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Thread: NYT article on BMP states "Treatment Benefits Overstated"

  1. #1
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    NYT article on BMP states "Treatment Benefits Overstated"

    New York Times article today, June 17, 2013....states...

    "Independent reviews of clinical trial data concluded that Infuse, a
    bioengineered bone product, was not significantly better than a traditional bone graft, and that it might pose risks."

    the article in full is in today's NY Times...

    i am not expressing any opinion of my own...just quoting the article.

    jess

  2. #2
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    It would be nice to get a hold of the research paper from which the newspaper reporter made his/her claims. A lot of people have BMP in them and many of the TOP scoliosis surgeons are preferring to use it. I'm just curious why they would make it a new standard of treatment over the old method of using harvested and cadaver bone. Maybe it makes the procedure shorter because they don't have to take time to harvest bone? It's baffling, especially for those of us that have not had the surgery. My DIL had bone harvested from her hip. She is one of the "lucky" ones who don't have residual hip pain. Thanks for posting this. It will be interesting to hear the final verdict about BMP. I wouldn't panic, for those of you out there that have it. Did they cite any particular negative side effects other than, "and that it might pose risks"? Jess can you post a link to the article?

    Thanks!
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  3. #3
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    Hi...

    I haven't read the article yet, but I can provide a few facts:

    • Iliac crest bone harvesting is fairly morbid. A lot of people have very long-term or permanent pain in the area of the harvest.
    • With scoliosis surgery, iliac crest bone harvesting is often necessary, even when BMP is used.
    • I believe that BMP has shown an increased fusion rate in the lower lumbar spine.
    • At least at UCSF, there is no monetary reason for using BMP, yet it's still being used for most lower lumbar fusions in older patients.


    --Linda
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  4. #4
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    Here is the article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/bu...anted=all&_r=0

    According to what I read, the most risk is if it's used in the cervical area, but they wouldn't come out and say for sure what those risks are, if any. It was VERY vague. I guess we all need to go read the SPINE journal and look for the new research!

    As far as bone harvesting, can't they just take the two T12 rudimentary ribs and grind those up and use them instead of a painful area like the iliac crest? They routinely take the ribs out in kidney removal surgeries.
    Last edited by rohrer01; 06-18-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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    Oh, and another thing I don't understand is if it was published in SPINE in 2011, why are they waiting until two years later to write an article about it?
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  6. #6
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    Rohrer...

    I think the problem with BMP in cervical fusions is that it can cause postop swelling, making it difficult or impossible to swallow.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    Oh, and another thing I don't understand is if it was published in SPINE in 2011, why are they waiting until two years later to write an article about it?
    It's because results from the Medtronic funded study via Yale were released. I'm going to have to read the entire text of the study that was released on Monday, but it looks like BMP may not add value. I'm guessing, however, that it's effective in some situations but not in others.

    One of the things that has always surprised me about this entire issue is that "Thomas A. Zdeblick of the University of Wisconsin and Dr. J. Kenneth Burkus, a spine surgeon in Georgia" are the ones always portrayed as villains. While they both took a lot of money from Medtronic, there are other surgeons who took considerably more. According to THIS document, John Dimar and Steve Glassman got >$68 million. Even if their research was pristine, it's always going to look suspicious.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    ANY time that research is funded by the company making the product, the research should automatically be considered tainted. It needs independent funding to be completely non-biased. Yes, it looks like a grand gesture when a company says they will fund more research because it makes them "look" more transparent. Yet, that is not the case. Money talks, unfortunately. If it were me, I would not accept grant money from the company's whose product I am researching! I know reputable researchers that I am quite confident would say the same thing.
    Last edited by rohrer01; 06-18-2013 at 05:22 PM. Reason: wacky wording and typos!
    Be happy!
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  9. #9
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    $68 MILLION????
    oh my gosh...what a different world teachers and social workers come
    from...i cannot imagine getting that kind of money for anything...
    maybe for finding a true cure for cancer....but WOW....that some people
    deal in that kind of money is mind boggling!

    thanks for linking the article, rohr...
    i never know how to do that...

    i just posted about it cause i thought it would be of interest to people...

    i read another article in NY Times yesterday about very big loans (for
    buying homes) made to administrators and professors at NYU...loans
    from the school....
    kinda sickening...especially when you think of how hard it is for some
    kids to come up with the money for college!

    jess

  10. #10
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    It kind of reminds me of "The Fugitive" starring Harrison Ford. There's probably more truth to that than we'd like to believe.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

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