Doctors at Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, teach others how to use PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and stem cell therapies for aesthetic and orthopedic applications. They may soon have another application to add to their regimen thanks to new research that indicates PRP therapy could be a safe and effective treatment for chronic venous leg ulcers.
The research in question comes out of Ain Shams University in Cairo. Led by Dr. Hoda A. Moneib, a team of researchers at the university decided to look at the efficacy of PRP therapy as compared to conventional treatments now used for the chronic ulcers. The team treated 40 individuals; 20 received conventional compression and dressing treatments while the remaining 20 underwent PRP therapy. Both groups were treated for six weeks.
At the end of the treatment period, the group receiving PRP therapy showed significant improvement in ulcer size. Both groups demonstrated improvement in pain perception. Most notably, the PRP group demonstrated no adverse side effects or complications as a result of their treatments.
In the paper detailing the study, Dr. Moneib wrote the following:
“Platelet-rich plasma is a safe nonsurgical procedure for treating chronic venous leg ulcers. Additional studies with larger sample size and longer follow-up periods are required to confirm or refute our findings.”
The Basics of PRP Therapy
Although additional studies are necessary to confirm the Egyptian team’s findings, what their study suggests makes complete sense if you understand the basics of how PRP therapy works. The entire premise of PRP therapy goes back to something medical science has known for thousands of years: the human body possesses an innate ability to heal itself if given the opportunity to do so under the right conditions.
PRP therapy utilizes blood platelets and numerous growth factors to encourage the body to self-repair. When injected into the site of injury, PRP also signals the body to send stem cells to the affected area. Those stem cells are then coaxed to grow into new tissue to replace that which is damaged or lost.
Surgeons have been using PRP to promote wound healing after surgical procedures for decades. In fact, such applications of PRP therapy are widely accepted within the medical community as being safe and effective. Why is this important to the Egyptian research? Because a venous leg ulcer is essentially an open wound. If surgeons can safely and effectively use PRP to promote wound healing after surgical procedures, it makes complete sense that the same procedure could be successfully employed to treat venous leg ulcers.
New Doors Keep Opening
Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute and the doctors they train are obviously pleased by the results of the Egyptian research. If future studies confirm the team’s findings, doctors would have yet another opportunity to offer an alternative treatment for a condition that can be as debilitating as it is painful.
The more we learn about the body’s ability to self-heal through regenerative medicine procedures, the better we get at developing things like PRP and stem cell therapies that offer alternatives to more invasive procedures and pharmaceutical-based treatments. To compare regenerative medicine research to a door is to acknowledge that the door is opening wider and wider with each passing day.
Hopefully an approved PRP treatment for venous leg ulcers will be ready for the mass market in the very near future. In the meantime, ARMI will continue training doctors in stem cell and PRP therapies for aesthetic and orthopedic applications. The end result is that untold numbers of patients will benefit from the regenerative medicine revolution.