Recently, I have asked you to express your opinion about possible definition of “stem cell product“. It was the most important poll I ever conducted! The poll was closed three hours ago. Thanks to everyone who voted!
How it was done
The idea about definition came to me about 2 years ago and I did the first attempt to propose it here. Launching a recent poll was triggered by Osiris press-release about their so-called “stem cell product” Grafix. I thought that there was no data behind of this claim and it was a pure marketing. So, in the first poll, I’ve asked your opinion about Grafix and added the question of “how to define stem cell product” at the end. You can see results of the first part (Grafix) of this poll here and here. A screenshot of the second part (definition) you can see here. I’ve got 44 responses in about 6 weeks from targeted audience of ~ 10k (LinkedIn groups, twitter followers), response rate was <0.005%. I really wanted to get more votes to make this poll more diverse and representative. So, about a week ago, I launched a separate poll for definition of stem cell product. This time I decided to use individual approach and sent ~ 500 personal messages to my LinkedIn and twitter contacts. You can look at raw data from the second poll here. I’ve got 160 responses from ~ 500 people (response rate ~ 30%). The results, presented in this post were combined from both polls.
I got 203 responses total from 2 polls. 14 voters did not see any point in defining “stem cell product”:
Overall results are the following:
If we exclude those who don’t see the point in defining it, we can get 189 total votes. If we then combine answers 3,4,5 in one category, we will get the following:
So, in your opinion, the truth is somewhere between 3 and 4, namely: if product contains stem cells in high purity (>90%) and/ or its mechanism of action specifically attributed to stem cells, it is a “stem cell product”. But, if you think about it, answers 3 and 4 pretty much the same thing, because if product contain only pure stem cells, mechanism of action will be exclusively attributed to them.
Limitations and discussion
The first limitation of this poll is a low number of responses. I did my best, but activity of professionals is still low. Second, I combined data from 2 polls. First poll was not designed specifically for definition of “stem cell product”. I slightly changed a language in the second poll, so, there are minor discrepancies. Third, I can’t exclude the possibility that some people voted twice (I can’t track it), but I asked to vote only once. Since I targeted professional audience, I’d expect most of the responses from it. However, I can’t exclude the possibility that some lay public or informed patients voted also.
I’ve got few replies via email and some people have mentioned that a poll is not very clear. When I was sending personal messages via LinkedIn, I indicated that it’s about non-embryonic/iPS cell-derived products. I don’t think, we have a problem in defining those. I think, the audience of this blog and most of my followers were clear about the question and answering options. I agree, that it could be confusing for the person without background knowledge.
Now, I’d like to invite everyone to discuss results of this poll and its limitations. Please express your opinions and emotions in comments to this post. Next week I’m planning to propose a working definition of “stem cell product”, based on results of the poll and discussion. So, I really need you to brainstorm!