Cell therapy utilizes multiple types of cells including regenerative cells called stem cells, which are cells not yet committed to a particular cell type, and have the potential to differentiate into cells of multiple tissue types. There are many types of stem cells, some more primitive than others, thus with more potentials to differentiate. Embryonic stem cells have the most potential to differentiate, but science has not yet found a way to safely harness these cells for use in clinical settings. We are all born with a reservoir of stem cells, but their numbers and quality decline significantly as we age. Stem cell therapy hopes to benefit people’s health using these cells’ innate intelligence, their ability to home in to areas needing repair, and their ability to send out signal and recruit other cells to participate in such repair.
In the United States, majority of the stem cells in clinical use come from a person’s own bone marrow or fat tissue. A small subset of treatment uses blood as a source, although the yield is low. Another source of stem cells that’s rapidly gaining popularity is from birth tissue of healthy live births, such as the umbilical cord and placenta.
Stem cells of different sources carry different safety profiles. Using cells from one’s own body avoids any concerns of tissue rejection, but carries the risks due to a surgical procedure. The processing of tissue to obtain stem cells typically occurs at a doctor’s office, and carries its own risks of introducing infectious agents.
Birth tissue-derived stem cells have little surface markers that would make them appear “foreign” to the recipient’s body, but if a product is not pure and contains more mature cells such as RBC’s (red blood cells), there is more of a chance for adverse reaction due to immune incompatibility, which is why using a product that is well-processed and of high purity is important.
Birth tissues are screened before they are accepted for donation and tested before being sent to a stem cell lab. Our laboratory tests the birth tissue again before processing, and test the finished product again after the processing is completed. The risk of infectious disease transmission is at the same level as when one receives a blood transfusion or organ donation. Laboratories producing such cells are under the regulation of American Association of Tissue Banks, and they adhere to the same standards as if they are processing blood transfusion and tissue donation products.
Shortly before giving birth, expectant mothers are asked if they would like to cryopreserve the umbilical cord blood/cord tissue of the baby for future use. Vast majority of the mothers say no (mainly due to the cost), at which point they are asked if they would like to donate the tissue. When mothers say yes, they are asked to fill out an extensive questionnaire, and the questions include the mother’s personal health history, pregnancy history, family health history (including the baby’s father’s), their own social & travel history, and history of any toxic exposures. Our laboratory only accepts birth tissues that meet the most stringent criteria, to ensure our products come from the healthiest donors, thus with the most potent therapeutic potentials.
Birth tissues are screened before they are accepted for donation and tested before being sent to a cell laboratory. Our laboratory tests the birth tissue again before processing, and test the finished product again after the processing is completed. The risk of infectious disease transmission is at the same level as when one receives a blood transfusion or organ donation. Laboratories producing such cells are under the regulation of American Association of Tissue Banks, and they adhere to the same standards as if they are processing blood transfusion and tissue donation products.
Most people notice little side effects. Studies have shown very robust safety profile for clinical use of these cells. About 5-10% of the recipients may notice mild flu-like symptoms, such as sneezing, sniffling, watery eyes, chest tightness, shortness of breath, malaise, or low-grade fever, but typically these symptoms are transient, lasting between 1 to 3 days.
Numerous research studies have shown that cell therapy provides tremendous clinical benefit. In particular, cells like MSC’s have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-tumorigenic, and immune-modulating properties. Depending on the conditions a person has, he/she may sense a difference within a day, or sometimes within a few weeks. For example, pain issues may respond more quickly than neurological issues, as the healing of the nervous system tends to take much longer. Tissue repair and regeneration takes time, and different tissues repair and regenerate at different rates.
Birth tissue are donated by healthy mothers after giving birth to a normal healthy baby in a US hospital. Donors sign a consent form, fill out a highly comprehensive health questionnaire, and give a blood sample. The mothers’ blood and the birth tissue undergo extensive testing for HIV, STD’s, hepatitis, etc. Once the birth tissue is ensured to be free of infectious diseases and meets all American Association of Tissue Bank standards, the tissue is allowed to be donated. When the umbilical cord and mother’s blood arrive at the laboratory, they would undergo further stringent testing, and all our cells are obtained through minimal manipulation, with no chemical reagents used.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC’s): these are multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells), myocytes (muscle cells), adipocytes (fat cells), and have been shown to have the ability to trans-differentiate into many other important cells of the body, such as neurons. They are ideally suited for treating systemic autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, and play a vital role in regenerating injured tissues. They help prevent premature cell death, rescue damaged cells, stimulate local dormant stem cells, modulate the immune system; they have antimicrobial properties, and have been approved internationally (Australia, South Korea, Canada, Japan, etc.) for treating bone damage, coronary heart disease, arthritic conditions, Crohn’s disease, graft vs. host disease, etc.
Hematopoietic Stem Cells: these are immature blood-forming cells found in blood and bone marrow, and are highly suited for tissue regeneration. They have revascularization capabilities, help repair endothelial lining of blood vessels, and provide synergistic benefits in concert with the tissue-repairing function of the mesenchymal stem cells. They are able to replenish cells in the circulatory systems such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
1) Regenerate Neurons & Improve Brain Function
When we enter adult years, we lose brain cells, by 0.8% each year. By the time we are 70 years old, we only have 55% of our brain cells left. As a result of this reduced number and declined function the cells, older adults often notice memory decline, slowed and dulled cognition, insomnia, or even dementia.
In our natural state, neurons have very limited ability to regenerate, thus the trend of brain aging seems irreversible. However, stem cell research has brought hope, as stem cells can trigger local brain cells to repair and regenerate, and can also differentiate into neurons themselves. There has been significant advancements in treating Parkinson’s Disease using stem cells, as well as treating stroke victims, traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, brain atrophy and Alzheimer’s Dementia.
Research have found that stem cells can cross blood-brain barrier, reverse degenerative changes, repair vascular ischemia and hemorrhage, modify calcified vasculature, thus restore balance and youthful state of the central nervous system. Stem cells can help regenerate new blood vessels, improve brain blood supply, thus supply adequate nutrients and oxygen and remove waste. Studies have shown that the improvement of memory and cognition in Alzheimer’s dementia after stem cell treatment are stable and sustained.
2) Improve Metabolism
Only through metabolism, can an organism obtain nutrients and energy to conduct all necessary cellular functions. Stem cells are the source of tissue regeneration, and the quantity and quality of stem cells can directly affect our metabolic function. Research have shown that stem cells can improve our metabolism of lipoproteins, effectively lowering total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL levels, and reduce atherosclerosis.
Stem cell treatment can significantly improve our body’s ability for carbohydrate metabolism, lower blood sugar levels, improve the balance between energy intake and expenditure, thus lower excess body weight in combination with exercise.
3) Improve Immune Function
Our immune system is our main defense again bacteria, virus, parasites, and cancer cells. Older adults have reduced number and function of these immune cells, thus they have lowered ability to fight off infections, cancer, and other diseases. Lower immune function is another hallmark of aging.
The direct evidence that stem cells can improve immune function comes from the treatment of leukemia through transfusion of healthy stem cells into leukemic patients. Stem cells are also particularly helpful in modulating and keeping the immune system in balance, especially in the case of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s), which have been shown as a powerful tool in treating a multitude of autoimmune disorders.
Recently, stem cells have been used in the treatment of immune deficiency diseases, AIDS, and solid tumors, through their ability to manufacture blood cells, restore immune function, and destroy invading pathogens and cancerous cells.
4) Reduce Inflammation
A strong inflammatory response is important to our growth and development to help safeguard us against pathogens; however, as we age, levels of inflammation seem to increase, even in the absence of acute infections or other physiological triggers. This leads to declines in organ/tissue function and structural damages.
Inflammatory response has been shown to be a prevailing response that drives tissue damage in the aging process. Extensive studies showed that increased inflammatory markers are highly correlated with disease and disability in the aging population. Many of these markers are elevated even before symptoms of diseases emerge.
As we age, our stem cells also age, and they may not be as effective as controlling excessive inflammation in our body. Stem cell treatment, especially ones using MSC’s, has a strong anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effect, and has been shown to significantly decrease inflammatory markers. So in this sense, by calming the inflammation that’s at the root of many modern chronic diseases associated with aging, we are able to help slow the aging process.
Currently cell therapy has been shown to have clinical benefits in the following conditions:
- Autoimmune Disorders (122 known, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis)
- Neurological Diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, etc.)
- Type II Diabetes
- Heart Diseases
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Dermatological Disorders
- Lung Diseases (COPD, asthma, etc.)
- Athletic Injuries
- Pain Management
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Wound Care, Limb Salvage
Many people do not know that hundreds of studies have demonstrated that stem cells are safe, and tens of thousands of patients worldwide have been infused with stem cells with no adverse reactions. The United States is a still the world leader in stem cell research despite certain bans in the Bush era.
A lot people have heard about embryonic stem cells, which is not allowed for clinical use in the US, due to its ethical concerns and safety issues (potential to cause tumors), despite its powerful potentials.
Currently cell therapy in the US is available by utilizing cells obtained from a person’s own bone marrow, fat tissue or blood, as long as they are minimally manipulated. However many people do not know that minimally manipulated cells can also be obtained from birth tissue, and these cells offer the best of both worlds: compelling therapeutic potentials due to their youthfulness, excellent safety record for decades, and it is free from ethical controversies.
- Get informed on how cell therapy can work for you.
- Schedule a consultation to determine your eligibility for cell therapy and receive comprehensive evaluation of your health. Your information will be thoroughly evaluated, and require approval that your treatment falls under a homologous functional use of stem cell therapy.
- Upon pre-approval you will receive a treatment protocol based on your condition. And your infusion date and location will be scheduled. This will establish the dosage and number of treatments.
- Payment: Currently cell therapy is patient-funded. Some insurance may cover specific spinal injury treatments.
The quantity of regenerative cells required and number of treatments needed will vary depending upon a person’s age, weight, and the severity of a person’s disease condition.
We are able to provide the treatment at less total cost because of the high concentration and high quality of our products. We have selected what we believe to be the best regenerative cell products available in the US. These products offer the most therapeutically active combination of cell types, with the highest cell quality, potency, and viability, and they have the best safety record compared to other products we have investigated.
You can contact Chara Biologics, and you will be referred to a physician who uses Chara products nearest to you.
*Above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and the cell therapy protocols our doctors utilize have not been approved by FDA as treatments, therapies, drugs, or investigational drugs. Currently numerous clinical studies on stem cells are conducted worldwide.