The tiny device is implanted via surgery between vertebrates to correct irregularities in the spine including scoliosis, kyphosis, disc herniation or vertebral fracture. The implant held much promise, since before it came into practice a similar procedure required an extra surgery to get replacement bone from the patient’s hip or rely on a donor bone for it to be effective. Instead, the products Infuse (in production since 2002) and Amplify (unapproved), get the same results or better by use of a bone growth stimulating biological agent known as bone morphogenetic protein-2, or BMP-2.
In 2009, Medtronics paid millions of dollars for an investigation by surgeons whose purpose was to assess whether the product was safe or not. No safety hazards were found as a result of this extensive medical trial. An independent research however, sparked by various frightening stories in journals, showed that after two or three years from the implant with the genetically engineered protein, the number of patients diagnosed with cancer dramatically increased. The original 2009 paper authors, which were funded with millions by Medtronics, defended themselves by stating that at the time they published the report there were no signs that would allow them to correlate the implants with cancer.