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View Full Version : ICMS Special Installment - Dr Centeno answers your Questions



Jeannine
07-26-2009, 11:59 AM
This month?s Ask the Doctor Column is from Dr Centeno. Dr. Centeno is an international expert and specialist in musculoskeletal, spinal, and neurologic injury. He is an M.D. who is double boarded in both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well Pain Medicine.

Dr Centeno is the founder of of the International Cellular Medicine Society (formerly ASCTA). For more information about Dr Centeno and his work visit
http://www.cellmedicinesociety.org

Dr Centeno trained at the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Medical Center, and the Institute for Rehabilitation Research. He is medical director of The Centeno-Schultz Clinic and the Spinal Injury Foundation. He also serves as Medical Director for Regenerative Sciences, Inc. http://www.regenexx.com and director of RSI?s lab. He is the author of the medical text, ?The Spine Dictionary? and practices in Denver, North Denver, and Boulder, Colorado.


1) I am confused as to the name of the group. Is it still American Stem Cell Therapy Association (ASCTA) or has it changed? I received an e-mail to that effect, but can't seem to find what I did with it. Why would it change?

We did change the name of the group to International Cellular Medicine Society (ICMS). The issue is that since everyone is afraid of the FDA, most stem cell work that?s taking place is outside of the country. We wanted to recognize that and help these practitioners bring safe stem cell work into this country.

2) Will there be a listing of the doctors and researchers who are members of ASCTA with at least the city and state they are in? How often would that be updated?

Yes, likely not until we have our 11/5 conference in Las Vegas. We will be having our first sit down administrative meeting there with the larger membership.

3) I noticed that someone posted something that referred to the FDA 90 day personal use rule for unapproved medications. Do you know anything about it? Does your group support something like this?

Don?t have any knowledge.

4) Recently an article by Michael Fumento was posted on this forum. It was shocking. I am losing my trust in everyone. Will you please comment on this article?

http://www.stemcellpioneers.com/showthread.php?t=1961&highlight=fumento

This is a brave piece of reporting. For every one embryonic stem cell research article that shows promise in late animal or early human trials there are about 10 adult stem cell papers. This means the adult stem cell research is much more mature. The big issue with adult stem cells from your own body is that they are difficult for big pharma to commercialize. Embryonic cells and heavily manipulated cells where genes are inserted make for better patents and better business models. Medicine, regrettably, is still driven by business models when it?s driven by pharma. Hence our goal: to put doctors back in the driver?s seat with adult stem cell therapy. I think the thing that terrifies the pharma crowd (researchers on the pharma payroll, pharma reps, consultants to pharma, etc?) about our movement is that if doctors control adult stem cell therapy, it will be the first credible challenge to the big pharma juggernaut in 30 years. Many, many medications could disappear and stem cells in a vial produced by big pharma will not be a tenable business model. Our goal for ICMS is to allow doctors to take control of medicine again. We lost control because of many factors, but big pharma has been driving the medicine bus for some time. I and other physicians are tired of being told that medication X is the best thing since sliced bread only to find it pulled off the market a few years later for horrible side effects. We?re tired of big pharma populating peer review panels in the FDA and in many physician organizations with docs on the payroll. This physician dissatisfaction with the pharma driven status quo goes well beyond ICMS. Take a look at AMMG or A4M, anti-aging medicine organizations. 10 years ago these little groups were a few docs in a Holiday Inn talking about how to make people healthier and live longer. Now between them they have tens of thousands of physicians who have gotten off the big pharma bus for all of these reasons.
5) What is the one most important thing that I (or anyone for that matter who supports ASCTA)can do to help the cause?

Get out there on the web and get patients involved in the movement. Go to blog sites, post comments on news stories, tell your twitter feeds, enroll your face book friends, e-mail your contacts, tell family and friends. We need tens of20thousands of patients who have had enough with the status quo and want off the pharma bus. Make noise. Find other organizations of patients with chronic disease who want action.

6) What made you decide to take on a project of this magnitude?

I fell into this. To be honest, before I met Barb, I was treating our orthopedic patients and oblivious to these bigger issues. My partner and I were helping many and building a nice comfortable practice on top of our usual practice of interventional pain. When I met Barb all of that changed. My old goal was to fight this fight because it seemed silly not to be allowed to use autologous adult stem cells in a safe framework. However, Barb showed me a group of people for whom this type of care wasn?t just an orthopedic surgery alternative. For them, this was playing for keeps. My views changed from fighting my own fight to realizing that this was an ethics issue, bigger than myself. As I have said, since we don?t treat the kind of chronically ill patients that make of the majority of the movement, there is nothing directly in this for me right now other than knowing that this is the right direction and the ethical thing to do.

7) What goals have you set for this grassroots movement for this year and beyond?

We want thousands of patients and hundreds of physicians involved by year?s end. We want nothing less than to create a care delivery system with safe stem cell work that serves as a viable alternative to big pharma.

8) Do you think groups like the American Medical Association will embrace this movement?

Not sure, but we have already been endorsed by other powerful medical groups, more on that to come.

9) I want to do more but I am just not sure of what I should be doing. I don't understand all there is to know about stem cells and don't want to say the wrong things if I post on Facebook or other sites. Some of these places are pretty hostile. Is there a message I could send that is simple enough for stem cell dummies to understand?

Your own stem cells are not drugs. Misclassifying them as drugs helps big pharma make money, but does little for really sick patients. ICMS is putting together the basic safety guidelines to allow doctors to take control of the patients healthcare using their own stem cells. If you?re concerned about out of control healthcare costs and that big pharma call the shots, or if you have loved ones with incurable diseases who have been told there is no hope, the only way to change that is to support ICMS so that doctors can take control of the next chapter of medicine.

10) I sent an e-mail to the FDA. Should I continue to bombard them? What about my Congressmen?

Yes on Congressman and Senators. Yes on bombarding FDA. Their approach has been to generally ignore this issue. They can ignore a few hundred people, but not tens of thousands.
There is also one bonus question from a member who had an orthopedic question. I hope you will be kind enough to include it.

11) Is there any evidence at this time that actual regeneration of the bone structure of a synovial therapy has been achieved? Most of the success reported so far seems to be with respect to soft-tissue benefits.

Do you mean will mesenchymal stem cells heal bone? Yes, there are many animal studies that show that and we have submitted a small case studies where we healed all sub-acute non-healing fractures we attempted by injecting these cells into the fracture under x-ray (without surgery).
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