What Is Regenerative Medicine?
The definition of regenerative medicine is a method of developing living tissues that function to replace or repair organ or tissue capabilities that have been lost from congenital defects or other damage. This medical field promises to regenerate organs and tissues in the body through the stimulation of organs that cannot be repaired into healing themselves.
What Is a Stem Cell?
Basically, stem cells are cells that can multiply and transform into other types of tissue. There are several stem cell types, but most people have heard of or know about embryonic stem cells. The cells are produced during the embryonic state and have not differentiated yet, allowing them to turn into any tissue in the body, at which point the cells are referred to as pluri-potentials.
Much controversy has surrounded the use of embryonic stem cells since they are procured from unwanted or unborn embryos. They have been implemented in some medical fields, especially in countries other than the United States, and have become related to the occasional formation of teratomas (tumors). Several companies are conducting studies and tests to isolate specific strains of embryonic cells so that they can be used for treatments in the future.
Adult stem cells are another type already present in the different tissues of the body. A lot of research has occurred recently in stem cell separation from bone marrow. These are called mesenchymal stem cells since they are derived from the mesodermal part of the body. They are able to transform into cartilage, bone, and potentially other mesodermal components such as blood vessels, connective tissue, fat, nerve tissue, and muscle.
Mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow can be procured, and they are typically cultured to multiply for later use because they are few in number. Fat is actually full of mesenchymal stem cells and potentially has thousands of times more stem cells than bone marrow. The medical field has tools that let technicians separate the fat and stem cells. Since a majority of people have enough fat supply, and there are so many stem cells in fat, it is unnecessary to culture the stem cells to multiply for later use. Instead, the procured stem cells can be deployed immediately.
How Does the Healing Process Work with Adult Stem Cells?
An adult stem cell is called a progenitor cell, which means it remains dormant unless it detects some degree of injury to organs or tissues. The injury is what makes the cells active. When patients have degenerative conditions, the stem cells migrate to those areas to encourage the process of healing. It is still unclear if the stem cells repair the damaged tissue by turning into new, healthy tissue or by producing signals that induce the repair process via another mechanism. Let us just say that there is plenty of human evidence and animal models to suggest that adult stem cells are substantial reparative cells.
What Health Problems and Diseases Can Be Treated?
The specific degenerative condition that a patient has will have a bearing on whether stem cells can be used as treatment. A specialist evaluates the patient and talks about whether the individual is a possible candidate for therapy. Patients can only be considered for treatment after they have received a recommendation, had the chance to comprehend the possible benefits and risks, and decided on their own that they want to explore this type of treatment. Although stem cell therapy is minimally invasive, patients need to be cleared by the specialist before the procedure can be scheduled.
Why Is Stem Cell Treatment Requested?
Many patients are told that they must have surgery or undergo risky treatments, so they look for noninvasive options. Some patients have read convincing praises about stem cell therapy on websites and in literature, or they have read the outcomes of animal models and human studies.
Scottsdale Stem Cell Treatment Center does not trust testimonials or claims because our work is investigational. However, SSCTC is a resource that patients who want regenerative care can use for their benefit. Our facility provides choices to patients who are informed and want modern regenerative care but seek affordability, convenience, and quality. SSCTC fills the needs of patients who are told to travel outside of the country and pay $20,000 to $100,000 for stem cell treatment.
When a Candidate Is Approved for Treatment, How Does SSCTC Obtain the Stem Cells?
Stem cells are procured and deployed through the same process. SSCTC patients go through a liposuction harvesting procedure that is minimally invasive and performed by a surgeon in a special treatment facility. The procedure is completed with local anesthesia and typically takes a few minutes. Stromal Vascular Fraction, which contains growth factors and mesenchymal cells, is separated from 2 ounces of fat with a closed sterile system to prevent environmental contact. It takes up to 90 minutes for the SFV to be ready for deployment.
Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Cancer?
No. Many patients are puzzled by this since they have heard that some cancer patients receive stem cell transplants. However, these cancer patients do not get the same type of therapy. Rather, they have ablative bone marrow therapy and require stem cells to multiply their bone marrow and blood. At SSCTC, SVF deployment is used to treat noncancerous diseases in humans.
Can Stem Cell Deployment Lead to Cancer?
A connection between cancer and mesenchymal stem cells has not been identified. While some patients hear that stem cells can cause cancer, these stories are probably associated with the use of embryonic stem cells instead of adult mesenchymal stem cells. Embryonic tumors are called teratomas, and the tumors are a rare but possible complication of using embryonic stem cells.
How Are Stem Cells Injected into a Patient?
Stem cells may be injected into the arteries, spinal fluid, veins, joints or organs, or subcutaneously depending on the type of required treatment. All of these options are minimally invasive procedures for injecting stem cells.
Intravenously injected stem cells are known for seeking out tissue damage, migrating to that location and providing regenerative healing. They have also shown the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to gain access to the nervous system. Months after injection, the stem cells can be identified in the body. In a patient who had a Dupuytren’s contracture, which is a deformity of the hand that makes the tissue contract and thicken, the stem cells could be seen concentrated in the hand.
Can I Expect Improvement After Stem Cell Treatment at SSCTC?
Every condition is treated with different methods, and there are varying levels of success. If your goal is to regenerate joint cartilage, you might not see the results that you expect for several months following treatment. Some patients do not experience substantial improvement while others experience resolution of disease or significant regeneration of tissue.
Many of the health problems and disorders that SSCTC doctors are treating depict pioneering work, for which there is insufficient supporting data. Federal Drug Administration regulations prevent the facility from making claims about expected results, but if you are approved for treatment, we will explain either that we think stem cell therapy could be beneficial or that we do not know and can proceed on an investigational basis.
How Long Will It Take to See an Improvement?
The time it takes for regenerative healing to occur after stem cell therapy depends on the patient’s body. The process might take time, especially in orthopedic patients, who might not experience results for many months. More immediate results are possible with some diseases.
Is Every Patient a Candidate?
No. SSCTC only treats certain medical conditions. All patients have to be medically stable to undergo treatment in the facility. Some exceptional conditions might be treated in hospital patients, but that may happen sometime in the future. Some patients could be rejected because of the severity of their conditions while others might not have the appropriate conditions for treatment or might not be covered by our protocols or specialists. An outside referral or waiting list could be applicable in those cases.
Are There Automatic Exclusions?
Yes. Patients who have uncontrolled cancer do not qualify. Those who have active infections anywhere in their bodies must be treated prior to consideration. Severely sick patients might need special consideration. Additionally, patients who take blood-thinning drugs or have bleeding disorders must undergo a special assessment before being considered for stem cell therapy.
Who Decides the Eligibility of Patients?
The specialist who sees the patient determines whether or not the patient qualifies for stem cell therapy based on medical history, an exam, and current studies and research findings. Complex cases might undergo a review by the ethics advisory committee. On occasion, we seek the opinions of leaders across the globe.
What Is Included in the Cost of the Procedure?
Due to recent technological innovations we can offer outpatient stem cell therapy for a fraction of what it costs in many clinics outside the country. SSCTC fees cover Stromal Vascular Fraction procurement, preparation, and injection. This might include the utilization of advanced, interventional fluoroscopy and radiology techniques. The total cost will be determined following a medical assessment.
How Many Deployments Are Required for Successful Treatment?
A majority of patients, particularly those who have orthopedic conditions, only need one procedure. Certain degenerative conditions, especially auto-immune diseases, might respond better to a series of deployments. The need for and number of any further treatment will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Under these circumstances, the patient’s financial standing is given consideration as well.