We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Why is it likely to be some time before proposed stem cell treatments become available?

Q) My question is why is it likely to be some time before proposed stem cell treatments become available to patients? I wondered if you have any knowledge about Regenexx in Colorado in the US. They appear to have mastered the art of treating people using stem cells for osteoarthritis. What are your views on the work they do? Regenexx cultured stem cell procedure has been stopped by the Food and Drug Administration in the US. The FDA now deem the procedure to be a drug and not a medical practice. Regenexx are currently trying to reinstate the procedure and believe it will take between 4–12 months.
Robert Sturgess, Stafford, Staffordshire (Spring 2011)

A) I think there are a number of points here. The approval process for new drugs and devices is a lengthy one. Despite the ‘red tape’, these procedures are largely designed to protect you from harm and to ensure that the cost of the procedure is appropriate for the benefit it will give. The latter role is currently undertaken by the National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence (NICE). As to Regenexx I can tell you that work with stem cells is occurring in many branches of medicine, including leukaemias, other cancers, neurological disease and musculoskeletal disorders. Indeed, Arthritis Research UK is funding such research in Oswestry. However, the case is not yet proven and it'll take some time for new treatments such as this to be fully evaluated before they are approved and widely available.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

More Information Close
For more information, go to or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.