Global Alliance of Regenerative Medicine USA
Questions & Answers
What are Autologous Stem and Stromal Cells?
Autologous means cells from the same individual's body. Adult stem & stromal cells are found throughout our body, and have the capability of becoming a variety of cell types from a primitive form (e.g. bone, cartilage, tendons, ligament, muscle, nerve, etc.). They are found in nearly every tissue or organ in the human body and are used to help naturally repair or replace which are damaged, aged or other factors as a part of our ability to maintain ourselves throughout life. In living tissues, the main purpose of adult stem & stromal cells are to "first responders" when are areas are injured, breaking down (degenerating), or diseased. They receive "signals" of need and appropriately respond.
Where Are These Cells?
The greatest number of stem & stromal cells are found close to tiny capillary blood vessel. The largest number of small capillaries are located with our fat (adipose) deposits. The group of cells found in those locations needed for our cellular healing are much more concentrated than in other tissues, including bone marrow. When damaged, we quickly use the local stem cells, but as the problems become chronic (long term), they are used up and we have difficult in full recovery before we re-injure or further break down. The advantage of being able to gather a large number of these important cells and place them at a specific problem site or provide intravenous (IV) delivery to help with the healing and repair process.
How Are These Cells Gathered?
Use of very small tubes (micro-cannulas) are used on an outpatient basis using a small amount of local for comfort allows removal of several teaspoons of fat safely into a small syringe and taken from abdomen and upper leg areas holding unwanted fat deposits. This is a very common method, well proven for the past 20+ years, and is typically very well tolerated by both men and women.
What Kind Of Things Can Be Treated With Cellular Therapy?
A wide variety of conditions are being treated, from local to systemic disorders. Cellular therapies are commonly used in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS); Chronic Lung (COPD, Fibrotic Lung, Asthma, Neurodegenerative Disease (Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, Chorea, etc.), SRD pain, Fibromyalgia, Bowel Inflammatory Disorders, and Rheumatoid/Autoimmune Disorders.
What is Biocellular Regenerative Therapy?
Biocellular refers to use of Biological additive to the Cellular harvest (as above). The biologic materials of great importance in local wound healing come from our platelets. Once thought only important to cause clotting, it is now known to play a critical role in providing growth factors and signal proteins which quarterback wound healing and repair in all areas of our body. When platelets are concentrated from a simple blood draw (like blood test) and added to the stem-stromal cells and their structural matrix, it forms an ideal mixture to help us repair and replace damaged cells. It is most used with ultrasound to accurately place into targets such as low back, joints, tendon-ligament, muscle, bone-cartilage (knee, shoulders, hips, elbows, feet, etc.). Typically, the sites diagnosed are remarkably improved, with reduction in pain and eventually remodeling and repair visible on ultrasound.
How Do Adult Stem Cells Work?
Adult stem & stromal cells have the ability to reproduce (self renew), or replenish aging cells of various tissue types. They are considered our own "on call, "first responders", built-in repair systems that regenerate cells damaged by disease, injury, and every wear and tear of aging. Once adult stem &s stromal cells are administered to the body, they respond to certain "signals" that come from inflamed, aging, or damaged cells. Ultimately, they are felt to be important in activating local cells or replenish the cells themselves. Unlike traditional treatments offering less than optimal options, this revolutionary procedure gathers stem & stromal cells from their MOST abundant source (fat), and provides a good chance of improvement or function, restoration of tissues, and relieve discomfort.
Where Is Stem & Stromal Cellular Therapy Most Helpful?
We use stem & stromal cell therapy to treat a wide variety of patients with conditions that are local (like a joint, ligament) to generalized systemic disorders. We treat patients with diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Lung Diseases, Autoimmune, Alzheimer's, Dementias, Parkinson's, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Bowel Disorders, and may other conditions. In addition, we offer treatment for many work and sport related injuries or degeneration involving muscles, tendons, or joints, spine, have been treated using direct targeting via ultrasound guidance for accurate placement of the cells to the problem area.
How Long Does The Procedure Take?
Treatment is done on an outpatient basis with a small volume of local anesthesia, and takes about 1-3 hours total, done in same day, one procedure. Doctor harvest small volume (usually only about 8-10 teaspoons) using a small syringe mini-liposuction procedure that takes about 20-30 minutes. If use for ultrasound placement, the fat extract is mixed with high concentrated platelet-rich plasma (also your own) and placed to where the problems are found. If use for IV cellular uses, the process of separation, incubation, and concentration (centrifuge) and then placing them into a sterile saline IV bag and returned via an arm vein. This process takes about 2 hours total, include the 30-45 minute slow IV placement.
What are Exosomes and MicroVesicles?
Our body's cells communicates by what is known as "paracrine secretion" which is the means which areas of injury or degeneration "signal" the need for attention. The extensive stem/stromal undesignated group of cells then receive and react to either repair the area or produce tiny molecules known as Exosomes and MicroVesicles. This exchange is very important to instruct cells on how be to react and repair their functions. These easily pass the blood brain barrier in cases of brain or neurological issues to assist in the repair and re-establish small blood vessel repair and circulation. Your own cells do have this ability in case of need, and there are developing protocols using non-autologous (not yours) placental/umbilical cord (not blood per se) exosomes which are being researched now. It is a relatively complex process and requires strict control of a transplant tissue bank capable of cryopreservation. It appears that these molecules are potentially very active, but standardization of content remains to be established at the moment. We are aware and trying to carefully review all the literature and presentation materials that are coming out currently. It appears there will be some upcoming IRB clinical trials to further establish safety and efficacy profiles for solo or combined uses.