Sept. 19, 2011
Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and four-time NFL MVP, apparently went to Europe to get an adult stem cell procedure on his neck, according to a report Sunday by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. Manning has had three surgeries on his neck in the last 19 months, Little detail was available, but the information indicates that the procedure may have used adipose (fat) derived adult stem cells from Manning's own body; this autologous procedure (using your own adult stem cells) bypasses any problems of transplant rejection and is relatively safe. Manning's adult stem cells may have then been injected around the site of his problem vertebra in the neck, to assist healing and help with spinal disc fusion. In that respect, it sounds similar to the procedure that Texas Gov. Rick Perry received in Houston, Texas, for his back problem.
Glazer indicates in his report that Manning went to Europe for the adult stem cell procedure because it is not yet approved in the U.S. This may be true, since Europe is well ahead of the U.S. in current use of stem cells for actual patient treatments. ALL of those treatments involve adult stem cells, of course.
Glazer's suggestion that only embryonic stem cell treatments are available in the U.S. is inaccurate, however. It's true that the only three approved clinical trials experimenting with embryonic stem cells are in the U.S.; with a total of four patients known to have been injected with the dangerous embryonic stem cells, and no results as yet.
But there are actually over 2,200 FDA-approved adult stem cell clinical trials ongoing or completed, most of which in this list are in the U.S. That includes several adult stem cell trials using adult stem cells for spinal fusion, and even a couple of adipose-derived adult stem cell trials in Indianapolis. Maybe Peyton realized that only adult stem cells had real potential for safe and ethical treatment of patients. Hopefully, he will talk about his experience so more people understand the difference between embryonic and adult stem cells.