Dr. Riordan gave a talk about stem cell tourism. Here he is joined by “the father of the mesenchymal stem cell”, Arnold Caplan, Phd and Dr. Priscilla Ortiz.
Pre-Existing Inflammatory Diseases Reduce Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells for MS Treatment, Study Shows
BY ALICE MELÃO (Original Story from Multiple Sclerosis News Today)
Pre-existing inflammatory diseases affecting the central nervous system make mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) less effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS), concludes a study by researchers at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Diseases like EAE and MS diminish the therapeutic functionality of bone marrow MSCs, prompting re- evaluation about the ongoing use of autologous MSCs as a treatment for MS,” the team wrote, adding that its study supports the advancement of MSC therapy from donors rather than autologous MSC therapy to treat MS while raising “important concerns over the efficacy of using autologous bone marrow MSCs in clinical trials.
The study, “CNS disease diminishes the therapeutic functionality of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells,” notes that MSCs potentially produce several signaling proteins that can regulate immune system responses as well as help tissue regenerate. Preclinical studies have shown that this can reduce brain inflammation while improving neural repair in animal models of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). This model resembles the inflammation and neuronal damage seen in MS patients.
Given the need for effective new MS therapies, the results will help MSCs to advance to human clinical trials. So far, results have reported good safety data, though such therapies have failed to demonstrate therapeutic efficacy. Most such trials so far have used stem cells collected from the patient, a process known as autologous transplantation — yet this may explain why MSCs have not been effective. It’s possible that pre-existing neurological conditions may alter stem cells’ responsiveness as well as their therapeutic activity.
To see whether that is in fact the case, team members collected stem cells from the bone marrow of EAE mice. But these stem cells were unable to improve EAE symptoms, whereas stem cells collected from healthy mice retained all their therapeutic potential and improved EAE symptoms.
A more detailed analysis showed that the MSCs derived from EAE animals had different features than their healthy counterparts.
In addition, the team confirmed that MSCs collected from MS patients were also less effective in treating EAE animals, compared to MSCs from healthy controls. Indeed, these MSCs from patients produced pro-inflammatory signals instead of the protective anti-inflammatory ones.
“Diseases like EAE and MS diminish the therapeutic functionality of bone marrow MSCs, prompting re- evaluation about the ongoing use of autologous MSCs as a treatment for MS,” the team wrote, adding that its study supports the advancement of MSC therapy from donors rather than autologous MSC therapy to treat MS while raising “important concerns over the efficacy of using autologous bone marrow MSCs in clinical trials.”
Transcription from Telephone Interview with MS stem cell patient, Wes Meadlock.
In 2011, I started feeling something was wrong, and went to a neurologist here in town, went to his MRIs, and all his little testing, and this and that, and he said, “You’ve either got Lyme’s disease or MS.” The reason they said Lyme disease is because we have a place deep in the woods, and we stay there a lot on the weekends for a couple of years, and I got a lot of tick bites. We went through the whole thing of MS or Lyme’s disease, so I was thinking, maybe that’s what I got?
I’m not quite normal but I’m pretty close, at 80-85% of being normal. …but compared to some other people I know who have MS that I’ve done some aquatic classes with, I am far superior to them. I really believe this stuff works.
In the meantime, my father’s wife has had cancer pretty bad a couple of times, and he knows a lot of people at U. of Alabama at Birmingham; a really good hospital. He said, “I know somebody up here who’s really good with MS, why don’t you come up here and have him test you.” So, I went up there in the fall of 2012 and he did his testing, and he was telling me, “You have MS.” He said he could get me into some clinical trials, and I was thinking, “I don’t like pharmaceutical drugs.” I said, “If I could find something else, some other way, I’m going to try it.” I’ve been doing a lot of Internet research and talked to a few other people who said you should try some stem cells, so I did that. I went to Panama the first time. I did the liposuction, and they tried to get 90 million cells from me, and they could only get 45 million. I’m rather thin and wasn’t in too good a health at the time. They said, “We’ll mix it with some umbilical cord to get you the 90 million, so you’ll get 45 of your own and 45 of umbilical, and I think that was a two week ordeal to get that treatment.
I came back home and was feeling so much better. At that particular point I was having a problem walking with my left leg not cooperating, so when I came back from there, I felt like I’d gotten a good bit better. So, I decided to go back the following year. 2013 was the first time I went, and in 2014 they said, “Do you want to do umbilical?” I said no I do not, so they said they’d try something else. It turned out to be the umbilical cord cells, and when I got done a doctor told me, “You should be good for three years.” That’s where I am now, and I decided in the last few months that I need to go back again. When I called they said they had an opening on March the 13th and I said, “Okay, I’ll take it.” I just felt like, basically I don’t do any other drug, and I do believe it helps. The only one I do now is Naltrexone. It’s a 4.5mg dose of that and it sure helps my coordination and my walking. I’m not quite normal but I’m pretty close, at 80-85% of being normal. That’s about where I am now.
I’m not 100% but compared to some other people I know who have MS that I’ve done some aquatic classes with, I am far superior to them. I really believe this stuff works.
When I went back the second time, I’ve noticed a lot of difference there, I’m a full believer that stuff pulled from your own fat, and I’m 62 years old, can’t be as good as umbilical cord stuff and the way they process it. When I first started this they did nothing like it in the states, but they’re doing the liposuction stuff now. I went to a doctor close by here and told him my story, and he was trying to sell his products so he was against my story, but I said, “You need to do a little more research, because what you’re saying isn’t true. I’m a true testament.”
After I talked to him and he fed me a big line of BS, and I said, “You don’t even know what you’re talking about. You do in a sense and you’re trying to sell your product, I understand that, but you’re not hitting the whole base, that’s for sure.”
My name is Maria, I’m Sofia’s mom, and this is my husband Sean, and that’s Sofia!
Sofia suffered a lack of oxygen at birth and has cerebral palsy because of it, so it’s a middle-grade injury.
We’ve been here last year for the stem cell treatment and she showed immediate improvement. Her circulation improved. She used to have purple toes and that stopped since the last treatment. Her vision improved. Her far-away vision last year, and this year she has reported to us that she has more sensation in the body, her hearing… like, last night we went out and she didn’t need the headphones. She was okay.
She wasn’t bothered by the noise from the traffic. She was much better, looser, and happier.
And definitely, she also reported that her vision improved even further. She was able to describe the colors of the cars, birds that she saw from the 24th floor.
And today, she says she doesn’t have pain in her arms and stomach anymore, so she feels looser and more comfortable.
I was diagnosed 20 years ago. My heart was stopped up. I have 11 stents in my heart. When they put in (stents) nine, ten and eleven they blocked an artery and caused me to have a heart attack. Then 4 years later, I went to the doctor and he did an EKG and he said he needed to do a nuclear scan. That was in May 2011. In July of 2011 he did a nuclear scan and then called me and told me there was nothing else he could do for me.
A friend of mine in Corpus Christi told me about stem cells in Panama. So I checked into it and I came down in October of 2011 and had a treatment.
[Mr. Gray received multiple doses of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells over the course of several days.]
I didn’t feel anything for 30 days. Then I started feeling better and really felt good. I went to the doctor in January of 2012. He did an EKG and walked in and said, “What have you done?” I said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “You have a normal EKG. You’ve never had one of these before.“ So I asked my wife, “Do you think I ought to tell him?” This was in St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson Mississippi; the one that had caused me to have the heart attack. So I asked her, “Reckon I ought to tell him I had got stem cells?” She said, “Yes.” So I told him. He looked like I had cut his throat. He was white as a sheet and he wanted to know, “How did they do it?” and I told him.
Since then I have had 3 normal EKGs. The last one was about 2 months ago.
Well, I had another treatment about 11 months later and it fixed my kidneys the second time. The first time it fixed my heart. It didn’t do anything else but then the second time it fixed my kidneys. I had horse shoe kidneys and I was operated on when I was 33 years old, 35 years old and now I’m 69. My kidney had grown together and my kidneys have been bad my whole life but now they’re fine.
By Susie Reveles September 11, 2016
View Original Interview
Interview with Marty Kelley – Mother, Wife and Stem Cell Advocate
She fought for her son and won. She never gave up and followed her instincts. Her message is one of Hope, Determination and Unconditional Love. The Autism Hope Alliance had the pleasure of learning more about her journey and hearing her story.
Autism Hope Alliance:
Can you tell us what is Stem Cell Therapy and why you are so passionate about it?
We received stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama, which is where all of Ken’s treatments have taken place, they use stem cells harvested from donated human umbilical cord tissue after normal, healthy births called mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Umbilical cord tissue is a rich source of the most potent MSCs, which modulate the immune system and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Each donating 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 the rigorous screening process.
The actual treatments are relatively simple. There are just several quick intravenous injections of the purified MSCs over the course of several days. Each injection only takes a few minutes. Autism (and its degree of severity) has been significantly correlated with elevated levels of macrophage-derived cytokines (MDC) and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), both of which are implicated in neuro-inflammation. Intravenous administration of umbilical cord MSCs can reduce inflammation in the brain and throughout the body, thus lowering the levels of MDC and TARC and improving a child’s symptoms. This is the rationale behind the treatment, which is currently in the process of being tested in controlled clinical trials.
Autism Hope Alliance:
What changes if any did you see in your son after doing it?
After doing our first stem cell treatment, Kenneth started talking about the past for the first time! Within a few months, he was able to have simple conversation and at nine months after the cells, Kenneth potty trained and started reading. It was a few months before his ninth birthday.
Autism Hope Alliance:
How long before you noticed any changes?
Before stem cells, my husband and I categorized Ken as moderately to severely autistic. So, it was while we at the Stem Cell Institute getting our first stem cell treatment, where Ken started speaking clearer and adding more words to his limited sentences, we knew the cells were working. Changes continued to occur daily, such as Ken having a concept of time, describing his trip to Panama as “four hours in the car and 8 hours on the plane” in a news interview 2 weeks after getting cells!
Autism Hope Alliance:
What therapies did you do before trying Stem Cell Therapy?
Like most parents on this journey, we tried biomedical intervention intensively before stem cells, starting when Ken was 6 years old. We bought a mild hyperbaric oxygen chamber for our home and treated him for two years with 900 hours of dives. Also, we used around 30 different vitamin supplements as well as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, along with fermented foods. We used the top autism biomedical doctors at the time (2006-2009), including having Ken’s gastrointestinal issues diagnosed with Dr. Arthur Krigsman at Thoughtful House and QEEG scans to give us markers for improvements.
Autism Hope Alliance:
How did you even hear about stem cell therapy and how did you decide on the clinic to go to?
A news story in Orlando, Florida, introduced us to stem cell therapy and Daniel Faiella, a father who had treated his son at the Stem Cell Institute. I called Daniel every day for two years while I researched adult stem cells. It was still hard to decide on a clinic to use. I chose the Stem Cell Institute because of their reputation and what I researched. And a great quote that sums it all up is, “You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump.” As long as I was sure that umbilical cord cells would not cause any harm, it was just a matter of taking the “jump.”
Autism Hope Alliance:
Where was your child before Stem Cell Therapy?
Before stem cells, Kenneth was out of control. He could not have a conversation with us. He could not tell us spontaneous things, like what happened at school, if he was sick or hurt, or things he needed. Ken often screamed and yelled and was violent and threw things and would run awayfrom us, ripping his clothes off, running naked. At the time, our physician did not know anything about stem cells, but recommended that we place Ken in an institution because of his out of control behavior. This devastated us.
In a documentary film featuring Ken’s story, we tried to capture the essence of Ken’s life before stem cells and then show the changes from the cells. This film is called Ken’s Journey To Recovery and can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FaGf0h20Vw
Autism Hope Alliance:
Paint us a picture of where he is today?
Today, Ken is calm, peaceful, and polite–the sweetest joy in our lives. He is what life should be, happy and caring and intuitive. Ken has a passion for learning, I think because of all of the gaps with the autism. Even his teachers recognize his passion and he recently received an award in History in a mainstream classroom out of 70 neuro-typical peers.
Autism Hope Alliance:
How many stem cell treatments did he get and do you do any therapies with him currently?
From 2009 to 2012, Ken has had six stem cell treatments. We have not had him on any diet or supplements since 2012. Our lives are very normal with limited therapies, except for speech therapy and school. We have not done any biomedical since 2009.
Autism Hope Alliance:
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of doing Stem Cell Therapy?
If parents were considering stem cells for their child, I would recommend lots of research. Make sure you know that the treatment is safe and find a clinic with a good reputation. And don’t wait. Stem cells are amazing, but, like any medical treatment, it doesn’t work for everyone. For your child, however, it may be worth a try.
“Dream big dreams, small dreams have no magic”
For more info:
*This interview is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is for informational purposes only. Each parent knows their child the best and we recommend individuals to consult their doctor before considering any therapy or treatments.
Professor Arnold Caplan from Case Western Reserve with Dr. Riordan and friends during his recent trip to Panama. Dr. Caplan is known as the “Father of the Mesenchymal Stem Cell” although these days, he prefers the term “Medicinal Signaling Cells”.
A recent study concluded that umbilical cord tissue is the best source for clinically utilizable mesenchymal stem cells.
Comparative Characterization of Cells from the Various Compartments of the Human Umbilical Cord Shows that the Wharton’s Jelly Compartment Provides the Best Source of Clinically Utilizable Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
Arjunan Subramanian, Chui-Yee Fong, Arijit Biswas, Ariff Bongso
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Health System, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore, 119228, Singapore
The human umbilical cord (UC) is an attractive source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with unique advantages over other MSC sources. They have been isolated from different compartments of the UC but there has been no rigorous comparison to identify the compartment with the best clinical utility. We compared the histology, fresh and cultured cell numbers,morphology, proliferation, viability, stemness characteristics and differentiation potential of cells from the amnion (AM), subamnion (SA), perivascular (PV), Wharton’s jelly (WJ) and mixed cord (MC) of five UCs. The WJ occupied the largest area in the UC from which 4.61 ± 0.57 x 106 /cm fresh cells could be isolated without culture compared to AM, SA, PV and MC that required culture. The WJ and PV had significantly lesser CD40+ non-stem cell contaminants (26-27%) compared to SA, AM and MC (51-70%). Cells from all compartments were proliferative, expressed the typical MSC-CD, HLA, and ESC markers, telomerase, had normal karyotypes and differentiated into adipocyte, chondrocyte and osteocyte lineages. The cells from WJ showed significantly greater CD24+ and CD108+ numbers and fluorescence intensities that discriminate between MSCs and non-stem cell mesenchymal cells, were negative for the fibroblast-specific and activating-proteins (FSP, FAP) and showed greater osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation potential compared to AM, SA, PV and MC. Cells from the WJ offer the best clinical utility as (i) they have less non-stem cell contaminants (ii) can be generated in large numbers with minimal culture avoiding changes in phenotype, (iii) their derivation is quick and easy to standardize, (iv) they are rich in stemness characteristics and (v) have high differentiation potential. Our results show that when isolating MSCs from the UC, the WJ should be the preferred compartment, and a standardized method of derivation must be used so as to make meaningful comparisons of data between research groups.
The researchers considered the following factors in their in-depth analysis:
- Fresh live cell counts
- Cell counts after culture
- Cell morphology
- Cell proliferation
- Cell viability
- CD marker analysis
- Telomerase analysis (TRAP assay)
- Pluripotent marker analysis
- Genomic markers
- Cell differentiation
- Degrees of differentiation
Click the link below to read the entire article.
First Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy Patient To Receive Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Therapy In US Turns 30
The first patient with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be granted FDA approval for allogeneic adult stem cell therapy in the United States turned 30 this year, well surpassing his original life expectancy and paving the way for future patients, according to non-profit organization Coming Together For A Cure.WICHITA, KANSAS (PRWEB) MAY 18, 2016 – Ryan Benton was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at the age of three and given a life expectancy in the late teens to early twenties. DMD is a relatively common progressive genetic disorder, which causes aggressive deterioration of the muscles.
In 2009, at the age of 22, Benton’s condition was critical. He met with the founder of the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama and Medistem Panama, Neil H. Riordan, PhD. Research had shown that adult stem cell therapy might have the potential to reverse the progression of DMD.
Because of the laws restricting adult stem cell therapy in the United States, Benton was forced to travel to Panama to receive his first life-saving treatment. Ryan made seven trips to Panama to receive treatments from Dr. Riordan’s team of physicians at the Stem Cell Institute.
“Ryan has seen vast improvements in muscle mass and lung capacity as a result of his treatments…”
Ryan was assured at the start that there was no guarantee that we would find success but we knew it was his only hope in fighting the disease, especially since his health was at a critical point. Ryan could tell shortly after the first treatment that something was working. He found a renewed strength that he had never felt before and not once did he see any adverse side effects. He trusted Dr. Riordan and felt safe and eager to undergo additional treatments.
It took five years of hard work and successful treatments, but Benton became the first (and only) DMD patient granted FDA approval for this form of medical therapy inside the United States. An investigational new drug (IND) for compassionate use application was approved, allowing Benton to receive treatment in his hometown, Wichita, KS.
Approval from the FDA came with many stipulations, however. This form of treatment was to be used for only a single patient, twice a year for 3 years.
By all accounts, January 2016 was a major milestone. The FDA has recently granted an additional treatment per year, now allowing Ryan three total treatments per year, as well as approval for a second compassionate use IND for another patient. This second patient, a six-year-old boy, has also shown success from previous treatments in Panama. He received his first treatment in the United States this year .
Ryan and his family have been actively involved in the local muscular dystrophy community, and have personally known dozens of others with DMD who have passed away at far too young of an age. That number continues to grow each day, which only continues to frustrate Ryan and his family as they fight for this treatment to be more readily available for others suffering from the same disease. Ryan believes that if treated early enough, patients could have a strong chance to live a “normal” life. Ryan believes if he had been treated when he was six years old, it could be very likely that he would never have faced any of the diseases debilitating effects.
Ryan has seen vast improvements in muscle mass and lung capacity as a result of his treatments, but we believe additional treatments on a more frequent basis would help ensure maximum potential when it comes to reversing the progression of his disease. Immediately following each round of treatment, we see dramatic increases in his overall health, stamina, physical strength, and ease in ability to breathe. Unfortunately, we have found that on average, three to four months after each treatment, the effectiveness of the cells begins to decrease. We believe the FDA’s permission to increase the number of treatments per year will help safeguard Ryan’s ability to preserve his improvements and more effectively control his Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Video: Ryan Benton discusses stem cell therapy for DMD
For many families that have lived alongside, or suffered from this disease, this is very exciting news. Ryan and his family are continually heart stricken as they hear of another member of their md community has died far too young due to the disease. It’s their hope they can help provide other families the same opportunities that they were so fortunate to receive.
Coming Together for a Cure, (CTFAC) is a non-profit organization founded by Benton’s siblings, Lauren and Blake after Ryan’s first round of treatments in 2009. In the 7 years since the Bentons were given new hope, they’ve been hard at work raising awareness and support for adult stem cell research and therapy.
To find more information about their organization, their family, or to find out how you can help, please visit http://www.comingtogetherforacure.org
For all other inquiries, please email comingtogetherforacure(at)gmail(dot)com
For anyone with reservations about what the Stem cell Institute / stem cells can do, I have an 8 year old daughter that received her first Treatment 6 months ago. Prior to treatment she could speak but her speech was generally limited to asking for basic needs, and being trapped in cartoon dialogue for hours at a time. She would only eat a very limited few foods, she was generally unaware of others, didn’t express feelings or emotions, she was fearful to try doing new things, she had many sensory issues.
Within days of receiving her first treatment, she started asking us complex questions and we had real dialogue exchanges. She started venturing outside her comfort zone and trying new things like going on boat, kayak, tubing, etc. (none of which she would do prior). She started branching out and trying new foods, and at this point tries new things to determine how they taste and feel. She has become very social and has made friends at school, even though she has significant social delays and doesn’t always understand how play and interaction should happen, she tries and wants to play with others.
The most impressive change is that she is now much more connected to her surroundings and to events happening around her. She is also now capable of expressing feelings and emotions in an appropriate way. Prior to stem cells she could Say I love you, but it was in the same tone and voice inflection that was said to her. Now it’s her voice on her terms.
We just came back from a second treatment and are hopeful for more healing. We still have a ways to go, but are so happy with how much progress she has made.
Additionally I want to add that she looks forward to the treatments, she asks if she gets to get stem cells. In her words, she says, “they make her feel happy.” – Loreea Gallagher