Regenerative treatments unproven in young athletes — Dr. Thomas Best urges caution Featured

Written by  Eric Oliver | Friday, 19 May 2017 18:35
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University of Miami professor and team physician Thomas Best, MD, is urging physicians, parents and coaches to approach regenerative medicine treatments cautiously for young athletes because of their unproven nature.

While platelet rich plasma, stem cells and other types of regenerative medicine have effectively treated adult athletes, "little is known about the safety or effectiveness of these treatments for bone, cartilage, ligament or muscle tissue injuries in children and adolescents," he said in a press release.


Here's what you should know.


1. Dr. Best led a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Current Sports Medicine Reports.


2. Dr. Best said although the treatments "sound attractive" to parents, researchers should conduct more studies to determine the treatments' short- and long-term side effects.


3. Study researchers issued seven calls to action regarding regenerative medicine and youth athletes:

  • Exercise caution in treating youth with cell-based therapies as research continues.
  • Improve regulatory oversight of these emerging therapies.
  • Expand governmental and private research funding.
  • Create a system of patient registries to gather treatment and outcomes data.
  • Develop a multiyear policy and outreach agenda to increase public awareness.
  • Build a multidisciplinary consortium to gather data and promote systematic regulation.
  • Develop and pursue a clear collective impact agenda to address the "hype" surrounding regenerative medicine.


4. Researchers concluded, "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."


More articles on sports medicine: 
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Dr. Olusanjo Adeoye joins Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine — 4 insights
AMSSM offers $300k in sports medicine research funding — 5 insights

Last modified on Friday, 19 May 2017 18:39
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