Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, December 30, 2011

Doctor who treated A-Rod: I can cure arthritis

This better have nothing to do with me waiting on my “Phlegm-scented Invisible Cement” patent!

The doctor that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez traveled to Germany to see for his aching knee and shoulder is a former physician for Pope John Paul II who claims to be a miracle worker when it comes to reversing arthritis.

A long list of Hollywood stars and pro athletes have travelled to Dusseldorf to seek treatment from Peter Wehling, a brash molecular scientist with a taste for celebrity. His website shows him arm and arm with patient Nick Nolte. Golfer Fred Couples wrote an introduction to Wehling’s recent book, The End of Pain. But it took the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who sought help for his ailing right knee this summer, to get A-Rod interested in Wehling’s pioneering treatments.

...In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Wehling claimed to have a 90 percent success rate by genetically screening his patients to personalize their serums.

“I am the only one to have found a way to cure arthritis,” he said.

...But MLB’s medical director, Gary Green, told ESPN New York that the league did not give the Yankees any green light.

“We don’t have a mechanism for a medical approval process,” he said. “We just tell the teams to make sure their players follow state and local laws.”

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 12:27 AM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: international, rumors, steroids, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: December 30, 2011 at 12:47 AM (#4025500)
But can he cure my Chester A. Arthuritis?
   2. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#4025501)
I imagine if anyone could cure arthritis, it would be Doctor Who.
   3. asinwreck Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#4025506)
Channel: BBC One.
Airdate: 23 November 2013, 7pm.
Title: The Caves of Arodzani.
Summary: All of time and space is imperiled when Alex Rodriguez hijacks the Doctor's TARDIS in a vain attempt to regenerate all ten of his arthritic joints and live up to the largest contract in the history of the universe. As the ensuing rift in reality devours the Yankees' most recent championship seasons, the Doctor must fetch Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio to try to fend off A-Rod, seal the rift, and preserve baseball history. The plan is imperiled when Joltin' Joe and the Doctor realize they are both married to Marilyn Monroe.
   4. Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:04 AM (#4025507)
But can he cure my Chester A. Arthuritis?

You had arthritis?
   5. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:09 AM (#4025511)
How did this doctors ego and Arods fit in the same office?
   6. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#4025513)
a former physician for Pope John Paul II who claims to be a miracle worker


John Paul was unavailable for comment.
   7. ray james Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#4025520)
Quack alert! This from a NYT article on the same subject:

There appeared to be no downside,” said Cashman, while emphasizing he was not an expert on the science of the procedure. “There appeared to be some evidence, or a lot of evidence, that there is a significant upside to its ability to enhance the anti-inflammatory effect in the joint.”

The effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma therapies, which involve injecting parts of a patient’s blood into an injured area to catalyze the body’s instincts to repair tissue, has recently been put into some doubt.

“It hasn’t been the panacea we thought it could be,” said Dr. Dennis Cardone, an associate professor of orthopedics at the NYU School of Medicine. “It has been sliding down in popularity. The recent studies have just not been good.”

Orthokine, Cardone added, differs from other types of platelet-rich therapies because it isolates a protein that has anti-inflammatory properties. Still, he said he was not impressed by the existing studies on the effectiveness of the procedure.

“It’s about anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects,” he said. “There’s nothing at all out there that shows it can heal or reverse the ill changes present in a joint.”


Looks like Cashman is just putting the best face on a fait accompli.

It seems to me if the problem is simply inflammation, there are plenty of effective therapies already out there that are proven to deal with that. If A-Rod thinks this will repair damage, I'm afraid he's going to be disappointed.
   8. Enten Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:16 AM (#4025540)
Looks like Cashman is just putting the best face on a fait accompli.


I imagine Cashman and the Yankees' opinion of this boiled down to, "it looks like it won't make things worse, the commissioner's OK with it, you're spending your own money. Knock yourself out."
   9. t ball Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#4025541)
Does this mean they've given up on Phiten?
   10. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:39 AM (#4025549)
#3 is awesome.
   11. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:48 AM (#4025563)
“I am the only one to have found a way to cure arthritis,” he said.

This should make for an interesting spring training drug test.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:49 AM (#4025564)
#3 is awesome, because it mentions that the Doctor married Marilyn Monroe. (little known fact about her)
   13. ray james Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:49 AM (#4025565)
#8. Yup.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:10 AM (#4025573)
“I am the only one to have found a way to cure arthritis,” he said.
Step 1: I'll cut your kneecaps off.
Step 2: I'll sew you butt-to-mouth.
   15. PerroX Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:19 AM (#4025574)
The cynicism just amazes me.
   16. Gamingboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:11 AM (#4025589)
Doctor who


I'm still pissed that my DVR didn't record the Christmas special this year.
   17. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:22 AM (#4025594)
I was wondering if anyone was going to go with a joke referencing The Human Centipede. I don't think I would have predicted MC as the person to do so.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:23 AM (#4025595)
I'm still pissed that my DVR didn't record the Christmas special this year.


megavideo it.

Slightly above average episode. Of course nothing came close to being as good as The Doctor's Wife, the rest of the season pales in comparison.
   19. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:04 AM (#4025607)
Who isn't the Doctor married to? And he's an alien! This is all sorts of morally wrong.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:25 AM (#4025621)
I was over at my Dad's on Christmas, and I mentioned to him that the Doctor Who Christmas special was on later that day. He said that he didn't get BBC America, but just for fun, I tried to put the channel on...and he actually does get BBC America. So for the first time ever, I got to watch the Christmas special on Christmas Day.

Best line: "Fairyland? Oh, grow? up Lily. Fairyland looks completely different."

Best moment: Any moment with an Avro Lancaster is good.

Kudos on #3. Does the episode have a guest shot by Peri Brown?
   21. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 30, 2011 at 07:17 AM (#4025664)
“It hasn’t been the panacea we thought it could be,” said Dr. Dennis Cardone, an associate professor of orthopedics at the NYU School of Medicine. “It has been sliding down in popularity. The recent studies have just not been good.”


This procedure sounds as scientifically valid as any anti-steroid study.
   22. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:04 PM (#4025683)
[7] And yet millions of people still suffer with debilitating inflammatory diseases despite all of these proven therapies you think exist. This Welling fellow sounds like a smug, arrogant jerk, but attempting to do something a little bit innovative does not make him a quack
   23. ray james Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#4025685)
[7] And yet millions of people still suffer with debilitating inflammatory diseases despite all of these proven therapies you think exist. This Welling fellow sounds like a smug, arrogant jerk, but attempting to do something a little bit innovative does not make him a quack


It does if there is data that says the therapy he is trying just doesn't work, as is indicated in the quote I provided.

And by his own quote, he isn't claiming he is just treating inflammation, he is claiming he can cure arthritis, which is quackery of the highest order.

If he wants to do something innovative, that's fine but it should be grounded in science. And there are lots of things he could be working on that would fall under that heading. Stem cells therapy, tissue regenberation, etc. Simply injecting serum into the joint is quackery.
   24. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:57 PM (#4025692)
Of course nothing came close to being as good as The Doctor's Wife, the rest of the season pales in comparison.

I made this exact same comment on io9's year-end TV list yesterday.

After two years of not believing it, and waiting, and waiting, and watching everything, I'll come out as (sadly) quite anti-Moffat. I think his seasons - that everyone was just dying for when RTD left - have been almost entirely a ####### mess.

(And yes, #3 is what I wished I had written. Good show.)
   25. JJ1986 Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#4025700)
After two years of not believing it, and waiting, and waiting, and watching everything, I'll come out as (sadly) quite anti-Moffat. I think his seasons - that everyone was just dying for when RTD left - have been almost entirely a ####### mess.


I rewatched the season finale the other day when it was on BBC America, and it's really poorly scripted. Everything is done to trick the audience with little or no reason for the characters to be playing coy with each other.
   26. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#4025705)
poorly scripted

I think Moffat corralled a bunch of people for his staff with his conceptual view of the long game, but with no skill for scripting. And then because of that, they even ###### up the long game.

And then, I remember the first Weeping Angels episode and almost weep myself. WTF happened?
   27. JJ1986 Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#4025706)
WTF happened?


I think the problem is the overwhelming focus on the long arcs, not just the Silence thing but focusing so much on River's story. The staff clearly thinks River is the most interesting character in the world. It feels like they didn't try very hard on a lot of the episodes that didn't focus on big stories (the pirate one and the little boy one are incredibly dull).
   28. Gamingboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#4025707)
Ah Ha! It's on demand! Good old BBC America on Demand! Watching it right now.
   29. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#4025708)
It does if there is data that says the therapy he is trying just doesn't work, as is indicated in the quote I provided.


The part you bolded in the quote you provided is about platelet-rich plasma therapy, not this orthokine therapy.

The rest of the quote you provided seems to say that orthokine therapy may not lead to significant repairing of the connective tissue, but does have anti-inflammatory, anti-swelling, pain-relieving effects. That's what I would expect, looking at the details of the method, as we discussed in the other thread about this.

There seems to be confusion in the press about whether this orthokine therapy is just a form of platelet-rich plasma therapy or not. I tend to think it isn't, despite stories straightforwardly saying it is, or that it is only "slightly different". At the websites of the clinics that do it (it's not just Wehling, here's another clinic), the procedure is described, and it involves serum, not plasma. Serum has the platelets taken out entirely. The things enriched in this procedure are IL-1RA and other anti-inflammatory modulators.

According to Dr. Lewis Maharam, there is no “good published research readily available" that says Orthokine is effective, but he does think there is such research readily available that platelet-rich plasma is effective. So who knows.
   30. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#4025709)
But can he cure my Chester A. Arthuritis?

You had arthritis?
That second line is supposedly an ad-lib by Donald Sutherland, which only makes it better.
   31. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#4025713)
I think the problem is the overwhelming focus on the long arcs, not just the Silence thing but focusing so much on River's story.

The inability to do anything clever OR THAT EVEN MADE SENSE with either of these storylines either separately or teamed up was just so, so sad to me.
   32. ray james Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#4025715)
The part you bolded in the quote you provided is about platelet-rich plasma therapy, not this orthokine therapy.


AFAICT, "orthokine" is a specific kind of platelet therapy that seems to be the specialty of Dr. Wehling. Perhaps Dr. Wehling adds a growth factor or chemokine or two with it. But it certainly appears to be a platelet therapy that Dr. Cardone is critiquing.

The rest of the quote you provided seems to say that orthokine therapy may not lead to significant repairing of the connective tissue, but does have anti-inflammatory, anti-swelling, pain-relieving effects.


But I'm supposing that A-Rod is looking for repair, not just pain and inflammation reduction, because there are lots of medically proven ways to do that without resorting to exotica. He wouldn't need to go to Germany to get routine inflammation treatment.
   33. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#4025718)
Step 1: I'll cut your kneecaps off.
Step 2: I'll sew you butt-to-mouth.


It's been done...
   34. ray james Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#4025724)
At the websites of the clinics that do it (it's not just Wehling, here's another clinic), the procedure is described, and it involves serum, not plasma. Serum has the platelets taken out entirely.


The difference between serum and plasma is that in plasma, the cellular component is removed prior to clotting and for serum, after clotting. So yes, the platelets and other blood components involved in clotting are not present in serum. So that just raises another question. Why would Dr. Wehling expect to get a therapeutic benefit by injecting a blood component that had part of the tissue repair components removed from it? Were the reporters confused and meant to write plasma instead of serum?

And is the purpose of this therapy designed to avoid the formation of scar tissue? Well, I would think it's a little late for that since A-Rod tore his knee months ago and scarring had already occurred. Is he looking to reverse the scar tissue already there and restore the knee to it's pre-injury condition? If so, then how would his therapy do that?
   35. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:32 PM (#4025728)
There seems to be confusion in the press about whether this orthokine therapy is just a form of platelet-rich plasma therapy or not.

the press is ginning up medical controversy? say it ain't so.

& as for outcomes, n ever underestimate the placebo effect.
   36. Gamingboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#4025741)
I think that the whole Silence and River Song storylines got messed up by Moffat trying to be too damn clever for his own good. In some ways I think he knows this too: notice how the end of "The Wedding of River Song" basically ended the River Song story line (oh, sure, she'll probably show up again, but I doubt she'll be the focus) and replaced it with the "Doctor Who?" story line that I figure is meant to lead up to the 50th anniversary and seems to be far more related to the Silents than River Song ever really did.

In fact, I get this feeling that originally when Moffat created River he thought he'd have at least a year or two with David Tennant (notice how River treats Ten as if she'd seen him and hung out with him before in the library), and that when he left Moffat basically had to change some stuff around in his head about her.

(That said, Matt Smith and friends are great, and often are able to make up for the plot's shortcomings, at least to the point where even the worst episodes are entertaining.)
   37. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#4025751)
In fact, I get this feeling that originally when Moffat created River he thought he'd have at least a year or two with David Tennant (notice how River treats Ten as if she'd seen him and hung out with him before in the library), and that when he left Moffat basically had to change some stuff around in his head about her.

This makes a certain amount of sense, I suppose, but I can't imagine why he thought so. Everyone on the set was pretty close from what I hear/read. I don't think that Moffat could have been THAT surprised by Tennant's departure. I think your "just tried too hard to be too clever" is a better explanation. Part of me still hopes that the 50th anniversary fixes some of the shitholes in the River plot, but that might be science fiction. Bah.
   38. JJ1986 Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#4025759)
I think River was probably supposed to be in it 4 or 5 times and her whole storyline would have been wrapped up there, but once you start adding too much of her, the established rules of time break down (she can somehow cross her own timestream with no repercussions).

(That said, Matt Smith and friends are great, and often are able to make up for the plot's shortcomings, at least to the point where even the worst episodes are entertaining.)


I can't stand Amy anymore. I wish the Doctor and Rory could travel together without her for even a little bit.
   39. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4025768)
notice how River treats Ten as if she'd seen him and hung out with him before in the library)


I'm not so sure about that. I'd have to watch the episode again, but I thought she said something like "Different face, but it's you, isn't it?"
   40. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#4025791)
I'm not so sure about that. I'd have to watch the episode again, but I thought she said something like "Different face, but it's you, isn't it?"


OK, not quite. Just watched the pertinent part. River pulls the Doctor aside and starts to sync up diaries, and says "Going by your face, it's early days yet.", indicating she did know the Doctor in his David Tennant persona. She also says "Look at you. You're young, younger than I've ever seen you."
   41. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4025809)
I was over at my Dad's on Christmas, and I mentioned to him that the Doctor Who Christmas special was on later that day. He said that he didn't get BBC America, but just for fun, I tried to put the channel on...and he actually does get BBC America. So for the first time ever, I got to watch the Christmas special on Christmas Day.

This happened to me as well. In our case, I think comcast recently added BBCAM to their standard bundle, when it didn't exist before.
   42. PerroX Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#4025827)
I found reference to a study online that found the therapy more effective than another therapy or placebo. I don't think there are any claims about regenerating tissue, but effectively reducing the inflamation in the joint. While there are other conventional therapies, they're likely less effective with not insignificant side effects.

I doubt the good Herr Doktor as cured arthritis, but the inflamation itself may be Arod's main problem. Why wouldn't he try it out?
   43. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#4025837)
But will it cure lycanthropic unicornism?
   44. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#4025838)
I was wondering if anyone was going to go with a joke referencing The Human Centipede. I don't think I would have predicted MC as the person to do so.


The only reason I know that movie exist is because Roger Ebert once mentioned it: ("I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don't shine.")
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4025844)
Technically, I was referencing Human Centipede: The Musical.
   46. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 30, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#4025856)
It does if there is data that says the therapy he is trying just doesn't work, as is indicated in the quote I provided.


The quote you provided is about PRP therapy, and it's hardly a) specific, or b) definitive. Whatever you think of his methods, what this guy is doing is different from PRP therapy and the "studies" your quote refers to do not deal with his method.

The difference between serum and plasma is that in plasma, the cellular component is removed prior to clotting and for serum, after clotting. So yes, the platelets and other blood components involved in clotting are not present in serum. So that just raises another question. Why would Dr. Wehling expect to get a therapeutic benefit by injecting a blood component that had part of the tissue repair components removed from it? Were the reporters confused and meant to write plasma instead of serum?


You're putting an awful lot of stock into what is almost certainly a mis-use of the word "serum".
   47. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 30, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#4025892)
This Orthokine treatment is with serum. The reporters calling it PRP are mistaken.
   48. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 30, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#4025907)
You wonder why they don't just inject the joints with recombinant IL-1Ra. Of course, that would probably be banned by WADA.
   49. base ball chick Posted: December 30, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#4025912)
i remember reading some website a couple years back about how some doctor/clinic was injecting HGH into joints with arthritis and getting good results. of course now i can't find it

but i guess that would be "cheating"

i can't blame arod for trying something "different" seeing as how he can afford it
   50. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 30, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#4025916)
FWIW, at least one paper that I've found about Orthokine talks about using anti-coagulent and re-injecting conditioned plasma rather than serum. I'm not sure how successful you'd be in getting much specific lymphocyte activation in clotted blood.
   51. Something Other Posted: December 30, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#4025999)
And is the purpose of this therapy designed to avoid the formation of scar tissue? Well, I would think it's a little late for that since A-Rod tore his knee months ago and scarring had already occurred. Is he looking to reverse the scar tissue already there and restore the knee to it's pre-injury condition? If so, then how would his therapy do that?
No idea if there's something comparable for knees, but their is something called a Racz procedure for backs that's supposed to be able to break up some scar tissue. Perhaps something in the Racz procedure is included in this procedure?

I have no more information than that, and I'm just guessing at possibilities here.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
robneyer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWho needs Justice when you have OMNICHATTER! for Sept. 20, 2018
(25 - 6:27pm, Sep 20)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogOTP 2018 September 17: How Brett Kavanaugh explains his baseball ticket debt
(1479 - 6:25pm, Sep 20)
Last: TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember

NewsblogWillians Astudillo Should Be Your New Favorite Player
(14 - 6:16pm, Sep 20)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogSnell wins 20th, ties Rays record in 4-0 victory over Texas
(37 - 6:06pm, Sep 20)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogDodgers bash their way to MLB history with record-tying seven 20-homer hitters
(19 - 6:02pm, Sep 20)
Last: RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball

NewsblogOrioles match club record with 107th loss, 5-0 to Blue Jays before tiny home crowd
(59 - 5:50pm, Sep 20)
Last: escabeche

Sox Therapy11 Days Later
(76 - 5:15pm, Sep 20)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(815 - 5:09pm, Sep 20)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

NewsblogOT - 2018 NBA Thread (Pre-Season Edition)
(433 - 4:53pm, Sep 20)
Last: TFTIO is Lounging from the flat one

NewsblogThe Orioles became the first professional sports team to wear Braille jerseys
(50 - 4:44pm, Sep 20)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogIs Red Sox' slump temporary, or did they come back to earth?
(7 - 4:31pm, Sep 20)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (September 2018)
(361 - 3:44pm, Sep 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

Sox Therapy6,036 Days
(15 - 2:49pm, Sep 20)
Last: Nasty Nate

Gonfalon CubsThe Final Push
(134 - 1:55pm, Sep 20)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1947 Discussion
(10 - 1:54pm, Sep 20)
Last: MrC.

Page rendered in 0.4169 seconds
46 querie(s) executed