Is Stem Cell Therapy New?
Stem Cell Therapy is not new in the United States. It has been in use for at least 40 years. Since the 1970s, bone marrow stem cells have been used to restore blood and immune system cells damaged by chemotherapy and radiation used to treat many cancers. These types of stem cell therapies, formulated in the US, have served as the standard of practice worldwide. San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center continues the tradition of learning and research about the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapies as applied to orthopaedics.
What Is The Best Source For Stem Cells?
Mesenchymal stem cells (or ‘adult’ stem cells) have the capability to become different types of tissues (blood vessels, muscle tissue, etc.) and are capable of communicating with other cells. In combination with other proteins, molecules and regenerative cells found in adipose tissue, they also have the ability to reduce inflammation, regenerate damaged tissue, and grow new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Stem cells from adipose tissue are more accessible and abundant. They can be processed immediately and reintroduced into the body right away. (SVF yields 10-100 times more regenerative cells then bone marrow)
Is Stem Cell Therapy Regulated?
The FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, but rather drugs and medical devices and which of these can be marketed in the US. Under federal law, cultured (grown) stem cell products are considered a drug, but are not illegal. Adult stem cells, as we use them, are not cultured. They exist in our bodies throughout our organs, blood, skin, fat, bone marrow, and other places. We merely take them from one area and transfer them to another area.
Is Stem Cell Therapy Proven?
Small-scale clinical research trials, on which the San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center protocol is based, have demonstrated a very high safety profile as well as measurable improvements in pain management and as low-risk, often highly effective option to shoulder, hip and knee surgeries. More studies are needed to truly prove efficacy, and San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center doctors are working to achieve that.
Click on the questions below to find out more about Stem Cell Therapy
What is a stem cell?
A stem cell is basically any cell that can replicate and differentiate. This means the cell can not only multiply, but it can also turn into various tissue types. There are several kinds of stem cells.
Most people are most familiar with embryonic stem cells. These cells from the embryonic stage of development are “pluripotent” because they have yet to differentiate and can change into any body part. Because they are taken from unborn or unwanted embryos, there has been considerable controversy surrounding their use. Furthermore, while they have shown promise in some areas of medicine, they have also been associated with occasional tumor (teratoma) formation. Work is being conducted by several companies, most of them outside the United States, to isolate particular lines of embryonic stem cells for future use.
Another kind of stem cells are adult stem cells, which reside in different tissues in the body. In recent years, much work has been done on bone marrow-derived stem cells. Also known as “mesenchymal stem cells” because they come from the mesodermal areas of the body, they can differentiate into mesodermal cell types such as bone, cartilage, fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscles and nerves. Because bone marrow stem cells are low in numbers, they are usually cultured after extraction in order to multiply their numbers for therapeutic use.
As it turns out, fat is also loaded with mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, it has hundreds if not thousands of times more stem cells than bone marrow–and they are easier to exact. Because most people have adequate fat supplies and the numbers of stem cells are so great, there is no need to culture the cells over a period of days. We have tools that allow us to separate the stem cells from fat, so they can be used right away.
How can adult stem cells heal?
Adipose-derived adult stem cells are known as “progenitor” cells. This means they remain dormant (do nothing) until they are signaled by tissue damage. That’s when they get to work. They hone in on areas of injury or degeneration and turn on the healing process.
They may simply change into the cell type the damaged area needs for repair, and they also appear to reduce inflammation and signal growth factors and other mechanisms of tissue regeneration.
Is the stem cell treatment you are offering FDA approved?
No. However, the San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center’s procedures fall under the category of physician’s practice of medicine, wherein the physician and patient are free to consider their chosen course of treatment. The FDA does have guidelines about treatment and manipulation of a patient’s own tissues. The San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center follows these guidelines by providing same-day treatment with the patient’s own cells, which undergo minimal manipulation and are redeployed during the same procedure.
Does the San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center use embryonic stem cells?
No. Only adult mesenchymal adipose-derived stem cells are used. These cells are capable of forming bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, ligaments, blood vessels, and certain other cell types. Embryonic stem cells are associated with ethical considerations and limitations
What is a non-embryonic adult stem cell?
Adult (non-embryonic) mesenchymal stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to replace dying cells and regenerate damaged tissue. These special cells seek out areas of injury, disease, and destruction. Once there, they are capable of regenerating healthy cells and accelerating the natural healing process. As we gain a deeper understanding of adult stem cells’ function and apply this knowledge, we are realizing their enormous therapeutic potential to help the body heal itself. Adult stem cells have been used for a variety of medical conditions to repair and regenerate acute and chronically damaged tissues in humans and animals.
The use of stem cells is not FDA approved for the treatment of any specific disease in the United States at this time, and their use is therefore investigational. Many reputable international centers have been using stem cell therapy to treat various chronic degenerative conditions as diverse as severe neurological diseases, renal failure, erectile dysfunction, degenerative orthopedic problems, and cardiac and pulmonary diseases, to name a few. Adult stem cells appear to be particularly effective at repairing cartilage in degenerated joints.
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative Medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to damage, degeneration, or congenital defects. This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves.
What is PRP
Platelet-rich plasma (Abbreviation: PRP) is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets. As a concentrated source of autologous platelets, PRP contains (and releases through degranulation) several different growth factors and other cytokines that stimulate healing of bone and soft tissue.
What diseases and problems can be treated?
Clinicians and researchers have used adult stem cells to treat a wide variety of health challenges. To determine if you are an appropriate candidate, the medical team at the San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center will evaluate you and discuss whether stem cell therapy is right for you. After you’ve been recommended for treatment, had an opportunity to understand the potential risks and benefits, and decided on your own that you would like to explore this avenue of treatment, then you can be considered for treatment. Of course, even though it’s a minimally invasive procedure, you will still need to be medically cleared for the procedure.
Why do patients request stem cell treatment?
Many have been told that they require surgery or other risky treatments for their ailments and are looking for non-invasive options. Some have seen the compelling testimonials about stem cells in the literature and on various websites. Many have read about the results of stem cell treatments in animal models and in humans. The San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center gives a choice to informed patients who seek modern regenerative therapy but desire convenience, quality, and affordability. The San Diego Stem Cell Treatment Center fills a need for those patients who have been told they would have to travel to different countries and pay as much as $21,000 to $100,000 for stem cell treatments offshore.