Dr. Robert Marx

Author of The Deadly Prescription


Robert E. Marx, DDS, professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  Doctor Robert Marx is one of the world’s most predominant stem cell researchers and bone marrow transplant specialists, and he has now written a bone-chilling fiction novel that is so compelling, it blurs the line of imagination and reality.   At the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, he is well known as an educator, researcher, and innovative surgeon. He has pioneered new concepts and treatments for pathologies of the oral and maxillofacial area as well as new techniques in reconstructive surgery.

As a researcher, he has made valuable contributions in the use of hyperbaric oxygen following radiation therapy, in the development of platelet rich plasma, and in elucidating the relationships between smoking and carcinogenesis. Dr. Marx also pioneered the clinical applications of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein and stem cell use and was the first to identify what is now known worldwide as bisphosphonate induced osteonecrosis of the jaws. For the past 34 years, he has overseen the training of scores of residents and fellows, many of whom have themselves established distinguished careers. His many prestigious awards, including the Harry S. Archer Award, the William J. Gies Award, the Paul Bert Award, and the Donald B. Osbon Award, attest to his dedication and commitment to the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Show Highlights:

Maxillofacial surgeons treat below the brain and above the collarbone.

Tongue cancers used to be found in men who were smokers and drinkers.  Now 50% of cases are in people who never smoked and test negative for HPV.  It’s probably another virus.  For throat cancer, HPV is the cause in 70% of people.

The biggest causes of losing the jaw bone are failing root canals and an allergy to penicillin.  Penicillin is still the best antibiotic.  Only 2 out of 144 thought to be allergic to penicillin were truly allergic.

Osteonecrosis – dead bone of the jaw.  Caused by biphosphonate, e.g. Fosamax, which is given for cancer patients and for osteoporosis.  Biphosphonates kill the normal cells in the body that rejuvenate the bone.  Merck made $3.6 billion from Fosamax while in patent, $1.5 billion after patent.  The drug accumulates to toxic levels.  Prolia works the same way and is doing the same thing.  17 million women in US are taking drugs for osteoporosis.

Dr. Marx was hired as a pharma consultant but pharma company wouldn’t listen to him about the dangers.  They didn’t want to stop the profits.  Pharmaceutical companies give research grants so researchers can’t testify against the drug company as an expert witness.

Genetic causes for osteoporosis, worse in menopausal female Caucasians and Asians.   After menopause, bone renewal is less.  Recommends Vitamin D, calcium, and exercise instead of drugs.

Recommended dose of biphosphonate is too high and it’s taken for too long.  Stays in bones for 11 years.  Dr. Marx says women should be rechecked after taking it for 3 years; no one should take it after 5 years.  Biphosphonates don’t rejuvenate new bone.  Instead they cause old bone to be retained, so bone scans look better.   After 3 years of biphos, bones start deteriorating.

FDA is underfunded and understaffed, so they must believe data presented by the drug company and don’t do independent studies.  FDA should instead choose the independent doctors to do testing of new drugs.  Vioxx is a Cox 2 inhibitor, predictable that it would cause heart issues.  Merck was fined $980 million, a drop in the bucket.  Only 2 years of human testing is required, side effects can take much longer.  FDA should review all drugs after 5 years.

Every medicine you take interferes with a normal body function.  Dose and duration matters.

Merck created the test for osteoporosis, the DEXA bone scan, and defined the level at which osteoporosis is defined.  If you don’t have the bone mass of a 22 year old woman, you will be classified as having osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Are 4 osteo drugs other than Fosamax and Prolia; others don’t have bad side effects.

Gardasil by Merck doesn’t work and the side effects are under-reported.  Pushed on girls and now boys.  Effectiveness against HPV has not yet been established.

Dental implants – positivity outweighs negativity.  Dr. Marx uses Nobel Biocare.

TMJ caused by parafunctional habits – e.g. grinding teeth, some congenital from malocclusion.

Strontium ranelate has good benefit for osteoporotic women.

Adult stem cells – used to rebuild large segments of bone.  Some doctors using them to rebuild knees,   rebuild wound tissue and blood vessels in the heart, using patient’s own stem cells.  Are dangers in using other’s stem cells, such as from a donor, cord blood, or placental origin.  We don’t know if they cause immune reactions.  Stem cells need the right chemistry around them to do what they’re supposed to do, are site specific, and need a stimulus such as bone morphogenic protein (BMP).  Dr. Marx uses stem cells and human BMP to rebuild jaws.



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Dr. Robert Marx, on the dangers of many prescription drugs, June 1, 2017

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