Monday, September 01, 2014

Why patients are seeking out platelet rich plasma and other biologic treatments.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and adult stem cell treatments derived from bone marrow are rapidly evolving into the mainstream of medicine.  As you can see from the chart above, the number of hits for "platelet rich plasma" is rising dramatically.  There are also over 7400 PRP references on  Let's explore why.

Patients are seeking out less invasive treatments.  When presented with the option of surgery or an office procedure, patients typically will choose the office procedure.  Surgery often carries significant more risk and certainly more cost.

Patients want to return to sports, work or life as quickly as possible.
Botox and Lasik eye surgery provide patients with almost immediate improvement for wrinkles and vision.  Patients now expect other specialities to deliver similar almost instantaneous success.   Elite athletes are especially interested in returning to the highest level of function as quickly as possible.  They have been one of the primary drivers of PRP and other biologic treatments.

Patients are dissatisfied with the surgical treatments we have been offering them.
This is particularly true when it comes to knee arthritis.  Presently, there is very little definitive evidence supporting the use of many common treatments and there is a Grand Canyon size hole in our ability to effectively manage tens of millions of patients.  Biologic therapies will likely fill this void within the next five years.

Patients intuitively understand the regenerative abilities of your own blood and bone marrow.  Evidence is mounting across a several specialties supporting the use of blood and bone marrow to treat a variety of conditions.  A new study will begin this fall evaluating the utility of giving Alzheimer's patients blood transfusions from healthy volunteers under 30.  (Stanford Blood-Alzheimer's study)

Patients are willing to be treated without perfect supporting data.
Patients do not often understand the need for large clinical trials and are impatient with the time and effort it takes to generate meaningful clinical data.  The use of their own blood (PRP) or bone marrow simply make sense to them and they are willing and often eager to try a new treatment instead of undergo surgery.

We are presently scrambling to figure out how to develop, execute and pay for the clinical trials needed to best understand how to utilize biologic orthopedic therapies.  The good news is:  hundreds of clinicians, researchers and medical device professionals are working diligently on dozens of new treatment options.

Please post any comments about why you may think patients and clinicians are using PRP, stem cells or other biologic treatments.

AM   (@BloodCure on Twitter)

1 comment:

John Smith said...

Thanks for sharing the information. Yeah now a days people are very much into PRP, not celebs but normal person is also going for PRP. I read some more information on PRP Therapy from MetroMD.

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