More info on Bart Starr unproven clinic stem cell treatment

Bart Starr (pictured), Gordie Howe, and other sports stars are going to unproven stem cell clinics.
Bart Starr (pictured), Gordie Howe, and other sports stars are going to unproven stem cell clinics.

Both current and former professional sports stars are lining up to get stem cell “treatments” of various kinds for all sorts of injuries and medical conditions including now Bart Starr.

The aging stars who have received stem cell interventions include former San Francisco 49ers quarterback John Brodie (age 79) and more recently hockey legend, Gordie Howe. Update: More recently tennis star Boris Becker got stem cell shots as well.

In fact, Howe’s treatment caused a media frenzy of a sort in which now ex-ESPN broadcaster Keith Olbermann pretty much pitched the stem cell company selling the treatment. It felt like Dr. Oz.

The most recent legendary star to get such a treatment is Bart Starr, who it appeared like Howe got treatment via stem cell operation Stemedica and its partner, Novastem, in Tijuana, Mexico. Not much information has been available about Starr’s treatment and we were left to guess/predict that he had turned to Stemedica.

More details emerged today in a nice, interesting USATODAY piece by Brent Schrotenboer. The article confirmed that Stemedica was indeed the clinic that facilitated Starr’s treatment in Mexico:

“Both Brodie and Howe received stem cell treatments at a clinic in nearby Tijuana, Mexico. Cherry Starr said she agreed not to talk about the companies and location involved in her husband’s treatment until a later time. But she described a treatment pattern similar to Brodie’s and Howe’s.”

The Starr family is also quoted about how well Bart is doing, which is great news.

Like Howe, it appears that Starr will be getting a second treatment from Stemedica according to Starr’s wife Cherry. The other thing to keep in mind is that the Howe family has reportedly invested in Stemedica.

What is not clear is whether Starr, like Howe, got free or discounted treatment from Stemedica presumably with the company calculating that they would get plenty of free publicity out of it. From the Schrotenboer piece:

“Cherry Starr declined to say what the procedure cost. “It is an expensive procedure — that I will say,” she said. “And I’ll be glad when it’s more affordable for more people.”

I imagine more details will gradually come out about this case as time goes on. I wish Starr and his family all the best.

10 thoughts on “More info on Bart Starr unproven clinic stem cell treatment”

  1. I just looked for studies by Stemedica and I found one about stroke patients on their homepage:

    (Source: July 10 2013; Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.)
    Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc., a leader in adult allogeneic stem cell manufacturing, research and development, announced today the completion of enrollment and treatment of patients in a Phase I study with Stemedica’s lead product Stemedyne-MSC. These specially formulated ischemic adult allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells have been manufactured at Stemedica’s cGMP compliant facility and have been successfully used to treat patients in an ischemic stroke study “A Phase I/II, Multi-Center, Open-Label Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability and Preliminary Treatment Efficacy of a Single Intravenous Dose of Allogeneic Mesenchymal Bone Marrow Cells to Subjects with Ischemic Stroke.”

    You can find there more information about this trial.

    and on
    information about some more trials.

    @Paul and all experts
    What do you think about these trials?

    I can`t find information about the results of these studies. Does anybody know, where I could find more information about the outcome?

  2. Hi Paul,
    Me thinks that thou protests too much.I saw an article where you were quoted once again saying there is no proof these treatments for very old gentlemen on their deathbeds were responsible for their amazing recoveries.You can not possibly believe that.These guys are wheeled in on a cart and playing hockey in the driveway in a few weeks.And they are going back for more!!!!!
    Maybe three miracles or that crap about placebo effect.Tell me Paul,how long does a placebo effect last?The fact is that the FDA and NIH are not just strict,they are obstructionists who are forcing Americans to go out of the country to get medical relief for their afflictions.Medical relief that certainly appears to work,and I’m not reading about terrible side effects or cancer like every drug commercial I listen to.
    It seems the only way we are going to acknowledge these treatments is to replace the conservative obstructionists with open minded individuals looking out for patients,not the BIG Pharma gravy train.

    Please explain what is happening here if it’s not the stem cell treatments?
    I’d like to hear your theory,anybody’s theory for that matter.

    Looks like I’m going to have to go to Mexico too.
    Time is not on my side and neither is the FDA or NIH

  3. @Jay, Paul in the mentioned article …

    is said …

    “but a spokesman for Stemedica previously told USA TODAY Sports that the company soon would apply to begin one in the U.S. In the meantime, its products have been tested in foreign clinical trials, including at a licensed clinic in Tijuana, where it’s less expensive to conduct”

    so I am wondering, why can`t we find the data? As we can read in the article, they say their products are tested in clinical trials.

    I remember you interviewed Stemedica about Gordie Howe. If it is possible, will you ask Stemedica, where we can find their data about their clinical trials?

    Thank you very much.


  4. Great human interest stories re. stem cells …….now the human interest stories are getting ahead of the MSC science…. Sept 4. Ocata will present their HSC-msc in Vienna on lupus and possible Crohn’s ….. It has been stated at their ASM meeting that MSC Tufts dog papers are in final review for publishing ……Questions to all MSC researchers what is the phenotype of your cells ? CD10/CD24/Stro-1….. The more CD10 the earlier the MSC stem cells and the more Stro-1 the ore adult stem cell they are…

  5. there is an article in USA TODAY–sports section by Brent Schrotenboer—describing a little more about the ball players and the treatment. The timing appears to be every 3 mos and there is an indication that there are other injections along with the neural cells. Also there is a reference to an article on fetal stem cells in the same issue.

  6. It would be interesting to know if PRP and other support supplements are being used in the treatment plan. Certainly the niche and matrix were considered while growing the neuron stem cells. What about the environment in the human after transplant?

    1. @Jay, yes, it would be interesting to learn specifics more about Bart’s treatment. In the past Stemedica has used both MSC and fetal neural stem cells, sometimes referred to controversially as “adult stem cells” in the media.

  7. interesting article. I always look for facts and background information about these treatments and hope some day I will be able to judge them. .
    Do you know, if Stemedica has published any data about the outcome of their stem cell applications?

    1. @Richie, As far as I know, they have not published their data. I really wish they would. On the other comment thread on “my new neighbor” we were just discussing how properly collecting and analyzing data costs a fair amount of money. This may be a disincentive for some clinics in a more general sense from going the extra mile to turn patient data into research that is helpful to the community.

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