A new breakthrough treatment testing the success rate of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis patients before undergoing fat stem cell treatment could save baby boomers thousands of dollars. Yvette De Stoop reports.
REPORTER: Arthritis affecting 1 in 5 Australians, it is a crippling disease that damages the musculoskeletal system. Targeting the joints it can leave suffers unable to perform basic daily tasks because of chronic pain and lack of movement. As some 5.5 million baby boomers move into their retirement years they are the age group, which is predominantly effected by this disease. Whilst there is no cure for the disease; the biggest breakthrough treatment of this decade has been fat-stem cell therapy, which is derived from the patient’s own fat cells, treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Although most patients will get results from the treatment, Dr Ralph Bright, Cosmetic Surgeon at Macquarie Cosmetic Medicine, says, not everyone will.
RALPH BRIGHT: There has been a group of people who just don’t respond. About 15 per cent of people.
REPORTER: Not covered by Medicare, the treatment costs around $9000. And until now there has been no way to test if an individual will get results from the treatment. But Dr Bright says he has developed a test, which will confirm if a patient will have a successful response.
RALPH BRIGHT: Developed a test to see if patient will respond… Before we go ahead and do the stem cell treatment. Over the last few weeks it looks as though we have found a way to test for the non responders, before we go ahead and do the stem cell treatment. And it is a very simple test we that can do and then two or three weeks later we can tell you whether you are a responder or not and if you are a non responder don’t waste your money.
REPORTER: Arthritis costs the nation more than $23.9 billion a year in medical care and loss of income.
RALPH BRIGHT: What we’re doing is we are taking stem cells from one place and putting them into another place. They then go off and do what ever they want to do and they will fix anything in your body that they see a need to fix.
REPORTER: It is predicted that by 2050, some 7 million Australians will suffer from some form of arthritis.
Yvette De Stoop Baby Zoomers Magazine.