What is multiple sclerosis?Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is caused by an immune mediated attack targeting components of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is known to act as an “insulator” for neurons so that they can communicate properly with each other.
Can stem cells help treat multiple sclerosis?
At present there are no treatments that specifically target the abnormal immune responses in MS. Current approaches, such as interferon, copaxone, or immune suppressants all act in a non‐specific manner blocking immune responses against the myelin sheath. While these approaches are useful for reducing the severity of disease, they do not repair the damage to nervous system tissue that has already occurred and therefore they cannot cure multiple sclerosis.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), have immune regulatory properties which may stop the immune system from attacking the myelin sheath.
Mesenchymal stem cells may also potentially help remyelination (re-generation of the myelin sheath) of the affected neurons. Currently, the University of Cambridge is conducting formal clinical studies using mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of MS.
Which types of stem cells are used to treat MS and how are they obtained?
The adult stem cells used to treat MS at the Stem Cell Institute are called allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells. They are harvested from human umbilical cords donated after normal, healthy births. Each mother is tested for infectious diseases and has her medical history screened. Proper consent is received from each family prior to donation.
Before they are approved for use in treatment all umbilical cord-derived stem cells are screened for infectious diseases to International Blood Bank Standards.
Only a small percentage of donated umbilical cords pass our rigorous screening process.
Our stem cells and the US FDA
Human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that were isolated and grown in our laboratory in Panama to create master cell banks are currently being used in the United States.
These cells serve as the starting material for cellular products used in MSC clinical trials for two Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patients under US FDA’s designation of Investigational New Drug (IND) for single patient compassionate use. (IND 16026 DMD Single Patient)
Dr. Riordan on the Umbilical Cord Selection Process at Stem Cell Institute
“Through retrospective analysis of our cases, we’ve identified proteins and genes that allow us to screen several hundred umbilical cord donations to find the ones that we know are most effective. We only use these cells and we call them ‘golden cells’.
We go through a very high throughput screening process to find cells that we know have the best anti-inflammatory activity, the best immune modulating capacity, and the best ability to stimulate regeneration.”
What are the advantages of treating with allogeneic human umbilical cord tissue (HUCT)-derived mesenchymal stem cells?
- Since HUCT mesenchymal stem cells are immune system privileged, cell rejection is not an issue and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary.
- The stem cells with the best anti-inflammatory activity, immune modulating capacity, and ability to stimulate regeneration can be screened and selected.
- Allogeneic stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days in uniform dosages that contain high cell counts.
- Umbilical cord tissue provides an abundant supply of mesenchymal stem cells.
- No need to collect stem cells through invasive procedures such as liposuction or bone marrow collection
- There is a growing body of evidence showing that HUCT mesenchymal stem cells are more robust than mesenchymal stem cells from other sources such as fat.
The body’s immune system is unable to recognize umbilical cord-derived mesenchmyal stem cells as foreign and therefore they are not rejected. HUCT stem cells have been administered thousands of times at the Stem Cell Institute and there has never been a single instance rejection (graft vs. host disease). Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells also proliferate/differentiate more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the fat and therefore, they are considered to be more “potent”.
In this next video (just past the 1 minute mark), Arnold Caplan, PhD explains the mechanism by which donor mesenchymal stem cells shield themselves from the recipient’s immune system. Dr. Caplan is the scientist who discovered the mesenchymal stem cell. He is commonly referred to as “the father of the mesenchymal stem cell”.
How are the stem cells administered for MS treatment?
The HUCT stem cells are administered intravenously by a licensed physician. Additional methods may be recommended.
Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: *Treatment Protocols
Below is an example of a typical 4-day multiple sclerosis treatment *protocol:
- Medical evaluation, blood testing
- 6 intravenous injections of human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells
- 4 perilymphatic injections of HUCT mesenchymal stem cells
- 2 physical therapy sessions
- 1-month supply of Stem-Kine
*Includes Hilton hotel room with breakfast, WIFI, transportation from and to the airport with VIP airport gate service and expedited customs clearance upon arrival, and transportation between the Hilton and Stem Cell Institute.
All patients receive a one month supply of Stem Kine supplement (only after medical evaluation in Panama)
*After examining each patient’s medical history and other medical information our team of physicians will recommend a specific treatment protocol. Your recommended protocol may differ from the example given above.
What about follow-up after I return home?
We want to help our patients and we care about how you are doing after you return home. Proper follow-up also helps us evaluate treatment efficacy and improve our multiple sclerosis treatment protocol based on observed outcomes.
Therefore, one of our staff will be contacting you after 1 month, 3 months, 4 months, and 1 year after the treatment to follow up on your condition.
May I speak with successfully-treated patients?
Yes, you may. Once you been evaluated and approved for treatment by our medical team, your patient coordinator will be happy to put you in touch with a few.
We also welcome you to view multiple sclerosis patient testimonials, news articles and videos. Please take a look!
How do I request more information?
You may contact us by telephone 1 (800) 980-STEM (toll-free in US) and 1 (954) 358-3382.
Apply for treatment today
To apply for stem cell treatment, please complete this Patient Application Form.