop a new method for turning skin cells into pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have for the first time succeeded in converting human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells by activating the cell's own genes.
In mice, stem cells seem to work in fighting obesity! What about stem cells in humans?
This release aims to summarize the available literature in regard to the effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplantation on obesity and related comorbidities from the animal model.
TSRI researchers identify gene responsible for mesenchymal stem cells' stem-ness'
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute recently published a study in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation identifying factors crucial to mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, providing insight into how these cells should be studied for clinical purposes.
Stem cells in intestinal lining may shed light on behavior of cancer cells
The lining of the intestines -- the epithelium -- does more than absorb nutrients from your lunch.
More Stem Cells News and Stem Cells Current Events

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

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.