To hear news reports from the last summer, one would think that the FDA was sold on the idea that regenerative medicine was quackery. Government officials promised a crackdown on unscrupulousness stem cell clinics promoting dangerous procedures among ignorant patients who do not know any better.
The FDA announcement was necessary in order to alert doctors and clinics not playing by the rules to get their houses in order. But the announcement, and the media hype that followed, painted a very broad picture that made it seem as though every stem cell clinic in the country is operating as a rogue clinic endangering patient welfare and safety. That’s certainly not the case.
Bringing some perspective to the discussion requires stepping back and looking at how Washington actually defines regenerative medicine when the cameras and microphones are off. That definition is eye-opening, to say the least.
The Potential to Transform
There are two definitions of regenerative medicine that are especially intriguing. The first comes from the National Institutes of Health. They define regenerative medicine as “a field of medicine devoted to treatments in which stem cells are induced to differentiate into the specific cell type required to repair damaged or destroyed cell populations or tissues.” Sounds pretty scientific, doesn’t it?
The next definition comes from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Here’s what they have to say about it:
”Regenerative medicine is an applied field of tissue engineering that holds the realistic promise of regenerating damaged tissues in vivo (in the living body) and externally creating “tissues for life” available for implantation. Through research and products developed from this field, previously untreatable diseases will become easily and routinely cured.”
That’s not all, HHS also says this about regenerative medicine:
“Regenerative medicine is the next evolution of medical treatments. Derived from the fields of tissue engineering, tissue science, biology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, applied engineering and other fields, regenerative medicine is the first truly interdisciplinary field that utilizes and brings together nearly every field in science. This new field holds the realistic promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs…”
It sounds as though Washington believes regenerative medicine has the power to transform the medical industry as we know it. Apex Biologix, a Utah company that supplies regenerative medicine equipment and kits to doctors and clinics, couldn’t agree more. They do what they do because they believe in the transformational power of regenerative medicine.
Science, Not Quackery
The biggest challenge facing the regenerative medicine industry of today is not a lack of research or evidence-based treatments. It is ignorant bureaucrats and a mainstream media that feeds off the rare failures to the exclusion of the many success stories.
Apex Biologix points out that, at the end of the day, regenerative medicine is based on decades of science. It is not quackery. Just ask any leukemia patient whose life has been saved through a stem cell transplant.
It is true that there are doctors and clinics offering questionable procedures that should be avoided. It is true that some patients have been injured by doctors not keeping to the Hippocratic Oath. But the vast majority of people receiving stem cell treatments for things like osteoarthritis and sports injuries are being safely treated and enjoying good results.
Despite how it may look, the federal government does not believe regenerative medicine is quackery. They are also not out to shut down legitimate clinics offering legitimate treatments. They are interested in putting a stop to miracle cure promises and dangerous procedures. So don’t be fooled or scared away by the hype.