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BONE MARROW VS. FAT DERIVED STEM CELLS- IS THERE A CONTROVERSY?

Whether your adult mesenchymal stem cells come from bone marrow or from fat probably does not make a difference in terms of clinical results. Although some centers claim that bone marrow derived cells are superior to fat derived cells, there is no evidence to substantiate that. The fact that there are many more studies on bone marrow cells does not prove clinical superiority but merely supports the obvious fact that fat derived cells are based on more recent discoveries and although evidence is accumulating, there are far fewer studies using these cells.


                                      



 It is important that one is not mislead by the word “bone” in bone marrow, possible implying that since this is an “orthopedic source” it “might be better” for treating orthopedic conditions such as cartilage regeneration. In fact, the bone marrow is part of the reticulo-endothelial system and just happens to be found in the center of bone. All of these types of cells are equally primitive and have the potential to differentiate into mature functional tissues. For many disease types such as cardiac pathology, adipose derived cells appear to be showing superiority to bone marrow derived cells. This may be related to the well documented qualitative and quantitative attrition in bone marrow stem cell counts related to age and chronic illness (chronic disease causes bone marrow suppression). Such changes in the number of cells over time and the quality of cells dependent on health have not been seen in fat derived stem cells. Fat derived cells are a natural choice for our investigatory work considering their easy and rapid availability in extremely high numbers.