INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning reportedly went to Europe for stem cell therapy for his ailing neck, according to published and broadcast reports.
But stem cell therapy immediately sparks questions, confusion and controversy. Remember, no one knows exactly what took place, or if in fact Peyton actually had the therapy.
Dr. Keith March, a professor of medicine at Indiana University and the director of the VA Center for Regeneratvie Medicine in Indianapolis, gave some insight on what the therapy could have involved. Adult stem cell therapy is part of his work.
That's reportedly the kind of treatment Manning had in Europe. According to Fox Sports and other published reports, adult stem cells, probably from fat cells in Peyton's stomach were placed into Peyton's neck.
"The fat is a very abundant repository of one's own stem cells - adult stem cells," March said.
March said there are potentially three benefits from that kind of treatment.
First, stem cells are known to decrease inflammation.
Second, stem cells may be able to regenerate new nerve cells.
And third, "Perhaps the most likely," March said, "since this is all speculative about what this procedure involved, the most likely might be that these cells are well known to help grow bone."
And that would be very beneficial for someone who had a spinal fusion – the third and most recent surgery Peyton had on his neck.
Speculation is that the adult stem cell therapy didn't work for Peyton because he still needed the spinal fusion surgery. But March said adult stem cell therapy doesn't always bring instant results.
"It might be that something that's going to take time," he said. "That's going to take weeks or months to have the various effects – again, depending on what benefit was being attempted."
March said the kind of cutting-edge treatment Peyton is alleged to have had is not approved by the FDA here in the United States but is being done in parts of Europe. He said clinical research is under way right here in Indianapolis involving adult stem cells taken from fat cells.
The Cell Therapy Foundation , started in 2007 Indiana to promote adult stem cell therapy, works to increase funding for such research. It also launched a global initiative, the Adult Stem Cell Research Network , to highlight the progress of adult stem cell research laboratories across the world and to help link patients to available clinical trials.
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