Judy DiCorcia of New York has written an open letter to President Obama in which she describes the improvement of her 10-year-old autistic daughter, Lauren, after adult stem cell therapy was administered to the child at the XCell-Center in Cologne, Germany.
The treatment, which cost approximately $10,000, took place in January of this year and consisted of a simple procedure in which adult stem cells were extracted from the girl’s own bone marrow and then readministered via a lumbar puncture in the girl’s spine. The technique was quick, simple and minimally invasive.
According to the girl’s mother, Lauren has shown significant improvement in a number of ways, including being able to sleep through the night for the first time in the girl’s life. Not quite half a year after the treatment, Ms. DiCorcia now reports that "Lauren is doing well. I would have to say that she plateaued at about the 12-week mark. Her situation is stable and fortunately all positive effects have persisted. I wish the doctor could fly to the U.S. and perform the therapy here!"
The XCell-Center is a private clinical group and institute for regenerative medicine which operates two treatment centers, one in Cologne and one in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is the first privately owned medical center in Europe to specialize in regenerative medicine. In addition to providing autologous adult stem cell therapies to patients, the XCell-Center is also actively involved in pre-clinical and clinical research. Since January of 2007, more than 1,600 patients have been treated with their own adult stem cells at the XCell-Center.
As stated on their website, the XCell-Center "is the first private institute worldwide to hold an official license for the extraction and approval of stem cell material for autologous treatment." Since only adult stem cells are used at the XCell-Center, not embryonic stem cells, the treatments are ethically noncontroversial and scientifically proven to be medically safe. Since only autologous (in which the donor and recipient are the same person) adult stem cells are used, there is no risk of immune rejection. The XCell-Center operates in full accordance with German law and European guidelines. The specialized team of physicians at the XCell-Center includes neurosurgeons, cardiologists, hematologists, orthopedists, radiologists and pharmacologists. In addition to autism, the XCell-Center also treats a number of other medical conditions which include stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, ischemic heart disease, peripheral artery disease, diabetes and complications thereof, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative illnesses.
The XCell-Center boasts an international advisory board and is a member of the German Society for Regenerative Medicine. Its headquarters are located at the Dominikus hospital in Dusseldorf, while its second branch is located at the Eduardus Hospital’s Institute of Regenerative Medicine in Cologne.
As explicitly stated on the website of the XCell-Center, "therapy with embryonic stem cells is strictly prohibited in Germany. At the XCell-Center, we only use the patient’s own stem cells for therapy." The strict prohibition of embryonic stem cell therapy in Germany, as in many other countries, is based not so much on ethical concerns but on concrete scientific reasons, not the least of which is the fact that embryonic stem cells are medically unsafe. In addition to causing teratomas (a specific type of tumor), embryonic stem cells are notorious for their numerous other inherent problems which disqualify them for any type of clinical therapeutic use.
Back in the U.S., Lauren’s mother, Ms. DiCorcia, wishes that this type of adult stem cell therapy were available in the U.S., so that she wouldn’t have to travel to Germany for her child’s treatment. Unfortunately, however, adult stem cell therapies, such as these that are being used with such success in Germany, which already exist and which are already being used in clinics around the world, would be available in the U.S. were it not for the fact that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has outlawed such therapies by designating each person’s own adult stem cells as a "drug" which therefore must be regulated by the same laws that apply to the giant pharmaceutical companies that manufacture prescription medication. Consequently, it is this stance by the FDA which is forcing all adult stem cell physicians to relocate outside of the U.S., where they set up their clinics in any and every other country on earth except the United States.
Ms. DiCorcia’s open letter to the President of the United States is reproduced herein:
"Dear President Obama,
I am the mother of a 10-year-old autistic daughter. In January, we took Lauren to Cologne, Germany for adult stem cell therapy. The center used her own stem cells drawn from her hip bone marrow, centrifuged the next day, and then reinserted via lumbar puncture the following day (2.95 million cells). Both procedures were quick and not invasive at all. In the past 6 weeks we have seen significant improvements in our daughter’s behaviors, focus, hyperactivity, and insomnia. I would rate a general improvement of about 40% – this is HUGE for a family living with autism. Our daughter started sleeping through the night for the first time (yes, she is 10 and got up every night) since stem cells. Lauren is happier just in her own skin – so much less frustrated and just generally happier. She is getting through her one-on-one therapy more quickly, better focused, and more compliant. Of course, it amazes me that this simple, non-controversial therapy cannot be done here in the United States.