There’s the batmobile for Batman, right, but what about a stem-cell-mobile?
Every so often someone sends me some wild new stem cell clinic thing that they’ve seen that is both real and almost unbelievable at the same time.
The latest is a mobile stem cell “clinic” business called RegenMed of Florida, which is what I’m calling the “stem-cell-mobile”.
There isn’t much info on this company on the web including on their homepage, but I did find their Facebook page and a picture of what seems to be the stem cell clinic on wheels. I’m guessing this thing cost more than $100K. Maybe $200K if they did it to extremely careful clinical specifications.
It seems to me that the stem-cell-mobile serves a second purpose as a mobile stem cell advertising billboard too based on how it looks.
I’m not making any statements about the claims of this business one way or another at this point (and actually the claims on the web seem pretty vague anyway), but I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my stem cell editorial cartoons from years back because of the mobile nature of this new thing (see below).
The RegenMed of Florida owner appears to be a physician assistant, J David Barr. From the Facebook page and the company homepage, it seems they sell injections of PRP and “stem cells”.
Although in other circumstances physician assistants (PA) who are parts of IND-based clinical trial teams can aid in doing stem cell transplants and can be highly-qualified professional medical care providers involved in stem cell infusions, my opinion is that a PA shouldn’t be giving stem cell transplants independently. I feel the same way about chiropractors too as they aren’t trained the same way as MDs and DOs where there is such a heavy emphasis on cell biological mechanisms related to medicine. Does the stem cell on wheels firm have a physician overseeing all of what it is doing? If so, I couldn’t find out who.
Also, no specific type of stem cells is mentioned by this firm that I could see. Living amniotic stem cells? “Dead” reconstituted powder? Something else? Maybe the stem cells in question here are non-FDA approved, which if correct would just up the risk further. In my view, the mobile stem cell clinic nature of this could push risks up yet even further related to sterility or other issues.
From the RegenMed of Florida website:
“Through David’s years of treating joint disfunction (sic), he understands the intricacies of pain and its negative effects on the lives of those it touches. He has been relieving the joint pain of his patients in a formal office setting and is now offering his services in a mobile setting for those who don’t want to travel far and wide to seek joint pain relief.
RegenMed of Florida travels to communities across the Tampa Bay area offering no cost consultations to help patients decide if a minimally invasive, non-opioid joint pain relief treatment plan is right for them.”
As I’ve written before, the idea of stem cells for pain right now mostly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I’m not a pain specialist. If you can make a joint healthier then there’s probably going to be less pain, but I’m just not convinced specific kinds of stem cells have been proven to do that. It sure seems like clinics are trying to capitalize on this idea big time based on advertising. Some are really into the idea of stem cells as an alternative to opioids as well.
Overall, I’m not a big fan of the stem-cell-mobile idea.
Over the years, some other businesses have even sold “stem cells” as a standalone product to patients who are then supposed to self-inject, which seems like a really bad idea to me.
What’s next, Uber expands from Uber Eats to Uber Stem Cells?
11 thoughts on “Cell on wheels: ‘stem-cell-mobile’ delivers unproven therapies”
Is there any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) of interest in actual academic research in joint chondrocyte replacement being inhibited by the snake oil, actual researchers being scared off, or grants not being made available? I waited decades for the perfectly logical therapy of simply replacing the darn things, but instead finally had to submit to having a large portion of my skeleton sawed off and thrown in the incinerator. I’m peeved.
Are these “clinics” still being allowed to post “clinical trials” solicitations on Clinicaltrials.gov?
Powered by snake oil with extra roof vents for all the hot air? Get your SFV tacos here!
People should understand stem cell mechanisms, and how they work.
Stem cells have Telomeres (extensions at the end of the DNA) with telomeres shortening with age, they get less potent (then defined as “adult SCs”)..
Yet, adult stem cells – isolated and concentrated to about 5 million/ml – and injected into knees (with people who had been told that they needed knee replacement surgery) – are effective in regenerating tissues and preventing knee replacement; other areas of application look very promising. See A4M stem cell certification programs held BEFORE the regular A4M Congresses around Dec. 11 – 14 in Las Vegas.
Oregon U. – about 1 year ago – published work showing that (via Nuclear Transfer) they were able to make person-specific stem cells with full length telomeres. However – it appears obvious – that Big Pharma is doing everything to hold back streamlining (making it less expensive). After all, what would Big Pharma do with their overpriced – and often questionable safety – drugs when Embryonic stem cells roll over cancer, heart disease, diabetes, spine injuries, and more???
Thanks for posting this…especially the pic! Sadly, there are too many red flags surrounding this “business” to count. There is a complete lack of transparency about the supervising MD and about any treatments offered other than the very general terms as Paul pointed out. I highly doubt that this recreational vehicle can appropriately and safely process and deliver blood products or harvest adipose or bone marrow. Maybe it is licensed as a blood bank?
This is a sign of the “stem cell” apocalypse…..
I agree it’s a bad sign. There’s just so much demand from patients who unfortunately too often can be taken in by “stem cells” not backed up by proper prior studies, and so little regulatory oversight at the state & federal levels that all kinds of risky things are going on.
Have you seen this? https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/Recalls/ucm622190.htm If this doesn’t prompt the FDA to act on this company, nothing will.
Yep. Wish there were more details there.
@admin – Do you think Dr. Buford should be treating orthopedic conditions with concentrated bone marrow “stem cell therapy”? Do you consider his for-profit clinic to be “dubious”? I could have missed them but I couldn’t find any published papers or clinical trials by Dr. Buford on stem cell therapy.
Full disclosure – I have no problem with what he’s doing.
On the question on bone marrow therapy for ortho conditions, in general I haven’t seen high-quality data from RCT to show that really works.
Dr. Knoepfler, don’t give them ideas! I jest, but only in part. I’m many mean well, but snake oil has been pandered out for hundreds or thousands of years. This is just the new incarnation, and sadly someone is going to think “yes, Uber does make sense”. Continued pressure on the FDA is definitely warranted.
We need to forward this information to the FDA for ALL of these types of Stem cell providers” !!!!!